Your vote counts! Did you know that many recent U.S. elections have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by military and overseas 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.
- Voting in 2018 U.S. elections February 23, 2018
- Alabama Special General Election Scheduled for December 12
- Alabama Special Primary Runoff Election Scheduled for September 26
- Utah Special General Election Scheduled for November 7
- Alabama Special Primary Election Scheduled for August 15
- California Special General Election Scheduled for June 6
- Registration Deadline Extended for Georgia Special Runoff Election
- Utah Special Primary Election Scheduled for August 15
Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the U.S. elections:
Registering to Vote:
Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) (PDF 321 KB). Even if you have voted by absentee ballot in the past, you must complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to vote in the elections each year. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. It allows you to register to vote and to request absentee ballots for all regular, primary, run-off, and special elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) during the course of the year it is submitted in.
You can complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, fax, or internet download, depending on your state). Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of electronic ballot delivery. Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. The voting assistant will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature. If you must submit a paper copy, please see below for mailing options.
Receiving Your Ballot
Request Electronic Delivery! States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office (President, U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives) and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Be sure to include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. You can now also confirm your registration and ballot delivery online for most states.
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 via numerous websites such as Project Smart Voter. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.
Returning Your Completed Ballot
Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically. However, if your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can do so free of charge at the nearest embassy or consulate. Your ballots must be in either postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and must also be addressed to the relevant local election officials.
You may drop your ballot request or completed ballot at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade for post in the U.S. between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please note that your ballot must be in a sealed FPCA (Federal Postcard Application) or FWAB (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot) envelope found on www.FVAP.gov, and not just a regular envelope. Regular envelopes cannot be accepted. The guards outside of the Embassy will accept the envelope for processing. You must show a valid photo ID and wait until your envelope has been scanned before you may leave. The Embassy will then send your envelope to the U.S. for domestic post. You do not need to affix international postage to your envelope, only domestic postage rates will apply. Normal transit time between the Embassy in Serbia and local election offices is three weeks.
You may also use Serbia’s postal system to return your ballot. Affix sufficient international postage, and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery. You may also return your FPCA or ballot via international mail or professional courier services at your own expense.
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 Belgrade’s Voting Assistance Officer at +381-11-706-4000 or at email@example.com.