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 FVAP.gov to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more. Once you confirm your registration, follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:
Request Your Ballot:
Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via FVAP.gov. You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). 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. FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory. FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA.Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way for you to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
Receive and Complete Your Ballot:
States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a federal election (by September 19, 2020), 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 requested your ballot but haven’t received it, contact your election office to ask about the status of your ballot request. If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).
Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot: 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 courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy Guatemala City’s Diplomatic Post Office (DPO). The DPO provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility (for voting purposes only). You will need to place your ballot in a postage-paid return envelope, or in an envelope bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for it to be delivered to the proper local election authorities.
If using the DPO, voting material can be dropped off at the screening booth of the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City, located at the corner of 7 Street “A” and 1 Avenue in Zone 10. The hours of acceptance are from 07:00 a.m. to 02:00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. Voting material may also be sent to the U.S. Embassy via Cargo Expreso or Guatex. DPO transit time from Guatemala to the United States is approximately four weeks.
We encourage all overseas U.S. citizens to return their ballots as early as possible. Due to the COVID-19 related restrictions and potential delays to outgoing international mail, we advise that all forms and ballots be submitted to the U.S. Embassy before Friday, October 2.
U.S. citizens should also be aware that given the fluid nature of the ongoing Guatemalan government movement restrictions, the DPO may close unexpectedly. The hours and location to drop off completed ballots may change.
Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources
Go to the FVAP links page for 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
You can learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov
I’m in Guatemala and have a question about overseas voting!
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City at VoteGuatemala@state.gov