Voting

Alabama Special General Election Scheduled for Dec 12

The State of Alabama will conduct a special election on Tuesday, December 12, for the office of U.S. Senator to replace U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

U.S. service members, eligible family members and overseas citizens may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories. Complete, sign and send the FPCA to your election office. If you are a resident of Alabama, register and request an absentee ballot today starting at www.FVAP.gov

If you are not currently registered, your FPCA needs to be postmarked by Nov 27; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request must be postmarked by Dec 7.

To access the FPCA, you can:

  • Use the FPCA online assistant;
  • Complete the fillable PDF version (PDF 320 KB); or
  • Pick up a hardcopy version from your Voting Assistance Office at the ACS Window # 11 during walk in services on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Be sure to double-check your contact information is accurate in case your election office needs to reach you. Detailed instructions and county contact information is available at (fvap.gov/alabama).

Utah Special Primary Election Scheduled for August 15

The State of Utah will conduct a special primary election on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, for the 3rd Congressional District to replace Jason Chaffetz who announced he will resign from Congress on June 30. This district consists of Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan and Wasatch counties as well as portions of Salt Lake and Utah counties.

The special general election will be held on November 7, 2017.

Service members, eligible family members and overseas citizens may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories. Complete, sign and send the FPCA to your election office. If you are a Utah resident from the 3rd Congressional District, register and request an absentee ballot today starting at www.FVAP.gov

You can:

  • Use the FPCA online assistant;
  • Complete the fillable PDF version (PDF 320 KB); or
  • Pick up a hardcopy version from your Voting Assistance Office at the ACS Window # 11 during walk in services on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 1400 to 1500

If you are not currently registered, your FPCA needs to be received by July 17, 2017; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request must be received by August 10, 2017.  Detailed instructions and county contact information is available at (fvap.gov/utah).

Montana Special Election Scheduled for May 25

The State of Montana will conduct a special election on Thursday, May 25, 2017, for its at-large  Congressional District to replace Ryan Zinke who was confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. This district represents all counties in Montana.

Service members, eligible family members and overseas citizens may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories. Complete, sign and send the FPCA to your election office. If you are a Montana resident, register and request an absentee ballot today starting at FVAP.gov

To access the FPCA, you can:

  • Use the FPCA online assistant.
  • Complete the fillable PDF version (PDF 321 KB); or
  • Pick up a hardcopy version from your Voting Assistance Officer at the ACS Window # 11 during walk in services on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 1400 to 1500.

Be sure to double-check your contact information is accurate in case your election office needs to reach you.

Your election office must receive your FPCA by May 25; however, FBAP recommends you complete and send your FPCA now. Ballots will be sent beginning April 10 for those who have requested them. Detailed instructions and county contact information is available at Federal Voting Assistance Program.

South Carolina Special Primary Election Scheduled for May 2

The State of South Carolina will conduct a special primary election on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, for the 5th Congressional District to replace Mick Mulvaney who was confirmed as the Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. This district consists of Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Union, and York counties, and portions of Newberry, Spartanburg, and Sumter counties.

The special general election will be held on June 20.

Service members, eligible family members and overseas citizens may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which is the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories. Complete, sign and send the FPCA to your election office. If you are a South Carolina resident from the 5th Congressional District, register and request an absentee ballot today starting at FVAP.gov.

To access the FPCA, you can:

  • Use the FPCA online assistant;
  • Complete the fillable PDF version (PDF 321 KB); or
  • Pick up a hardcopy version from your Voting Assistance Officer at the ACS Window # 11 during walk in services on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 1400 to 1500.

Be sure to double-check your contact information is accurate in case your election office needs to reach you.

If you are not currently registered, your FPCA needs to be received by April 3; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request must be received by May 2.

California Special Primary Election Scheduled for April 4

The State of California will conduct a special primary election on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, for the 34th Congressional District to replace Xavier Becerra who was confirmed as Attorney General of California.  This district consists of part of Los Angeles County.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, a special general election will be held on June 6.

Service members, eligible family members and overseas citizens may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories. Complete, sign and send the FPCA to your election office. If you are a California resident from the 34th Congressional District, register and request an absentee ballot at: www.FVAP.gov

You can:

  • Use the FPCA online assistant;
  • Complete the fillable PDF version (PDF 321 KB); or
  • Pick up a hardcopy version from your Voting Assistance Office at the ACS Window # 11 during walk in services on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 1400 to 1500

If you are not currently registered, your FPCA must to be received by March 20; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request must be received by March 28.  Detailed instructions and county contact information is available at FVAP.

Kansas Special Election Scheduled for April 11

The State of Kansas will conduct a special election on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, for the 4th Congressional District to replace Mike Pompeo who resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives when he was confirmed and formally sworn in as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. This district consists of all or part of Barber, Butler, Chautauqua, Comanche, Cowley, Edwards, Elk, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Kingman, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt, Sedgwick, Stafford and Sumner Counties.

If you are a Kansas resident from the 4th Congressional District, register and request an absentee ballot today starting at WWW.FVAP.gov

You can:

  • Use the FPCA online assistant;
  • Complete the fillable PDF version (PDF 321 KB); or
  • Pick up a hardcopy version from your Voting Assistance Office at the ACS Window # 11 during walk in services on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 1400 to 1500.

If you are not currently registered, your FPCA needs to be received by March 21; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request must be received by April 11.

Georgia Special Election Scheduled for April 18

The State of Georgia will conduct a special election onTuesday, April 18, 2017, for the 6th Congressional District to replace Tom Price who was confirmed as the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary.  This district consists of part of northern Atlanta and parts of surrounding counties such as Cobb, Fulton, and Dekalb.

Service members, eligible family members and overseas citizens may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories. Complete, sign and send the FPCA to your election office. If you are a Georgia resident from the 6thCongressional District, register and request an absentee ballot at: www.FVAP.gov

You can:

  • Use the FPCA online assistant;
  • Complete the fillable PDF version (PDF 321 KB); or
  • Pick up a hardcopy version from your Voting Assistance Office at the ACS Window # 11 during walk in services on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 1400 to 1500

If you are not currently registered, your FPCA must be received by March 20; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request must be received by April 14.  Detailed instructions and county contact information is available at FVAP.

Absentee Voting Week is September 26-October 3

Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections and participating in Absentee Voting Week!

In many states, the voter registration deadline for the November 2016 elections is October 10.  For some voters this might mean their paper voter registration and absentee ballot request must reach their local election officials by October 10.  In order to vote in the November 2016 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed 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 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 2016 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.

ABSENTEE VOTING WEEK: September 26 – October 3

If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch free of charge, the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in Iraq provides voter assistance and accepts voted ballots and Federal Post Card Applications

You can get voting assistance from the embassy or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, by:

  1. Dropping the envelope in the DPO mailbox in the MWR at the Embassy.
  2. Dropping the envelope in the ballot box in the American Citizen Services Waiting Room.  If you live off the Embassy Compound, you will need to schedule an appointment with American Citizen Services.

Mailing Voting Materials to the US from Iraq

Any U.S. Citizen, regardless of employer, may use the Military Postal Service facilities (MPS), Diplomatic Post Office (DPO), or diplomatic pouch for sending balloting materials to the U. S. This includes post card applications, ballots, voting instructions, and envelopes.

If you do not have DPO privileges, you may use this address as your return address and the address for receiving your absentee ballot:

Unit 6060 Box # 72
DPO, AE 09870

Please include your email/ company name so the DPO can notify you.

For U.S. Citizens outside the Embassy, the same address may be used. Please provide a contact name and number where you can be reached for notification when your absentee ballot arrives.  To drop off your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at the U.S. Embassy Baghdad Consular Section drop box, please set up an appointment online specifically for drop off.

To ensure timely delivery of your ballot, please mail it by October 8, 2016 if you are using the diplomatic pouch.

Please note if using DHL, under favorable conditions, it takes at least one week for an envelope to arrive in the U.S.  The estimated cost of sending a 1/2 kg envelope to the U.S. is $60.

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 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, 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)

If you live outside of the Embassy Compound, please schedule an appointment with American Citizen Services to drop off your FPCA.

If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the Embassy on your behalf or you can send your FPCA or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or 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 (on or around September 24) 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

As with the FPCA, you can return your voted ballot to your local election officials free of charge via the nearest embassy or consulate or mail it directly at your own expense. See the information above for mailing options.

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.

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Charles Hendrix or Jovi Taruc, Voting Assistance Officers at VoteBaghdad@state.gov.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Iraq Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, located on Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad, at 0770 443-1286  (+964 770-443-1286 from outside Iraq) 24 hours a day to report an emergency, and 0760-030-4400 (+964 760-030-4400) for pre-recorded information regarding services for U.S. citizens.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

For official information on overseas absentee voting, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website. If you have specific voting questions about overseas absentee voting in Iraq, please e-mail us.

  • Submit a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to local election officials
  • Local election officials confirm your eligibility to vote, and put your name on a list to receive absentee ballots
  • Local election officials send you a blank absentee ballot by mail and make it available electronically
  • Complete the ballot and return it to local election officials before the ballot receipt deadline
  • If your ballot fails to arrive, use the emergency federal write-in ballot to vote

To vote from abroad, you have to register to vote with local election officials in your state of legal (voting) residence, AND every year you should ask to receive absentee ballots. You can use one form to do both – the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Submit a new FPCA every time you move, change your address, change your e-mail, or change your name.

To complete and address the form, go to either the FVAP or the Overseas Vote Foundation website where an online assistant will walk you through the process. You can also pick up an FPCA and a copy of your state’s requirements from any U.S. embassy or consulate, or from many overseas U.S. citizen civic or political groups.

Your state may allow you to submit your FPCA via mail, fax, or e-mail. (See Voting and Returning Your Ballot below for options.) Consult the online FVAP Voting Assistance Guide for your state’s current requirements. If you need help completing or submitting the form, contact Baghdad’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteBaghdad@state.gov, or check additional resources available on the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.

The law now requires states to send ballots to overseas citizens 45 days before the general election, except under emergency circumstances. The timeframe for mailing out ballots for other elections is shorter. The law also requires states to make your blank ballots available electronically either by fax, e-mail, or internet download. On the FPCA, there is space for you to let local officials know how you would like to receive your ballots. Depending on your state and your status abroad, you may receive absentee ballots for all elections, or just ballots for elections for federal offices only.

Complete your ballot carefully and legibly, and return it to your local election officials before your state’s ballot receipt deadline. Overseas voters have a number of options for returning voted ballots:

  • Local mail – If you live in an area with efficient mail service to the United States, you can affix sufficient international postage to your ballot envelope and mail it promptly.
  • Fax, E-mail, or Internet – A number of states now allow the return of voted ballots via electronic means. Consult the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide for electronic transmission options for your state.
  • Express Courier Service – If time is short or local mail is unreliable, you can use professional courier services such as FedEx, DHL, or UPS. Check the Overseas Vote Foundation website for information about reduced rates for voters. NOTE: FedEx does not deliver to P.O. boxes.
  • From the U.S. Embassy: Because regular commercial mail from Iraq can be very slow, if your state does not allow you to return your ballot electronically, you may drop your ballot off at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad for return to the United States.

Don’t be a passive voter and wait for a ballot that may not reach you in time. If you followed all the right steps but still haven’t received your ballot 30 days before the election, you should complete and submit a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Contact U.S. Embassy Baghdad Voting Assistance Officer at the VoteBaghdad@state.gov for help, or download the FWAB here.  Complete the FWAB by writing in the candidates of your choice and sending the completed form to your local election officials. If your regular absentee ballot arrives later, fill it out and mail it back as well. Your FWAB will be counted only if your regular ballot doesn’t reach your local election officials by your state’s ballot receipt deadline. Proper submission of both ballots will not invalidate your vote or result in two votes being cast.

Most U.S. citizens 18 years or older who reside outside the United States are eligible to vote absentee for candidates for federal offices in U.S. primary and general elections. In addition, some states allow overseas citizens to vote for candidates for state and local offices, as well as for state and local referendums. For information regarding your specific state, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide or the Overseas Vote Foundation website. The Overseas Vote Foundation is a non-partisan voter advocacy organization.

Each U.S. state has its own voting eligibility and residency requirements. Visit the FVAP website for information regarding your state of legal residence. For voting purposes, your legal residence is generally the state in which you resided immediately before leaving the United States, even if you no longer own or rent property or intend to return to that state in the future.  Some states specifically allow U.S. citizens who have never resided in the United States to register where a parent would be eligible to vote. Direct your questions about eligibility to your local election officials.

All elections in the United States are run at the state and local level. Local election officials in your state of legal (voting) residence receive your FPCA and verify your eligibility to register/vote in that locality. If they have questions about your form or your eligibility to vote using the U.S. address you’ve provided, they’ll e-mail you. It’s smart to send in your form early (ideally, at the beginning of the calendar year, or least forty-five days before the election) to provide time to process your request and resolve any problems. Once approved, your name will be put on a list of voters to receive absentee ballots.

Many states now have websites where you can verify your registration. If you are unsure of your voter registration status, or want to confirm that local officials have received and approved your registration, check the FVAP website for a directory of available state voter registration verification websites.  You can also call or write your local election officials directly.

Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues you care about. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues is widely available and easy to obtain via numerous websites such as Project Vote Smart. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts.  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Voting for candidates for federal offices does not affect your federal or state tax liability. Voting for candidates for state or local offices could affect your state tax liability. Consult legal counsel if you have questions.

Recent legislation eliminated a requirement for states to send out absentee ballots for successive election cycles based on a single request. To be assured that your request for absentee ballots is current, FVAP urges voters to submit new FPCAs every year. Beginning with the November 2010 general elections, states and territories are now required to send ballots to overseas citizens 45 days before an election except under emergency circumstances. They are also required to make your blank ballot available electronically either by fax, e-mail, or internet download.