Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in all U.S. elections.

(No physical voting at U.S. Embassies)

If you have never voted while overseas before the process is easy just follow these steps:

  1. Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, we recommend that you get in the habit of completing an FPCA  on every January of each year.  It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the year in which you submit the FPCA.  Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA .

The online voting assistant  available at  is an easy way to complete the FPCA .  It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible.  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 to take advantage of electronic delivery.  The online voting assistant  will generate a printable FPCA , which you can then print and sign.

  1. Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

If you can come to the Embassy in-person (assuming you do not opt for electronic voting), we are glad to accept your postmarked ballot for forwarding to the United States. Remember that your ballot must be postmarked properly for forwarding to its final destination before submission to the U.S. Embassy.

If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the Embassy, on your behalf or you can send your FPCA  or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.

You can drop off your FPCA at the Embassy Monday thru Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

  1. Receive Your Ballot

After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection.  States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election (September 24) for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.

  1. Return Your Ballot

We recommend that if you plan to return your paper ballot to your election officials via the U.S. Embassy, please return your ballot with at least 30 days prior the election date to account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts.  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. You can download the postage paid envelope  from the website. 

If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).  It is a backup ballot you can use if you don’t receive your ballot in a timely manner. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.

After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by contacting your election office.

You can drop off your ballots at the Embassy Monday thru Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Your Vote Counts

Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%.  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 (differs by state).

Be an educated voter.  Check out the FVAP links page  for helpful resources that will aid your research of State election dates, candidates and issues.

For questions and to receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program directly at Vote@FVAP.GOV .  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter .

If you prefer to contact us, please send us an email at