Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!
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:
1. 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 in 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.
* California and Wisconsin – To register to vote, voter must mail or fax the FPCA. If already registered, voter can request a ballot by email, mail, or fax.
* Idaho, Florida, Maryland, and South Dakota – To register to vote, voter must mail the FPCA. If already registered to vote, voter can request a ballot by email, mail, or fax.
* New York – If voter emails or faxes the FPCA, voter must also mail the FPCA.
* Texas – Timely faxed FPCA must be followed by a hardcopy mailed FPCA that must be received by the early voting clerk by the fourth business day after the fax.
2. Receive and Complete Your Ballot
Election offices are required to send absentee ballots at least 45 days before a federal election. If you requested your ballot by email, then the ballot should arrive right away. Mailed ballots will take longer to arrive as they depend on the local postal. Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
If you do not receive an absentee ballot in time to return it to your state, you can use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a backup ballot to vote for federal offices. Hardcopies of the FWAB form are available at American Corners throughout Croatia. If your official absentee ballot arrives after you send in the FWAB, then you can fill out and send in the official ballot as well. Your state will count only one.
3. 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 ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through U.S. Embassy Zagreb’s diplomatic pouch. The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility. If using the diplomatic pouch, you will need to place your ballots in postage-paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities once received by the U.S. sorting facility. You can download and print a U.S. postage-paid envelope from https://www.fvap.gov/eo/overview/materials/forms.
You can return your completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or signed ballot to the United States via U.S. Embassy Zagreb’s diplomatic pouch. To use the diplomatic pouch, FPCAs and ballots may be delivered in person or by mail to the Consular Section.
- In Person: The Consular Section accepts in-person deliveries Monday to Friday from 8:00am-4:00p.m. The Embassy is closed on U.S. and Croatian holidays.
- By Mail: You will need two envelopes. Address the first envelope to U.S. Embassy Zagreb at the mailing address below. Address the second envelope to your local state election office and enclose your FPCA or ballot inside. The second envelope needs to be postage-paid or have sufficient U.S. postage to be delivered to your local election office from the U.S. sorting facility where it will be mailed. Seal the second envelope, place it inside the first envelope, and mail the package to U.S. Embassy Zagreb.
U.S. Embassy Zagreb
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It can take up to four weeks for election-related materials to reach their final destination in the United States. We recommend mailing back ballots by October 1. Ballots will be received and forwarded whenever submitted, but you may want to consider using a courier service if submitting your ballot after this date.
Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources Go to the FVAP links page for helpful resources to aid your research on 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 (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Zagreb’s Voting Assistance Coordinator by email at ZagrebACS@state.gov or by phone at +385-1-661-2345.
Check out the video below to learn how to vote while living abroad: