Message to U.S. Citizens: Now is the time to send in your absentee ballots!

Now is the time to send in your absentee ballots!

Absentee ballots have been sent to overseas voters.  All U.S. citizens who requested an absentee ballot and selected the fax or email delivery option should have received it by now.  Once you have received your ballot, follow the instructions provided by the elections officials for completing and returning your ballot.

If your state allows you to return your completed ballot electronically, we encourage you to use this option.  If your state requires you to return completed paper ballots, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through U.S. Embassy Warsaw’s diplomatic pouch.  If it is more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your ballot at the Embassy on your behalf.

If using the diplomatic pouch, you will need to place your sealed ballot in a return envelope that is addressed to your local election officials and that bears sufficient U.S. postage.  You can download a postage paid envelope at the website.

Ballots can be dropped off at the Embassy’s American Citizens Services unit on any business day, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  (Please note that all visitors to the Embassy are subject to security screening, and you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility. All visitors to the Embassy are required to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth. Please do not come to the Embassy if you are ill.)

If you plan to return your ballot to election officials via the diplomatic pouch, we recommend that you drop off your ballot at the U.S. Embassy by October 2 to ensure that your ballot arrives at your local voting district before your state’s deadline.  After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.

Haven’t received your ballot yet?  Use the emergency write-in ballot.  U.S. citizens who requested an absentee ballot but haven’t received it should go to to complete a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).  Follow the above guidance for returning your ballot.  If you later receive your regular absentee ballot, complete and return it immediately.  Local election officials will count just one ballot per voter and will use the regular ballot if received by your state’s ballot receipt deadline.

Forgot to register or request an absentee ballot?  There is still time if you act immediately!  There are three options:

Option #1:  Register and request a ballot today using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at  Select the electronic ballot delivery option, include your email address or fax number, and send it to local election officials in your state.  Almost every state allows absentee voters to submit ballot requests by email or fax.  Vote as soon as you receive the blank ballot.  Registration deadlines vary and some are as early as October 5, so check your state’s requirements carefully.

Option#2:  Follow the instructions in Option #1, but also complete and send in a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) at the same time to make sure your vote is counted.  This option may be the best one for first-time voters if your state requires you to submit your Federal Post Card Application by mail.  Vote and submit your regular absentee ballot if/when it arrives.  Local election officials will count just one ballot per voter and will use the regular ballot if it’s received by the ballot receipt deadline.

Option #3:  Voters from the following states can use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot as a combined voter registration form, absentee ballot request, and absentee ballot:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.  (NOTE: This form must reach your local election officials by your state’s absentee ballot request deadline or voter registration deadline, whichever is first.)

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 candidates and issues. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online and search the Internet to locate articles and information.

To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts ( FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.


If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Warsaw’s Voting Assistance Officer at +48 22 504 2784, or at