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Topic: Voting in US Elections from Overseas  (Read 4158 times)

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Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« on: September 28, 2020, 01:27:48 PM »
Email received from US State Dept. today follows:



Absentee Voting Week is September 27-October 4

Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections and participating in Absentee Voting Week!

In some states voter registration and ballot request deadlines for the November 2020 are as early as October 5th.  Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, we recommend that 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 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.

If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application or your absentee ballot for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch free of charge, you can do so at the U.S. Embassy in London.  Normal transit time from London to the United States, from receipt at the Embassy to entry into United States Postal Service circulation, is 10-14 days.

You can drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, at the Consular entrance of the Embassy during the following hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  For after-hours and weekend service, you may drop off your ballots at the Service Entrance (West Pavilion) of the Embassy, located across the street from District Coffee.  Please note that all visitors to the Embassy are subject to security screening and you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility.  All visitors are also required to wear a facemask.  You can also mail your ballots to the Embassy at
 

Embassy of the United States

American Citizen Services

33 Nine Elms Lane

London

SW11 7US

 
U.S. citizens living in the UK may also submit their forms and ballots through the UK’s Royal Mail system.  Place British postage on your completed, signed, and dated FPCA or voted ballot, and mail it directly to the local election officials in the state where you vote.  Make sure USA is indicated at the end of the address of your U.S. board of elections.


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, 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 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)

You can drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, at the Consular entrance of the Embassy during the following hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  For after-hours and weekend service, you may drop off your ballots at the Service Entrance (West Pavilion) of the Embassy, located across the street from District Coffee.  You can also mail your ballots to the Embassy at:


Embassy of the United States

American Citizen Services

33 Nine Elms Lane

London

SW11 7US


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 mail 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 (September 19) 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
 

We recommend that if you plan to return your paper ballot to your election officials via the U.S. embassy/consulate, please return your ballot to them by October 2 to account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts.  If you wish to drop off your ballot, or have a friend or colleague drop it off for you, place it 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.

Some states allow you to return your completed ballot via email or by fax.  Check FVAP.gov for your state’s requirements.

If there isn't enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).  It is a backup ballot you can use if you don’t receive your ballot in a timely manner.  If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.

After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.
 

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 Facebookand Twitter.

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Embassy London’s Voting Assistance Officer at 020 7891 3640, or at LondonVote@state.gov.


Assistance:

U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom

33 Nine Elms Lane

London, UK SW11 7US

+(44) (0) 207-499-9000

SCSLondon@state.gov

https://uk.usembassy.gov/

 

U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh

+44 (0) 131 556-8315

Edinburgh-info@state.gov

 

U.S. Consulate General Belfast

+44(0) 28 9038-6100

ConsularBelfast@state.gov

 

State Department – Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

United Kingdom Country Information

Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 

 

 

NOTE:  The timestamp on this e-mail message may reflect Washington, D.C., time, which may differ from local time.

You are receiving this message because you subscribed to receive email updates issued by the U.S. Department of State.

If you no longer wish to receive these kinds of updates, please “unsubscribe” by following the instructions under the “Email Subscriptions” link at http://step.state.gov.  Please note that the embassy or consulate cannot unsubscribe your address on your behalf.


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2020, 03:59:55 PM »
Good info.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 08:20:09 AM »
I mailed my ballot at the end on September and it only just got to the state office today!  So if you’re planning to vote I’d do it online if you have that option or get it mailed ASAP if using snail mail.


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 12:07:30 PM »
Mine ticked to received two days ago.  It didn't actually take too long to get there, considering.  It was posted on September 30th, or thereabouts (my husband had to do it because I'm shielding, and he wasn't able to get to the post office on the day he intended, so I don't know what day it actually went).  The online confirmation from BallotSafe showed up on Wednesday, October 14th.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2020, 01:21:21 PM »
I have my absentee ballot in-hand (it's over a mile to the polling place, no sidewalks, on a very busy road, so I am voting by mail. The Daughter wants us to go to the polling place or the early voting place to drop the ballots off as she's afraid the mail won't get them there in time. The early voting station is even farther away down the same road. We still have two weeks - I am thinking the mail will get across town in two weeks if I drop the ballot off at the post office mail....


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2020, 02:31:58 PM »
I have my absentee ballot in-hand (it's over a mile to the polling place, no sidewalks, on a very busy road, so I am voting by mail. The Daughter wants us to go to the polling place or the early voting place to drop the ballots off as she's afraid the mail won't get them there in time. The early voting station is even farther away down the same road. We still have two weeks - I am thinking the mail will get across town in two weeks if I drop the ballot off at the post office mail....

My experience with the USPS has been terrible, even in normal times without active efforts by the head of the USPS to slow things down for the voting period. I would spring for a few dollars to send it by UPS or FedEx if it is possible to send stuff as tracked but no signature needed like you can with the Post Office here.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2020, 03:54:18 PM »
I was wondering where my Arizona ballot is so I went to the website and looked it up.  I was surprised to learn that the FPCA only lasts for one election cycle and they weren't planning on sending me a ballot!  Even after sending me all kinds of information packs. 

No real problem, I've still got plenty of time to print, scan and email everything. 


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2020, 04:37:20 PM »
I was wondering where my Arizona ballot is so I went to the website and looked it up.  I was surprised to learn that the FPCA only lasts for one election cycle and they weren't planning on sending me a ballot!  Even after sending me all kinds of information packs. 

No real problem, I've still got plenty of time to print, scan and email everything.

That email option sounds great.  In 2016 I got my overseas ballot from Montgomery County, Texas (my last address before leaving). It was a real pain in the you-know-where, took 2 phone calls to chase up the application, and when I received it the instructions were to place the completed ballot inside an envelope and place that envelope inside another envelope to mail back to them. Both envelopes had to have the address printed on them. I don't have a printer capable of printing directly onto an envelope so I used a sheet of detachable labels on which I printed the address then stuck the labels on the envelope.  However, I remain convinced that since I did not strictly follow the rules that my ballot would have been discarded anyway. If Texas really wanted me to vote they would have sent pre-addressed envelopes or allowed the address to be hand-written on the envelopes.

I haven't bothered to vote this time around.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2020, 10:37:49 PM »
My experience with the USPS has been terrible, even in normal times without active efforts by the head of the USPS to slow things down for the voting period. I would spring for a few dollars to send it by UPS or FedEx if it is possible to send stuff as tracked but no signature needed like you can with the Post Office here.

$27 is a little much. For that I can arrange a ride to the polling place. Which I think I will do. I ~absolutely~ want my ballot counted!~


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2020, 11:03:42 PM »
$27 is a little much. For that I can arrange a ride to the polling place. Which I think I will do. I ~absolutely~ want my ballot counted!~

Wow.  A tracked letter, verified delivery only costs £2 here.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 03:17:17 PM »
I had confirmation at the start of last week that my  ballot has been received and will be counted in my voting state.  Yay!  Civic duty done!

I'd said (complained) to my husband that my vote is irrelevant because I'm voting in a state that is already decided, and it's only 6 electoral votes, anyway, so there's no need to jump through all the hoops.  He strongly urged me to jump through those hoops and submit my vote.  He said even though it won't make a difference in the electoral college, my vote can contribute to a landslide in the popular vote, if such a thing occurs.  And that will send a message.  So my vote is there, and it will be a voice in that message.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2020, 04:41:09 PM »
I had confirmation at the start of last week that my  ballot has been received and will be counted in my voting state.  Yay!  Civic duty done!

I'd said (complained) to my husband that my vote is irrelevant because I'm voting in a state that is already decided, and it's only 6 electoral votes, anyway, so there's no need to jump through all the hoops.  He strongly urged me to jump through those hoops and submit my vote.  He said even though it won't make a difference in the electoral college, my vote can contribute to a landslide in the popular vote, if such a thing occurs.  And that will send a message.  So my vote is there, and it will be a voice in that message.

Excellent, well done indeed.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2020, 12:59:48 AM »
Wow.  A tracked letter, verified delivery only costs £2 here.

USPS would be probably cheaper. But to avoid USPS, going private - FedEx or UPS - is more. FedEx "express saver" would be about $20.


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2020, 08:36:55 AM »
USPS would be probably cheaper. But to avoid USPS, going private - FedEx or UPS - is more. FedEx "express saver" would be about $20.

Don’t they still offer Prority Mail?  That is guaranteed delivery in 1 to 3 days and good value ($7.50). The big 2 (UPS and FedEx) managed to get a law passed banning the USPS from advertising Priority Mail but it’s still available at any post office.

https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail.htm

Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Voting in US Elections from Overseas
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2020, 02:35:01 PM »
Don’t they still offer Prority Mail?  That is guaranteed delivery in 1 to 3 days and good value ($7.50). The big 2 (UPS and FedEx) managed to get a law passed banning the USPS from advertising Priority Mail but it’s still available at any post office.

https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail.htm

The idea is to AVOID the USPS.  ;)


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