U.S. Citizens Voting Assistance

Voting Message for 2020 General Election (released on August 18, 2020)

The Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Department of State’s page on Absentee Voting Information are the most up-to-date voting information resources for Americans living abroad. Please visit these websites to learn about deadlines and procedures for registering and voting.

Overseas U.S. citizens usually need to register every year, which means mailing in your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) so that you’re eligible to receive an absentee ballot. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) recommends submitting FPCAs in January for November elections. To get started, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website.

The U.S. Embassy can assist you by:

  • Sharing information on how to vote from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP)
  • Mailing voting materials to the U.S.
  • Providing you with Federal Post Card Applications (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballots (FWAB) if needed

How do I vote absentee?

First you will need to submit a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your local election officials to register and request your ballot. You can complete the FPCA at FVAP.org or pick up a blank one from the U.S. Embassy.

After you receive the ballot, complete and return it before your state’s deadline. If you have not received your blank ballot 30 days before an election, use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to vote.

Deadlines, voting guidelines, and submission options (mail, email, or fax) vary by state.  Find info for your state here.

Where can I get Federal Post Card Applications (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballots (FWAB)?

FVAP’s online assistant can help you prepare your FPCA. You can also pick up a blank FPCA or FWAB at the U.S. Embassy.

Can the Embassy mail my voting materials for me?

You can drop off absentee ballots or voter registration forms at the U.S. Embassy to be mailed back to the U.S. via diplomatic mail. Please make sure envelopes are properly addressed, sealed, and have sufficient postage. For details on preparing election materials to be mailed, please refer to the FVAP’s page:


To ensure delivery of your paper ballot to your local election official by election day, we encourage you to drop off your ballot at the Embassy by October 2, 2020.  Ballots received by the Embassy after that date will likely not arrive before Election day if sent by Embassy pouch.

You may also consider returning your ballot to the United States via an express courier service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL. If allowed by your state, you may also consider returning your ballot electronically or by fax. Check your state’s voting procedures at www.fvap.gov for guidance.

How do I contact the Embassy with questions about voting?

Send an e-mail to ACS_Sofia@state.gov. We recommend you make an appointment to pick up or drop off voting materials.