Now all U.S. citizens can receive their blank ballots electronically. Depending on the state in which you are eligible to vote, you may get your ballot by email, fax, or internet download. To start, go to www.FVAP.gov to complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), print and sign the form then return it to your local election office in the United States. We recommend overseas U.S. citizens get in the habit of completing FPCAs each January. You should include your email address on the form so it’s easier for your election officials to reach you if there is a problem. If your state delivers ballots electronically by fax only, be sure to include your fax number. If you request electronic delivery and include your email address or fax number, you’ll receive your blank ballot 45 days before general and mid-term elections and generally 30 days before special, primary, and run-off elections for federal offices. Most states now have voter registration verification websites, and many offer a means of tracking the status of your registration and ballot.
U.S. Citizen Services
Absentee Voting for United States Citizens
U.S. law guarantees American citizens residing overseas the right to vote in federal elections in the United States. In addition, many states in the United States have enacted legislation allowing citizens overseas to vote by absentee ballot for state or local officials. The same procedures for obtaining local election ballots are used for obtaining federal election ballots.
In order to vote in either federal or state elections in the United States, most states require citizens residing abroad to register in the state of his or her legal residence. Military and Merchant Marine members, their spouses, and dependents, may register to vote in the domicile (state) that the member claims as his or her residence. For additional information, please see Federal Voting Assistance Program page.
How to Obtain an Absentee Ballot
Although the Embassy does not supply ballots, we do supply the form necessary to request the absentee ballot from your state of voting residence. The form is known as the Federal Post Card Application, or FPCA.
You may e-mail the Consular Section (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your request for an FPCA, or you may telephone the Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit during regular working hours. Please indicate the state of your voting residence and the number of eligible voters in your household. FPCA’s may also be obtained by visiting the Embassy any time during the regular working hours of the American Citizen Services Unit.
If you have questions about the instructions on the FPCA or if you need to know the address of the official to whom to address the application (e.g. the County Clerk, Board of Elections, Registrar of Voters, etc.), please consult the State by State Voting Instructions at Federal Voting Assistance Program page.
In some cases the form must be notarized before an American consular officer or notary public abroad. If your state requires that your FPCA be notarized by an American consular officer, you may bring it to the Embassy during normal American Citizen Services hours for notarization. Please bring your passport as well. All notarization services on voting materials done by an American consular officer are performed free of charge.
Once completed, your FPCA may be mailed postage-free through the Embassy in Skopje. If you mail it through the local postage system, appropriate postage must be affixed. You may also check the State by State Voting Instructions on Federal Voting Assistance Program page to see if your state allows you to fax your application.
If You Do Not Receive Your Ballot in Time
Overseas voters may be eligible to use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to vote in elections for federal offices. The FWAB may be used only for general elections and exists to assist those voters who would be disenfranchised through no fault of their own, and is not designed as a replacement for the regular state ballot. It is valid only when the state ballot has been requested but not received. The FWAB can be obtained by contacting the Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit.
Any person who believes that he or she has been wrongfully denied the right to vote should follow the procedures outlined in the Voting Assistance Guide. Alternatively, contact the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 20520.
For more information on absentee voting, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program page.