Message for U.S. Citizens: Independence Day Voting Message – June 28, 2016

U.S. Embassy Warsaw

Independence Day Voting Message

June 28, 2016

Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections!

In order to vote in the November 2016 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens must complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2016.  Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA each year to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.

You can always get voting assistance from the embassy in Warsaw or the consulate in Krakow or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, during our regular American Citizen Service hours at either Embassy Warsaw or Consulate Krakow, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  We will mail it back home for you without the need to pay international postage.  If it’s easier for you to use Poland’s postal system, be sure to affix sufficient international postage and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.  Our Consular Agency in Poznan can also provide limited information and guidance.

Normal transit time from Embassy Warsaw and Consulate Krakow to the United States is about two to three weeks.

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

  1. Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).   You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2016 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2016 electionsThe 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.  The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.  

You can complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov.  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.  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).  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website.  FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

  1. 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.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
  1. Return Your Completed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically while others do not.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can do so free of charge at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  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.

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will 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 and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.govIf you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the Voting Assistance Officers in your Consular District:

American Citizen Services –

U.S. Embassy in Warsaw

(phone: 22 504 2784, e-mail: acswarsaw@state.gov)

U.S. Consulate General in Krakow

(phone: 12 424 5129, e-mail: KrakowACS@state.gov).

Remember, your vote counts!

For further information:

  • The S. Embassy in Warsaw is located at Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31, telephone +48-22-504-2000. Appointments for U.S. citizen services can be made Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., excluding Polish and American holidays and the last working Wednesday of each month.  Appointments may also be scheduled for Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  In the event of emergency after hours, you may contact the Embassy duty officer at +48-22-504-2000.
  • The S. Consulate General in Kraków is located at Ulica Stolarska 9, 31-043, telephone +48-12- 424-5100. Appointments for U.S. citizen services can be made Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., by appointment only. The Consulate is closed on Polish and American holidays.  In the event of emergency after hours, you may contact the Consulate duty officer at +48-601-483-348.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).