Voting in the 2020 Elections
Did you know that you can vote from El Salvador?
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) provides the opportunity for U.S. citizens overseas to vote in federal elections. By submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) you can register to vote and request an absentee ballot.
We suggest you register as soon as possible, as most states will send an absentee ballot at least 45 days prior to the election.
FVAP has also published a website on COVID-19’s effects on the upcoming election: www.fvap.gov/covid-19.
NOTE: You are not able to vote at the U.S. Embassy. While we are happy to provide voter assistance, please note that it is not possible for U.S. citizens in El Salvador to vote at the U.S. Embassy in federal, state or local elections under any circumstances. You must use the absentee voting process if you would like to vote in the U.S. elections from El Salvador.
Follow the steps below to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:
- Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website and select “Request an Absentee Ballot”.
- Select the state where you reside and are registered to vote in the United States, or the state you last resided in.
- Select your jurisdiction. This is the county of your current or previous residence. Election officials use your residence address to determine if you are eligible to submit an absentee ballot, for which positions and candidates you are eligible to vote, and to send you the appropriate ballot and election dates for your constituency. Your address is valid even if you no longer have properties or other links with this state, if your intention to return is uncertain, or if your previous address is no longer a recognized address.
- Provide your current overseas address to receive your voting materials.
- Review your information before printing the Federal Post Card Application.
- Print the Federal Post Card Application and the envelope to send by mail. The envelope is recommended if you will use postal mailing. The Federal Voting Assistance Program website will tell you if your state accepts the FPCA by email, mail, or fax. Sign and date the application.
- Send your Federal Post Card Application to your corresponding local election office. Most states will let you submit an application electronically, but postal mailing is also an option.
- Receive and complete your ballot. States are required to send you a ballot at least 45 days prior to the election.
- Return your completed ballot. Vote and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. For more information on state-by-state mailing dates, please visit FVAP.gov. Some states will allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax. If your state requires you to return a paper ballot, we suggest one of the following options:
- A courier service such as FedEx or DHL.
- U.S. mail via the Embassy ACS unit: You may drop off your completed and sealed voting ballot at the American Citizens Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, Monday to Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I don’t receive my ballot on time?
If you requested your absentee ballot and haven’t received it from your state at least 30 days before the election, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is an emergency backup ballot. This backup ballot can be completed using our FWAB online assistant, by filling out the PDF, or by picking up a hard copy version from your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.The online assistant will guide you through the process of completing the form. Once you complete the form, you will be able to download and print the PDF package to sign and send to your election office. This PDF package even includes a pre-addressed and postage-paid label so you don’t have to worry about finding stamps! Don’t forget a security envelope. (Use a separate blank envelope and write “Security Envelope” on it and place your voted ballot in it. This keeps your vote private.)
- What if I need assistance completing the absentee ballot registration and application?
If you require assistance completing the absentee ballot registration and application process, please visit the American Citizens Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador for assistance from Monday to Thursday between 8:00 – 11:30 a.m. You can also contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program directly by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can I vote in the U.S. Embassy on November 3?
No. There is no voting in the U.S. Embassy or the American Citizen Services Unit on Election Day.
- How do I return my FPCA, FWAB or ballot?
If you need to mail your FPCA, FWAB or ballot, you can use a local courier service such as FedEx or DHL, or visit the American Citizens Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador for assistance from Monday to Thursday between 8:00a.m.–11:30 a.m.
- When does my state have upcoming elections?
For a complete list of upcoming elections by month, please visit https://www.fvap.gov/guide/upcoming-elections.
You may contact the American Citizens Services Unit through our email address ACSSanSal@state.gov or call us at 2501-2999 option 1.