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 the FVAP website 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.
To ensure that you receive ballots for all elections, we recommend U.S. citizens to submit a new Federal Post Card Application in January of each year and whenever they move or change their mailing address, e-mail address or name.
If you request electronic delivery for your Federal Post Card and include your email address or fax number, you’ll receive your blank ballot 45 days before general and mid-term elections, and 30 days before special, primary, and run-off elections for federal offices. Most states now have voter registration verification websites, and many offer means to track the status of your registration and ballot.
Make sure you are registered with our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Click on the following items for additional information on each of them:
Information about Voting from Outside the United States
Please visit www.fvap.gov to know how to contact your local election officials.
Send your ballot back to the United States as early as possible. Overseas voters have a number of options for returning ballots:
- U.S. Embassy You can drop off your ballot request or voted ballot at the U.S. Embassy Montevideo main entrance gate (e-mail MontevideoACS@state.gov for any questions), Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (allow up to one month for delivery). Ballots must be placed in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. domestic postage so they may be delivered to the proper local election authorities (NOTE: postage from COUNTRY to the United States is not required using this method).
- Fax, e-mail, or internet A number of states allow the electronic return of voted ballots. Visit www.fvap.gov for electronic transmission options for your state.
- International mail or professional courier service.
- FPCA Postage – Paid Return Envelope Embassy Montevideo can only receive and mail your vote if it comes in this envelope.
Registration/Absentee Ballot Request
To complete and submit the form, go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide, select your state, and follow the steps indicated in the guide to obtain the information you need. When you are finished, you can print your Federal Post Card Application.
If you have any questions, please contact us at MontevideoACS@state.gov.
Receiving your Blank Absentee Ballot
Forty-five days before the November general elections, your state will either send your blank ballot to you electronically, or mail it to the address you provided on your FPCA.
Ballots are generally mailed out 30 days before primary, special, and run-off elections. Depending on your state and your status abroad, you may receive absentee ballots for all elections or abbreviated ballots for elections for federal offices only.
Using an Emergency Write-in Ballot
If you followed all the right steps but still haven’t received your ballot 30 days before the election, you should complete and submit a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB).
Write in the candidates of your choice, print it, sign it and send it to your local election officials. If your regular absentee ballot arrives later, fill it out and send it back too. Your FWAB will be counted only if your regular ballot doesn’t reach your local election officials by your state’s deadline. Following this procedure will not invalidate your vote or result in two votes being cast.
Almost all U.S. citizens 18 years old or older who reside outside the United States are eligible to vote absentee for candidates for federal offices in U.S. primary and general elections. In addition, some states allow overseas citizens to vote for candidates for state and local offices, as well as in state and local referendums.
For information regarding your specific state, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide.
For voting purposes, your state of legal residence is generally the state where you resided immediately before leaving the United States, even if you no longer own or rent property or intend to return there in the future. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia specifically allow U.S. citizens who have never resided in the United States to register where a parent would be eligible to vote.
Direct your questions about eligibility to your local election officials.
Verifying your Registration
Most states now have websites where you can verify your registration. If you are unsure of your voter registration status, or want to confirm that local election officials have received and approved your registration, check the FVAP website for a directory of state voter registration verification websites.
You can also e-mail or call your local election official directly.
Be an Informed Voter
Check out the FVAP website for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues you care about.
Voting and Taxes
Voting for candidates for federal offices does not affect your federal or state tax liability. However, voting for candidates for state or local offices could affect your state tax liability.
Seek legal counsel if you have questions.