Message for U.S. Citizens: Voting in 2020 Elections

June 24, 2020

There are only 132 days left until the November 3 General Election! Celebrate democracy this Fourth of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections.

In order to vote in the November 2020 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2020.  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.

Routine consular operations at U.S. Embassy Kuwait, including ballot collection, have been suspended due to the COVID-19 epidemic.  We will notify U.S. citizens via STEP message when we are again able to accept ballots.  In the meantime, consider state ballot submission alternatives.  Most states allow voters to submit ballots online, which is the easiest and quickest way.  Check the ballot return options in your state.  Otherwise, you may want to consider returning your ballot via a private courier service or international mail if the deadline for return of your ballot is near.

Registering to vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!  Follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:

  1. Register to vote: Start by confirming your voter registration with your state. Some states require absentee voters to register annually, so you may need to re-register. Visit gov to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.
  1. Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via 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 to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available.  This is the fastest way to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.

3. 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.

4. Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically. 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 or professional courier service.

Researching the Candidates and Issues: Visit 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 online.  You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, 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, Twitter, and Instagram. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website: FVAP.gov.

Remember, your vote counts!