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Voting Overseas
 

VOTING IN 2014

Absentee Voting Week is September 29-October 6

Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2014 U.S. elections and participating in Absentee Voting Week!

In many states, the voter registration deadline for the November 2014 elections is October 6. For some voters this might mean their paper voter registration and absentee ballot request must reach their local election officials by October 6.  In order to vote in the November 2014 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2014.  Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an 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 2014 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will be receiving your blank ballot or instructions for how to access your ballot soon if you have not already received it.  If you are not sure 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.

ABSENTEE VOTING WEEK: September 29 – October 6

If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application or voted ballot for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch, free of charge, the U.S. Embassy in Paris accepts these documents: normal transit time from Paris to the United States is 14-21 days.

Returning Your Completed Ballot:

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 Embassy.  They must be in either U.S. postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and must also be addressed to the relevant local election officials. 

Please do not send any voting materials to the Embassy by mail, they will be returned to you.  

a)     For the fastest service, use the French Postal System:  Place French postage on your completed, signed, dated, FPCA or voted ballot, and mail it directly to the local election officials in the state where you vote.  Make sure USA or Etats-Unis is indicated at the end of the address of your U.S. board of elections.  Then just mail it from any French post office box. 

b)    Embassy Paris:  You may drop your signed, sealed, dated FPCA registration, or your sealed voted ballot in person at the Embassy in Paris.  FPCA’s and voted ballots must be addressed to the appropriate county board of elections in the United States.

We can accept FPCAs and voted ballots:

1.   Go to the Consular Section entrance of the Embassy with your FPCA or voted ballot, weekdays between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm;

2.    announce you would like to drop off voting materials;

3.    present suitable ID (preferably a U.S. passport);

4.    present the sealed registration or ballot;

5.    the ballot will be screened (but not opened) by security;

6.    after the security check, the ballot will be forwarded to the diplomatic post office via the American Citizen Services Section.

 

c)     Fax, E-mail, or Internet:  Some states now allow these options, however, they may also require you to still mail in the signed paper ballot. 

d)    Returning ballots via express courier service: Voters can hire express courier companies such as UPS, DHL, and FedEx to return voted ballots. Ballots sent to local election officials via express courier service do not receive standard postmarks, so voters using this method should confirm delivery on or before Election Day prior to payment and shipment.

HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING

Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting.  Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot.  Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.

If you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late. The process is easy ­-- just follow these steps:

1.     Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, 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 course of 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 to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state).  Be sure to 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.

2.     Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) (see Returning Your Completed Ballot above)

If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the Embassy on your behalf or you can send your FPCA or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense. 

3.     Receive Your Ballot

After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection.  States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA. 

4.     Return Your Ballot

As with the FPCA, you can return your voted ballot to your local election officials free of charge via the Embassy, or mail it directly at your own expense.

Your Vote Counts

Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%.  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 (differs by state). 

Be an educated voter.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will 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 (vote@fvap.gov).  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

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

The U.S. Embassy in Paris Can Help You:

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the Paris Voting Assistance Officer by email at (VoteParis@state.gov) or call 01.43.12.47.60.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

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

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