Voting

Now all U.S. citizens can receive their blank ballots electronically. Depending on the state in which you are eligible to vote, you may get your ballot by email, fax, or internet download. To start, go to www.FVAP.gov to complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), print and sign the form then return it to your local election office in the United States. We recommend overseas U.S. citizens get in the habit of completing FPCAs each January. You should include your email address on the form so it’s easier for your election officials to reach you if there is a problem. If your state delivers ballots electronically by fax only, be sure to include your fax number. If you request electronic delivery and include your email address or fax number, you’ll receive your blank ballot 45 days before general and mid-term elections and generally 30 days before special, primary, and run-off elections for federal offices. Most states now have voter registration verification websites, and many offer a means of tracking the status of your registration and ballot.

United States Embassy Lusaka, Zambia

Message for U.S. Citizens: Voting In 2020 U.S. Elections

January 16, 2020

Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!

Start by confirming your voter registration with your state.  Some states require absentee voters to register annually so you may need to re-register.  Go to FVAP.gov to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.  Once you confirm your registration, follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:

  1.  Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via FVAP.gov. You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). 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.  FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory.  FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA.Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available.  This is the fastest way for you to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
  2. 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.  Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
  3. Return Your Completed, Signed 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, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through U.S. Embassy Lusaka’s diplomatic pouch. The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility.  If using the diplomatic pouch, 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.

For your convenience, U.S. Embassy Lusaka has placed a red, white, and blue U.S. Voting Drop Box at the embassy’s main entrance (not the consular entrance).  This entrance is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please note that it can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by an embassy or consulate via diplomatic pouch.

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Go to the FVAP links page for helpful resources to 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 (vote@fvap.gov). 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.govIf you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. U.S. Embassy Lusaka’s Voting Assistance Officer at votelusaka@state.gov.

U.S. Embassy Lusaka, Zambia
Message for U.S. Citizens
Final Opportunities to Return Voted Ballots
28 August 2018

Don’t wait, return your voted ballot now! Remember U.S. embassies and consulates are not polling places; same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States. The majority of states require voted ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Never received your ballot? If you registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot prior to your state’s registration deadline, but have not yet received your ballot, complete and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to ensure your vote reaches election officials by your state’s deadline. If your regular ballot arrives later, complete and return it as well. Your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot will only be counted if your regular ballot does not reach local election officials by your state’s deadline. Your vote will not be counted twice.

RETURNING YOUR BALLOT:
The final date to return your paper ballot to your local election officials by election day for free via the U.S. embassy is October 15, 2018. If you wish to drop off your ballot, or have a friend or colleague drop it off for you, place it in either a postage-paid envelope or envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officials. A red, white, and blue U.S. Voting Drop Box is located in the U.S. Embassy’s main entrance (not the consular entrance) and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Missed the U.S. embassy shipment deadline? Consider returning your ballot to the United States via an express courier service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL or electronically, if allowed by your state. Ballots sent to local election officials via express courier service do not receive standard postmarks, so voters using this method should confirm delivery on or before November 6 prior to payment and shipment. Check your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov.

Returning your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot by email or fax. If you have previously registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot but it has not yet arrived, the following states allow voters to use email or fax to send signed, voted Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots to local election officials: Alaska (fax only), Arizona (contact election official first), Arkansas (fax only), Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida (fax only), Hawaii (fax only), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana (fax only), Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska (fax only paper copy must also be mailed), Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma (fax only), Oregon (paper copy must also be mailed), Rhode Island (fax only), South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia. Carefully review your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov.

New this year – email to fax service by FVAP! – the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to States that do not accept emailed documents.  Get more information here.

SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING. Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting. Consider using #ProudOverseasVoter on your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media platform.

Have Questions? Please contact your local Voting Assistance Officer at 0211-357-000 or at VoteLusaka@state.gov. You can also contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program directly if you encounter issues with local election officials by emailing Vote@FVAP.gov or calling toll free by phone from many countries around the world.

Confirm your registration and ballot delivery online. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website at www.FVAP.gov.

END U.S. CITIZEN MESSAGE