Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2014 U.S. elections!
In order to vote in the November 2014 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2014. 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 participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.
If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application over the 4th of July holiday for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch free of charge, you may do so with the Embassy or Consulate General during the following events:
U.S. Embassy Astana Independence Day Barbeque
Date: Friday, July 4
Location: Astana, U.S. Embassy Soccer Field and Recreation Center RSVP to CLOAstana@state.gov (please include the names and U.S. passport numbers for all family members)
American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) U.S Independence Day Celebration
Date: Saturday, July 5
Location: Almaty, Intercontinental Hotel, Summer Garden Reserve tickets through email@example.com or by calling 727-330- 9250
If you can’t make it to these events, you can always get voting assistance from the Embassy and Consulate General or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, during the following hours:
U.S. Embassy Astana at 3 Rakhimzhan Koshkarbayev Street during ACS hours: Tuesday and Friday from 10am to 12pm.
U.S. Consulate General Almaty at 97 Zholdasbekov Street during ACS hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2 pm to 4 pm.
Normal transit time from post to the United States is two weeks.
If you have never voted while overseas before, 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)
See the information at the beginning of this message for options to drop off your FPCA in person to the U.S. Embassy in Astana or the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty. If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA to the U.S. Embassy Astana or U.S. Consulate General Almaty 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 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.
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. 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 Smart Voter. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Alan Smith, Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, by phone at 7172- 702-100, or by email at voteAstana@state.gov, and Jon Bowermaster, Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty, by phone at 727-250-4901, or by email at voteAlmaty@state.gov.