Be an Active Voter and Participate in Absentee Voting Week!
Voter registration and ballot request deadlines for the November 3 General Election are as early as October 5 in some states. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, we recommend you complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) each year to ensure you are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.
If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2020 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you should have already or will soon receive your blank ballot or instructions on how to access your ballot. If you are unsure about the status of your absentee ballot request you should contact your local election officials in the United States or check the status of your registration via your state’s voter registration verification website.
U.S. Embassy Islamabad and U.S. Consulates Karachi and Lahore have resumed ballot collection for the upcoming November 3 General Election. While the fastest way to return your ballot will be electronically or via fax, if your state allows it (see image below), you may also drop your ballot off with us, and we will mail it for you. Please email the Embassy or Consulates directly to find out how to drop off your ballot.
The Process to Vote Overseas is Easy — Just Follow These Steps:
- Complete and Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, we recommend that you complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.
The online voting assistant available at FVAP.gov is an easy way to complete the FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.
- Receive Your Ballot
After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection. States are required to send out ballots 45 days before an election for federal office to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.
- Return Your Ballot
Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically or via fax. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can drop off your voting forms or ballots at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General, or send them through international mail or professional courier service. We recommend that if you plan to return your paper ballot to the Embassy or Consulates, you do so by October 2 to account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts though we will continue to collect and send back ballots (please check your state’s absentee ballot deadline).
Place your voting form or ballot in either a postage-paid envelope or envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officials. You can download the postage paid envelope from the FVAP.gov website.
Please email U.S. Embassy Islamabad at ACSIslamabad@state.gov; U.S. Consulate General Karachi at ACSKarachi@state.gov; or U.S. Consulate General Lahore at ACSLahore@state.gov for instructions on how to drop off your ballot.
If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill it out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.
After you send in your ballot, you can check to see if it was received by your election office.
Your Vote Counts
All states are required to count every absentee ballot if it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline (differs by state).
Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources to aid your research of candidates and issues. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online and search the Internet to locate articles and information.
To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (firstname.lastname@example.org). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, ballot collection, or need instructions on how to drop off your ballot, please contact Voting Assistance Officers in U.S. Embassy Islamabad at ACSIslamabad@state.gov; U.S. Consulate General Karachi at ACSKarachi@state.gov; or U.S. Consulate General Lahore at ACSLahore@state.gov.