Voting

Notice for Absentee Voters in Chile (July 27, 2020 Update)

VOTING IN 2020 U.S. ELECTIONS

Your vote counts!  Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?  All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

If you want to vote from abroad, you must send in a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your local election officials every year – even if you have previously voted from overseas – and every time you change your name, physical address, or email address.  Use the FPCA to request an absentee ballot and to register to vote if you are not currently registered.

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:

1   Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).  You must complete a new FPCA to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2020 elections.  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.  The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.  (Check with your state’s elections officials about voting in local elections.)

You can complete the FPCA online at www.FVAP.gov .  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. 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.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website.  FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

2   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.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

If it is already within 45 days before Election Day and you have not yet received your ballot, fill out and mail in an emergency write-in ballot:  the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). You can also drop off your FWAB in person at the embassy and we will mail it to the United States for you via Diplomatic Post Office (see below).

3   Returning Your Completed, Signed Ballot:  Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not.  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, or professional courier service. Routine operations at U.S. Embassy Santiago have been suspended due the COVID-19 pandemic, however you can still drop off your FPCA or completed ballot in person at our Embassy, and we will mail it to the United States for you free of charge via our Diplomatic Post Office (DPO).

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 Chile to the United States is not required using this method).  Please note that all visitors to the Embassy are subject to security screening and you may not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility.  Please note that it can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent through the embassy or consulate.  All overseas U.S. citizens are advised to submit their forms and ballots accordingly.

You may want to consider returning your ballot via a private courier service or international mail if the deadline for return of your ballot is near.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov.  

Remember, your vote counts! 

Be absent, but accounted for!

Researching the Candidates and Issues  

Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will 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 (vote@fvap.gov).  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook  (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvap.gov).