Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad
Important Note: States are no longer automatically sending ballots to voters for an entire election cycle. Anyone wanting to vote in U.S. elections from overseas should submit a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in January of each year.
Registration and Absentee Ballot Request
In order to vote from abroad, you need to register to vote in your state, and request to receive absentee ballots every year. The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), available on www.FVAP.gov, serves as both registration and a request for an absentee ballot. Submit a new FPCA every January AND whenever you move, change your address, email or name. Additionally, you can pick up a copy of the FPCA from the U.S. Embassy. Many states allow you to submit the FPCA by fax or email. You also have the option to return the form by mail.
Receiving Your Ballot
All U.S. citizens can now receive their blank ballots electronically. Depending on your state, you may receive your ballot by email, fax or internet download. To start, visit www.FVAP.gov to complete a new Federal Post Card Application and return it to your local election office. You should include your email address to make it easier for your election officials to contact you if there are any problems. If you request electronic delivery, you will receive your blank ballot 45 days before general and mid-term elections and generally 30 days before special, primary, and run-off elections for federal offices. You still may also choose to receive your ballot by mail.
Returning your Ballot
Complete your ballot carefully and legibly and return it to your local election official as early as possible by one of the following methods:
U.S. Embassy Pouch: You may drop off your ballot request, FPCA, or voted ballot at the U.S Embassy for return to the United States Monday through Friday between 13:30 and 15:30. However, the ballot or FPCA must be addressed to your local election official and have sufficient postage or be in a postage-paid envelope. Postage-paid envelopes are available at www.FVAP.gov. If dropping off a ballot at the embassy, please drop it off as early before the election as possible to allow for sufficient mailing time. Mailing time from the embassy is approximately two weeks.
Please note: The Embassy is not a polling place.
Fax, Email, or Internet: A number of states allow for ballots to be returned via electronic transmission. Consult the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide to see transmission options for your state.
Local Mail: You may use local post to mail your ballot back to the United States. Be sure to affix appropriate international postage. Mailing time through Portuguese post take approximately two weeks and costs approximately 80 euro cents.
Express Courier Service: If time is short, or local mail is unreliable you can return your ballot by courier services such as FedEx, DHL, or UPS. Note: FedEx does not deliver to P.O. Boxes.
Have Questions? Please contact Embassy Lisbon’s Voting Assistance Officer at 21-770-2122 or at VoteLisbon@state.gov.
Confirm your registration and ballot delivery online. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website at www.FVAP.gov.
For further overseas voting information please visit: