For U.S. voters living abroad, receiving and sending back an official ballot can be a challenge to successfully voting absentee. October 1 to 8 is Absentee Voting Week and U.S. embassies, consulates and overseas citizens groups are reminding overseas citizens and their families to vote now — and helping them do so from anywhere in the world.
Most registered overseas U.S. Citizens who requested an absentee ballot should have received it by now as election offices nationwide were required to send these voters their absentee ballots by Sept. 22. Those who do not receive their ballot in time to return it by their state’s deadline have the option of using a special backup ballot, the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), available at FVAP.gov or at U.S. Embassy Sofia.
Absentee voters should check their state voting deadlines, follow all ballot instructions and send back their ballot in plenty of time for it to arrive. Overseas U.S. citizen voters are encouraged to use the backup ballot at FVAP.gov if they are concerned about missing their state’s voting deadline.”
FVAP.gov offers an interactive online tool that helps voters fill out their backup ballot. The tool saves time and improves accuracy by using the voter’s registration address to list all candidates for federal offices for that jurisdiction. Without the tool, voters must determine which candidates are running in their district and then manually write in the names. After filling out the backup ballot, voters must print, sign and send it to their election office. Voters who end up receiving an official ballot after sending in a backup ballot should still fill it out and send it back, as well. States will ensure only one ballot is counted per voter.
For voters who are just starting to think about the election, there is still time to register in many states. Voters can visit FVAP.gov for their state’s specific voter registration, ballot request and ballot submission deadlines.
For more information, contact:
U.S. Embassy Sofia, Bulgaria
+359 (2) 937-5101
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
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