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Voting Overseas

January 29, 2016

Voting from France

U.S. Embassy Paris

Message for U.S. Citizens 


Your vote counts!  Did you know that many U.S. elections for House and Senate have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?  All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2016 U.S. elections:

1.       Request Your Ballot:  Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).   You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2016 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2016 elections.  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. 

You can complete the FPCA online at  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.   We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state).  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

2.       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.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

Return Your Completed Ballot: 

Please remember U.S. Embassies are not polling places.  Same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States.

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, you can do so free of charge at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. 

Election Materials Drop-Off at the Embassy:

U.S. citizens may drop off voting materials to be returned to the U.S. any business day between 9am and 3 p.m., at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Paris, 4 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris. 

Place your registration materials or ballots in the postage paid return envelope (provided by your election officials, or use the online templates for registration or ballots) and address your voting materials to the relevant local election officials.  

Processing time is generally one to two weeks for materials to reach the U.S. postal system.

Use the French Postal System or Private Courrier Service

If it’s more convenient for you, you can also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.  Affix the appropriate postage to your envelope when sending materials through the French Post Office. Do not forget to write USA on the address. 

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will 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 (  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website,

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Paris' Voting Assistance Officer at .

Remember, your vote counts!

Dropping Off Voting Materials

  • American citizens may deposit signed, sealed voting envelopes with the Embassy Security Guards, containing voting materials only (voter registrations or voted ballots) at the tent in front of the entrance to the Consular Section, 4 avenue Gabriel, 75008 (métro Concorde) weekdays between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.

    All registration envelopes must be sealed and signed when applicable. We cannot accept open envelopes, envelopes that are not addressed to the appropriate voting address in the U.S., or voting materials that are sent by mail to the Embassy. 

    You may address your questions to: 

Contact Us

  • Voting contact For all your voting questions, send us an email.

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