Last updated (June 17, 2022)
VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT IN THE 2022 U.S. ELECTIONS
Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is Fast, Easy, and can be done from Anywhere in the world!
The first place Overseas Voters go for information on casting their ballots and making their vote count: The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP).
If you plan to vote in the November 2022 election it is important to ACT RIGHT NOW!
Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2022 U.S. elections!
In order to vote in the November 2022 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2022. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA each year to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.
Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world! Follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2022 U.S. elections:
Step 1: Register to Vote
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.
Step 2: 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 to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
Step 3: Receive and Complete Your Ballot
States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
Step 4: Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot
Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through U.S. Embassy Lomé’s diplomatic pouch. The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility. 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.
If you plan to use the diplomatic pouch, drop off your ballots to the American Citizens Services section in person on Mondays or Thursdays between 1:30 and 2:30 pm. 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. It can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by an embassy or consulate via diplomatic pouch. All overseas U.S. citizens are advised to submit their forms and ballots accordingly. Ballots will be received and forwarded whenever submitted but you may want to consider using a courier service if submitting your ballot close to or after the stated delivery time for pouch mail.
If You Don’t Receive Your Official Ballot, You Can Still Vote! This Is How
If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the online assistant to complete the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), or download and print the FWAB here. 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, also fill it out and send it in. Only one will be counted. After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.
The following require you to register and request an absentee ballot before filling out this form: AL, AS, AR, CT, FL, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, PR, RI, SD, TX, WI, WV, and WY. If your state or territory is listed, complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) online at FVAP.gov.
Due to the global pandemic, when you are ready to submit your ballot, it is strongly recommend that you check with the U.S. Embassy in Togo to verify whether we are still able to collect ballots for return to the U.S. or are recommending use of a private commercial courier service.
Option 1. By Mailing The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).
Step 1 Fill out the FWAB’s “Voter Information” page using your state’s instructions in Chapter 2 or online at FVAP.gov. Make sure to sign and date the “Voter Information” page.
Step 2 Use the “Official Backup Ballot” to vote by writing in either a candidate’s name or political party for each office. Hardcopy FWAB: Remove the adhesive liner from the top and sides of the “Official Backup Ballot.” Fold and seal tightly. Online FWAB: Print the “Official Backup Ballot” and seal it inside any blank envelope you have on hand. Write “Official Ballot Envelope” on the front.
Step 3 Hardcopy FWAB: Place the “Voter Information” page and sealed ballot into the postage paid mailing envelope. Online FWAB: Use the postage-paid envelope template available online at FVAP.gov. Otherwise, use your own envelope as a mailing envelope. Seal the “Voter Information” page and “Official Ballot” envelope inside.
Step 4 Mail the completed FWAB to your election office; the addresses can be found in the “Local Election Offices” section of your state’s pages in Chapter 2 or online at FVAP.gov. Be sure to include your return address.
Option 2. By E-mailing The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).
Step 1 Check in Chapter 2 to see if your state allows you to submit your FWAB by email. Fill out the FWAB’s “Voter Information” page using your state’s instructions in Chapter 2 or online at FVAP.gov. Make sure to sign and date the “Voter Information” page.
Step 2 Use the “Official Backup Ballot” to vote by writing in either a candidate’s name or political party for each office.
Step 3 Complete the Transmission Cover Sheet found at the end of Chapter 1, in the Appendix or online at FVAP.gov. If more convenient, you can make a cover sheet that contains the same information found on FVAP’s Transmission Cover Sheet. Scan and save the Transmission Cover Sheet, “Voter Information” page, and “Official Backup Ballot” as a PDF file.
Step 4 Email the PDF file as an attachment directly to your election office. Email addresses can be found in the “Local Election Offices” section of your state’s pages in Chapter 2 or online at FVAP. gov.
|Researching the candidates and issues: 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 at FVAP’s to receive voter news and alerts in your email. FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).|
|If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Lome’s Voting Assistance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org|