With election day fast approaching, we wish to remind U.S. citizens to take the necessary steps to vote. With some three million American voters living overseas, absentee ballots truly have an impact. Read on to familiarize yourself with how to make your voice heard this November.
Please note that although the U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan is accepting ballots from American citizens to be mailed to the United States, our internal deadline for ballot submission is October 2, 2020.
Registering to cast an absentee ballot:
Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world. Follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:
- Register to vote: Start by confirming your voter registration with your state. Some states require absentee voters to register annually, so you may need to re-register. Go to FVAP.gov to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.
- Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via FVAP.gov. You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives), including primaries and special elections, during the calendar year in which it is submitted. FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory. FVAP’s easy online assistant can help you with completing the FPCA.
Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
- Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
- Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or via diplomatic pouch.
With respect to the diplomatic pouch, American citizens are welcome to bring their ballots to the U.S. Embassy in Nur-Sultan or the Consulate General in Almaty to be sent to the United States. Please note, however, that in light of obstacles posed by the global pandemic, diplomatic pouch shipments have been subject to unpredictable scheduling delays, and the U.S. Mission cannot guarantee timely arrival of ballots submitted by U.S. citizens overseas. Again, please note our internal deadline of October 2, 2020 if you wish to send your ballot via diplomatic pouch.
The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility. You will need to place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities once received by the U.S. sorting facility.
U.S. citizens who wish to send their ballots via diplomatic pouch should contact the Embassy or Consulate General using the contact information below in order to schedule an appointment. Please note that all visitors to the Embassy and Consulate General are subject to security screening and you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility.
Remember, your vote counts!
Note: The timestamp on this e-mail message may reflect Washington, D.C., time.