2012 Election Cycle - Begins Now
Be an active voter, Start thinking about your participation in the U.S. 2012 Elections today ! Read more
New regulations for overseas voting are in effect as of 2010. To be sure you receive your ballot, the Department of State urges overseas voters to send in a new registration/ballot request form every election year, and whenever you change your name, address, or email address.
Check this page to see the latest announcements for your State!
To register to vote and/or to request an absentee ballot, download the Federal Post Card Application at fvap.gov. You can also obtain this form from overseas American citizens groups or from the U.S. Embassy. Fill it out and send it in, following the guidelines for your state. A postage-paid envelope template, valid if you are using the U.S. postal system, is available at fvap.gov.
The official US Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance is the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at fvap.gov and you can also refer to the State Department webpage on Overseas Voting. It has a wealth of information about absentee voting, including the downloadable absentee ballot application, state-specific instructions for completing the form, links to state and local officials, and a downloadable emergency ballot.
The following is the basic absentee voting process:
- You complete an application form (see below) and send it to local election officials in the U.S.
- The local official approves your request, or contacts you for further information
- The local official sends you an absentee ballot
- You vote the ballot and send it back in time to meet your state's deadline
Overseas citizens groups help people to vote. We encourage you to contact Democrats Abroad, Republicans Abroad or other American citizens groups or organizations for assistance in registering to vote and requesting absentee ballots. Links to these groups are at fvap.gov
Each state has different voting procedures. Information about your state's procedures is available at fvap.gov. Information about your state's deadlines to register and vote is available at fvap.gov. A calendar of election dates is available at fvap.gov.
States sometimes make last-minute changes. There may be late changes to your state's voting calendar, procedures or deadlines. When these occur, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will issue a News Release. News Releases are available at fvap.gov.
Be an educated voter. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues is widely available and easy to obtain via the Internet. Use the links appearing on the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at fvap.gov or choose any one of several search engines to locate articles and information.
An emergency ballot is available. If the ballot receipt deadline is approaching, and you have not yet received the blank ballot from local officials, you can download an emergency ballot, write in the names of the candidates and the offices for which they are running, and send it back in time to meet your state's ballot receipt deadline. The emergency ballot (SF-186, Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, or FWAB) is available on the Internet at fvap.gov.
The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, is available to answer questions about absentee voting. To contact the Voting Assistance Officer, call 868-622-6371-6 or send an e-mail to ACSPOS@state.gov.
Again, we strongly encourage you to begin the registration process as early as possible.
- U.S. Embassies are required by law to provide access to the Diplomatic Pouch for all voting materials (including forms, and all ballots even for state/local elections) ONLY from Port of Spain to the US
- Everything we send via Pouch/APO/DPO must have proper U.S. domestic postage or be in a prepaid voting materials envelope, which is available at: http://www.fvap.gov/resources/media/returnenvelope.pdf (be sure to print the template directly onto the envelope)
- Ballots should be inside an inner security envelope (without a stamp or postage paid emblem on it) and an outer mailing envelope, with the correct address (and proper postage if not using the prepaid envelope)