Voting—avoiding postal issues during COVID-19 pandemic
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is tracking the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on active duty military, their eligible family members, and U.S. citizens abroad and recommending ways to avoid any postal issues that may result from changes made by international postal operators.
In its role under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act(UOCAVA), FVAP is working closely with partners at the United States Postal Service (USPS), the U.S. Department of State (DoS), and within the Department of Defense (DoD) as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves to provide assistance for voters experiencing international mail disruptions, shifting election dates, and other potential effects on the 2020 election cycle related to COVID-19.
FVAP encourages our overseas military, their families, and overseas citizens to take these individual actions to help overcome any potential disruptions to host country mail operations:
- Register and request your ballot through FVAP.gov: Use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at gov/FPCAto simultaneously register and request an absentee ballot.
- Consider asking that your ballot be sent to you electronically: Voters in countries currently experiencing, or likely to experience, mail disruptions should select an electronic option for receiving their blank ballot from their election official.
- Consider state ballot submission alternatives:Refer to your state’s instructions on FVAP.gov for available options for returning your voted ballot. Most states allow voters to submit ballots online.
For the latest alerts on international mail service, voters and election officials should refer to the USPS alerts found here: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/international/welcome.htm
For the latest alerts on domestic mail service, voters and election officials should refer to the USPS alerts found here: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/
FVAP will post the latest information on the COVID-19 response for voters and election officials here: FVAP.gov/COVID-19. FVAP will also continue to work with its federal partners, and with state election officials to confirm and report changes to election dates and deadlines, and any other information impacting the UOCAVA voting process.
FVAP remains committed to assisting voters and election officials. Our call center remains open Monday – Friday, 7:30AM – 4:00PM EDT and can be reached by calling 1-800-438-8683 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Federal Voting Assistance Program or assistance with absentee voting, go to FVAP.gov, call 703-588-1584 (toll free 1-800-438-VOTE or DSN 425-1584) or email (email@example.com).
- S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria
+359-2-937-5100 (business hours)
+359-2-937-5101 (after hours—emergencies only—arrest, death, or danger to the safety and security of U.S. citizens)
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Bulgaria Country Information
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