Message for U.S. Citizens
VOTING IN 2020 U.S. ELECTIONS
Your vote counts! Did you know that many U.S. federal elections 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.
Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:
- Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP.gov. You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2020, to ensure you receive a ballot for every federal election for which you are eligible throughout the 2020 election cycle. 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. All FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.
You can use FVAP’s easy online assistant to walk you through the FPCA at FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. We encourage you to select the option for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state) as this is the fastest way for you to get your ballot. Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA to your election office per the instructions on the website. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state accepts the FPCA by email, mail, or fax. If you must mail your FPCA, please see below for mailing options.
- 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.
- Return Your Completed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, then you can do so at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. However, if residing abroad, please mail your ballots to your nearest embassy or consulate since in-person drop offs are restricted given the COVID-19 pandemic. First, place your ballots in a postage paid return envelope or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage and address it to your local election officials. Then place that envelope in another envelope with sufficient Russian postage to reach the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate at the address below. Please note that if submitting ballots to your nearest embassy or consulate, the ballots must be received at the embassy or consulate by October 2nd to allow for sufficient delivery time to your voting district.
Please submit your completed ballots sealed in an envelope with the address of your local election officials to U.S. Embassy Moscow (Attn: American Citizen Services, 8 Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Per. Moscow 121099) through Pony Express or local mail. Due to COVID-19, in-person ballot drop-off is not available at this time. If the situation in Moscow allows for in-person drop-off at a later date, an additional notification will be sent. The ballots must be received by October 2, 2020.
Please submit your completed ballots sealed in an envelope with the address of your local election officials to U.S. Consulate Yekaterinburg (Gogolya 15, Yekaterinburg) through Pony Express or local mail. Due to COVID-19, in-person ballot drop-off is not available at this time. If the situation in Yekaterinburg allows for in-person drop-off at a later date, an additional notification will be sent. The ballots must be received by October 2, 2020.
The U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok is temporarily closed and the Consular Agency in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is only providing emergency services. Please submit your completed ballots sealed in an envelope with the address of your local election officials to U.S. Consulate Yekaterinburg (Gogolya 15, Yekaterinburg) through Pony Express or local mail. Due to COVID-19, in-person ballot drop-off is not available at this time. If the situation in Yekaterinburg or Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk allows for in-person drop-off at a later date, an additional notification will be sent. The ballots must be received by October 2, 2020.
If it is more convenient for you, you can also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.
Online Resources for Researching the Candidates and Issues: 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 online or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (email@example.com). 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. Further information on voting abroad can be found at the Department of State’s website. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact:
- U.S. Embassy Moscow’s Voting Assistance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
- U.S. Consulate Yekaterinburg’s Voting Assistance Officer at email@example.com
- U.S. Consulate Vladivostok’s Voting Assistance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, your vote counts!