Voting

We encourage all eligible U.S. citizen voters to take the necessary steps to vote in U.S. primary and general elections.

If you have access to electronic voting options, we encourage you to take advantage of them this year as U.S. Embassy Moscow’s consular section must receive your physical ballot by at least one moth prior to the election date to allow sufficient time for delivery to the U.S. Postal Service. While we will send later submissions, we cannot reasonably expect their on-time arrival to your voting district.

In some states, voter registration and ballot request deadlines for the primary and general elections are as early as a month before the election. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, we recommend that you complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) each year to ensure you are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.

If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2020 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will be receiving your blank ballot or instructions for how to access your ballot soon if you have not already received it. If you are not sure about the status of your absentee ballot request, you should contact your local election officials in the United States or check the status of your registration via your state’s voter registration verification website.

You can get voting assistance from the Embassy, and you can mail your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, and with postage if needed, through the Embassy.

HOW TO VOTE WHILE OVERSEAS

If you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late. The process is easy — just follow these steps:

1.      Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, we recommend that you complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall.  It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.

The online voting assistant available at FVAP.gov is an easy way to complete the FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, 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).  Be sure to include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.

2.      Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

Many states accept FPCAs through email. If you must mail your FPCA, you can drop your completed forms sealed into a U.S.postage paid envelope at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. You may also mail your ballot to us:

  • U.S. Embassy Moscow (Attn: American Citizen Services, 8 Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Per. Moscow 121099) through Pony Express or local mail.

Please note that the Russian postal system can take several months to deliver mail; we do not recommend mailing ballots through local mail and instead recommend using a professional courier service.

If it’s more convenient for you, you can send your FPCA or ballot directly to your local election officials via professional courier service at your own expense.

3.     Receive Your Ballot

After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection.  States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.

4.      Return Your Ballot

We recommend that if you plan to return your paper ballot to your election officials via the consular section, please return your ballot to us by one month prior to the election to account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts. You can download the postage paid envelope from the FVAP.gov website .

Moscow:

Contactless ballot drop-off is now available from 8 A.M. to 12 P.M. When you arrive at the Consular entrance, please inform the guards that you would like to submit a ballot. You may also 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, though please note that local mail can often take several months to arrive at the Embassy, resulting in a late submission of your ballot. Your physical ballot must be received by one month prior to the election in order to allow sufficient time for postal service. While we will send later submissions, we cannot reasonably expect their on-time arrival to your voting district.

If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). It is a backup ballot you can use if you don’t receive your ballot in a timely manner. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.

After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.

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 (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING

Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting. Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot. Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact: