Message for U.S. Citizens
Your vote counts! Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters? All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.
Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:
- Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP.gov. You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2020 to ensure you receive a ballot for every federal election for which you are eligible throughout the 2020 election cycle.The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted. All FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.
You can use FVAP’s easy online assistant to walk you through the FPCA at FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. We encourage you to select the option for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state) as this is the fastest way for you to get your ballot. Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA to your election office per the instructions on the website. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state accepts the FPCA by email, mail, or fax. If you must mail your FPCA, please see below for mailing options.
- Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
- Return Your Completed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, then you can do so free of charge at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address them to the relevant local election officials.
You may also drop off completed voting materials during regular business hours at the U.S. Embassy Port of Spain.
If it’s more convenient for you, you can also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.
Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain on-line. You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov.
Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Port of Spain’s Voting Assistance Officer at (868) 622-6371 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, your vote counts!