Message for U.S. Citizens – Voting in the 2020 General Election

If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, you can receive an absentee ballot for the 2020 general election electronically (email, fax, or internet download).  Follow the directions below to register, request an absentee ballot, and vote.

Register to Vote and Request an Absentee Ballot

You can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  The easiest way to complete the FPCA is by using the Federal Voting Assistance Program website (  Simply go to the website, select your voting state of residence, and follow the instructions for registering and requesting an absentee ballot.  Most states allow voters to submit a scanned, signed copy of the FPCA by email or fax.  It may also be possible to register to vote and request a ballot though your state’s own voter websites.

Complete and Return the Absentee Ballot

After you submit the FPCA, your home state will send you an absentee ballot.  All states must allow you to receive your blank absentee ballot electronically when requested.  This may include receipt by email, fax, or an online download.

Once you receive your ballot, fill it out and submit it according to the instructions provided.  Some states will allow you to submit a ballot by email or fax.  The Embassy can return ballots to the United States for you using its pouch mail service.  There is no charge for this service.  Mail sent via pouch may not arrive in the United States for several weeks.  If you would like to send your ballot via the pouch, please drop it off at the Embassy’s Service Entrance before October 19 at 12:00.  The Embassy will accept ballots from 07:00-18:00, from Monday through Thursday, and 07:00-15:00 on Friday.  You can also send your ballot to the United States using an international courier service such as DHL or FedEx.

If You Do Not Receive Your Absentee Ballot in Time, Complete a Federal Write-In Ballot

If you have registered to vote, but do not receive your absentee ballot within 30 days of the election, you can download an emergency back-up ballot called the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) from the FVAP website.  Simply fill out the FWAB and send or submit it the same way you would submit a regular absentee ballot.

Repeat Voting

Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete a new FPCA each year to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.

Where Can I Obtain Information About State Voting Requirements?

You can find information about each state’s deadlines and requirements on the FVAP website.  The website also contains information on Voting Residency Guidelines.  If you are a U.S. citizen who has never resided in the United States, you may still be eligible to vote in certain states.

If you have any questions about voting, please contact the Consular Section at