Attention U.S. citizens abroad: Whether you’re voting for the first time, or the first time in a long time, NOW is the time to register and request your absentee ballot for the November election. You can vote in two simple steps. Get started at FVAP.gov.
Step 1 – Requesting Your Ballot: Beginning in August, FVAP.gov encourages 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.
If you choose to print and mail the ballot request form (a.k.a. the Federal Post Card Application), we can deliver it to the United States for you free of charge. Be sure to sign and date the form, then print the postage-paid template from FVAP.gov onto any available blank envelope. Address it to your local election official and bring it to the U.S. Embassy Ottawa. You do not require an appointment to submit voting forms. The Embassy’s address is:
490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Monday – Friday
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Upon your arrival, a consulate guard will deposit your sealed submission in a secure box inside the controlled entry area. Your envelope will be postmarked the day it is received and it will enter the U.S. postal system. Sealed ballots, addressed to your local election officials, will also be accepted during the above-listed hours.
Step 2 – Receiving Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and your state may allow you to return your ballot electronically. However, if your state requires you to return paper ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, a professional courier service, or by using the above-listed drop-off times at the U.S. Embassy Ottawa.
If you are sending your ballot via the consulate, you will need to place it in a postage-paid return envelope, or in an envelope bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for it to be delivered to the proper local election authorities in your state. You may print the postage-paid template from FVAP.gov onto any available blank envelope and address it to your local election office.
Note: It can take up to two weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent through the consulate mail. 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 within three weeks of November 3. To verify that your ballot was received, most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
Researching the Candidates and Issues – Online Resources: 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 online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information.
For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
Voting is a personal choice, but if you want to vote, voting assistance is available to provide you with the tools and resources you need to successfully vote absentee. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy in Ottawa’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteOttawa@state.gov.