Registering to Vote Overseas – Absentee Ballot

With this being the presidential election year, remembering to register for an absentee ballot seems even more critical. Luckily, the Federal Voting Assistance Program has a newly redesigned web site to help with this process.  And this week the U.S. Embassy sent out the following email with more details:

New Website for Overseas Voters
We encourage you to visit the newly redesigned Federal Voting Assistance Program website at, the official U.S. government website for overseas voters.  The updated website features an automated Voter Registration and Ballot Delivery tool that will greatly improve the vote-by-mail process.

There are two options for overseas voters using the FVAP website:

  • Visit and click “Get Started” to be directed to an online Federal Postcard Application and instructions for your state; or
  • Visit and click “Use our New Automated Tool to Register/Request a Ballot” under Quick Links in the lower right-hand corner of the home page.  You will be redirected to, a fully automated site that requires you to create a user account and password.

Voter Registration & Requesting an Absentee Ballot
Voters who have not yet registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot should do so now using the FVAP website.  You may also pick up a hard copy of the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) from any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

You should also complete a new Federal Postcard Application if you have moved or changed your name since the last time you voted.

Your local voting officials should mail your absentee ballot 30 to 45 days before the November 4 general election.  Return your voted ballot as early as possible.  Be aware of your state’s ballot receipt deadline, as well as any postmarking requirements.

Emergency Ballots
The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) serves as an emergency ballot for voters who registered in time but fail to receive an official ballot from local election officials.  You can access the FWAB using as well.

The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy is also always available to answer questions about absentee voting.  To contact the Voting Assistance Officer, call 011-5777-4818 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

If you use the online application, it will generate a ballot request PDF file for you to download and then mail or fax to the local voting office of your last U.S. address. They will then send you a ballot via mail or fax when it’s time to vote. (Need a fax number? Check out eFax for a free incoming fax-to-email service. You have to pay to send faxes.)

So, what are you waiting for? Get registered to vote now.