VOTING IN 2020 U.S. ELECTIONS
Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee 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.
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:
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.
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. The COVID-19 information on the FVAP website outlines which states allow for return of ballots via mail, email, or fax. 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 (subject to possible international mail disruptions), professional courier service like DHL or FEDEX, or through Embassy Luxembourg’s diplomatic pouch.
Please check the regulations in the state in which you vote as ballot receipt deadlines may differ. We strongly recommend you submit your ballot as far in advance as possible.
The Embassy recommends that U.S. voters in Luxembourg utilize the U.S. Embassy Consular Section’s diplomatic pouch service to ensure their ballot arrives in the United States in time to be counted. If you choose to utilize this method, ballots must be received at the Embassy no later than October 13, 2020 to allow processing time between Department of State and U.S. Postal Service systems. Ballots received after that date will be forwarded, but may arrive too late to be counted. Please place your ballot in an envelope addressed to your local election officials – either a U.S. postage-paid envelope or an envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage. Envelopes without postage cannot be accepted. (NOTE: Postage from Luxembourg to the United States is not required using this method.) You may drop off your ballots at the Embassy front gate at any time.
Missed the U.S. embassy shipment deadline? Consider returning your ballot to the United States via a commercial express courier service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL or return your voted ballot 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 3 prior to payment and shipment. Check your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov for guidance.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.gov. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. US Embassy Luxembourg’s Voting Assistance Officer at email@example.com.
Remember, your vote counts!
Be absent but accounted for!