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Message for U.S. Citizens: Absentee Voting Deadlines Fast Approaching
(September 24, 2020)
September 24, 2020

The U.S. Presidential Election will be held Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  All states are now distributing absentee ballots to registered voters who have requested one.

There is still time to register to vote absentee and cast your ballot, but don’t delay!  In some states, voter registration and ballot request deadlines are as early as October 5th.

Go to FVAP.gov to find out your state’s requirements.  The site contains information about every state’s process and walks you through submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).

If permitted by your state, save time by sending your FPCA ballot application and/or ballot to your local election officials by email.

If you have already completed a 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 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 your state requires a printed copy of your ballot request form (FPCA) or completed ballot (including the FWAB backup ballot), you can drop it off at the U.S. Embassy Beirut’s American Citizen Services section weekdays between 8:30am and 4:00pm. Because it can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination in the U.S. via diplomatic pouch mail, we recommend that you deliver your ballot to us by September 30 to account for transit times between the Embassy and local voting districts.

We will accept ballots at the Embassy through November 3.  All ballots received by the Embassy are postmarked the day they are shipped.  This serves as the official mailing date for local elections officials.  To ensure on-time receipt of late submissions, you may wish to consider using a courier service.

If there isn’t enough time to return your ballot before November 3 use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).  This 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.

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 in by the absentee ballot receipt deadline (differs by state).  Check FVAP for your state’s details.

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Embassy Beirut’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteBEIRUT@state.gov.