Voting

Last updated (October 22, 2020)

VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT IN THE 2020 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 2020 election it is important to ACT RIGHT NOW!

 

This year, the U.S. Elections will take place on Tuesday, November 3rd. In some States voter registration and ballot request deadlines for the November 2020 are as early as October 5th. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, we recommend that you complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA-pdf) each year to ensure you are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.

If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (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 have not already received it. 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 you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late. The process is easy — just follow these steps:

Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, you should complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.

The online voting assistant available at FVAP.gov is an easy way to complete the FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Be sure to include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.

Some states allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials: You can use a courier service such as FedEx or DHL. U.S. Mail via Embassy services: You can download the postage paid envelope (see all materials and forms), address it to your county board of elections and drop it off at the: U.S. Embassy, Togo, weekdays between 9am and 5pm; All voting materials MUST be placed in a U.S. postage paid envelope and addressed to the appropriate U.S. election office.

After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and  ballot delivery online. States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election (this year, by September 19) for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.

We recommend that if you plan to return your paper ballot to your election officials by mail, you can do so through International Mail or through the U.S. Embassy in Lome (Please, deliver your ballot to the Embassy by October 15th to account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts).

Make sure that the ballot envelope is addressed to the relevant local election officials. Place the sealed envelope into another envelope, seal that second envelope, and write “BALLOT” along with your local cell number in large letters on the front of the envelope. Drop your envelope in the lockbox at the consular entrance during regular business hours. The U.S. Embassy will not open your ballot as long as you place the postage-paid envelope into a second envelope.

Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically, please see here, if your local election officials allow it.

 

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.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) online

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) download

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.

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).

 

Timeline

Register and request your absentee ballot.

  • Deadlines – October 5th.

Returning your Ballot.


  • By mail – no later than October 15th. if through the services of the Embassy.
  • By private international mail such as: FedEx, UPS or DHL (Check their deadlines)
  • By email (if your State allows you)

Send your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (Backup Ballot)

  • By mail – no later than October 15th. if through the services of the Embassy.
  • By private international mail such as: FedEx, UPS or DHL (Check their deadlines)
  • By email (if your State allows you)
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Lome’s Voting Assistance Officer at consularlome@state.gov

 

Assistance:

(+228) 2261 5470

State Department – Consular Affairs.

Togo Country Information .

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