Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!
- 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 the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, verify voter registration, and more. Most states allow you to confirm your voter registration online.
If you cannot register online and are residing outside the United States, you can register by printing and mailing a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA. FPCAs must be correctly filled out and include a signature and date. FVAP’s Election Forms and Tools for Sending page allows you to print postage-paid envelopes to mail-in your FPCAs so there is no need to buy postage stamps.
- Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their on-line election portals, which you can access via FVAP.gov. In addition, the completion of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) allows you to request absentee ballots. Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to receive your ballot by email, internet download, or fax – when available. These are the fastest ways for you to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s voting deadline.
DO NOT USE THE U.S. EMBASSY AS YOUR MAILING ADDRESS.
You cannot receive mail, including ballots, via the U.S. Embassy. We must return any mail, including ballots, addressed to non-embassy employees, to the sender which could cause a significant delay in receiving your voting materials.
- 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.If you have not received your ballot and are unable to obtain it by email, download or fax, you can vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FWAB. FWABs must be correctly filled out and include a signature and date. FVAP’s Election Forms and Tools for Sending page allows you to print postage-paid envelopes to mail-in your FWABs so there is no need to buy postage stamps.
- Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources. Go to the FVAP links pagefor helpful resources to aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain on-line. You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
- Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot Early: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not. 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 by bringing your ballot to the Consular Section during normal business hours. (See Schedule a Consular Section Visit below.) The Consular Section will ensure your ballot arrives at a U.S. Post Office for onward delivery to your election official. You will need to place your ballot in a postage-paid return envelope or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities with the U.S. FVAP provides postage-paid envelopes online or you can have them printed at the Consular Section. (See Schedule a Consular Section Visit below.) The Consular Section will return paper ballots to the U.S. every other week, as cargo flights are available. Please note it can take more than four weeks for Embassy mail to reach its destination. All overseas U.S. citizens are advised to submit their forms and ballots as early as possible.
- The U.S. Embassy is here to help you vote in the upcoming election by –
- Answering Voting Questions: Please call (291) 1-12-0004 between 9:00AM and 12:00PM from Monday to Friday or email us at ConsularAsmara@state.gov.
- Providing Voter Information; Providing Voter Forms (e.g. FPCA & FWAB), Accepting your Ballots, and Providing Postage-Paid Envelopes for Voting: We also have hard copies of the FVAP’s Voting Assistance Guide which you can view in the Consular Section waiting Room. (See Schedule a Consular Section Visit below.)
- Providing Internet Access for Voting Purposes ONLY: There is one computer in the Consular Section Waiting Room which you can reserve to use for 20 minutes for voting purposes only. (See Schedule a Consular Section Visit below.)
- Providing Fax Transmission for Voting Purposes ONLY: If your state accepts fax transmission of voting materials, we can fax the materials on your behalf. (See Schedule a Consular Section Visit below.)
- Schedule a Consular Section Visit: If you would like to visit the Consular Section for voting-related purposes, please call (291) 1-12-0004 between 9:00AM and 12:00PM from Monday to Friday or email us at ConsularAsmara@state.gov. Please let us know your passport number and what days and times you are available; we will get back to you with a scheduled time slot. Absent emergency circumstances, you will not be allowed to enter the Consular Section without an appointment.
When you visit the Consular Section, please bring your passport and please note that all visitors are subject to a security screening. As part of our security process, you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility.