The November 2020 U.S. elections are right around the corner and U.S. Citizens in Ukraine can vote from abroad. Remember, your vote counts!
If you are sending your ballot through U.S. Embassy Kyiv, ballots can be dropped off at the American Citizens Services unit by the Consular entrance. To account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts, we suggest that voters drop off all ballots by October 2.
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 2020 U.S. elections:
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.
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.
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.
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 Kyiv’s diplomatic pouch. The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service for voting forms and ballots from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility.
If you are sending your ballot through U.S. Embassy Kyiv, ballots can be dropped off at the American Citizens Services unit by the Consular entrance. Location: 4 A. I. Sikorsky St. Time: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. excluding Ukrainian and U.S. holidays. While the U.S. government provides for the transport of ballots from Ukraine to the postal sorting center in the United States, you, the voter, are responsible for postage within the United States from the sorting center to your election authority. 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 once received by the U.S. sorting facility. Please note that the U.S. Embassy cannot provide or sell stamps for this purpose. To account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts, we suggest that voters drop off all ballots by October 2.
In order to vote in the November 2020 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2020. 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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
Remember, your vote counts!
Q: What is my U.S. voting residence address?
A: It’s usually the last place you lived before moving overseas. You do not need to have any current ties with this address. More information can be found at this link on the FVAP website.
Q: Can I vote in person at the Embassy or Consulate General?
A: No. Elections are run at the state level. You must communicate directly with your state to register, request a ballot, and vote as described above. However, we are happy to help you register and to send your voting materials to your state district office.
Q: Do I have to send in a separate application for each election?
A: The FPCA allows you to request an absentee ballot for all federal elections in the calendar year. Depending on your state, you may receive a ballot with local or state offices and initiatives as well (e.g., Governor, City Council). We recommend that you send in a new FPCA every January and each time you move.
Q: When will I get my ballot?
A: State election offices are required to send absentee ballots at least 45 days before a federal election. If you asked to receive your ballot by email, it should arrive right away. Mailed ballots will take longer depending on the postal system in the country where you’re located.
Q: What if I don’t get a ballot?
A: If you don’t receive an absentee ballot in time to return it to your state, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a backup ballot to vote for federal offices. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot as well. Your state will count only one.
Q: Does voter registration affect my tax status?
A: You can vote for federal offices without a change to your tax status, but voting for non-federal offices may result in state and local taxation. There may also be tax implications when changing your residence from one state to another. We recommend that you seek legal advice when changing your voting residence.
Q: How can I send my form?
A: All states will accept your form by mail, but they vary on email and fax. Check your state’s requirements/guidelines at FVAP.gov. If you are required to mail your voting materials, please follow the instructions above.
Still have questions? Check out the full list of FAQs at the FVAP website.