Absentee Voting Week – September 27 – October 4, 2020
Take steps now to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections and participate in Absentee Voting Week!
In some states, voter registration and ballot request deadlines are as early as October 5th.
Whether you are a first-time voter or have already voted absentee in the past, we recommend that you complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) each year to ensure participation as an overseas absentee voter.
If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2020 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will be receive a blank ballot or instructions for how to access your ballot soon. If you are unsure about the status of your absentee ballot, you should contact your local election officials in the United States or check your registration via your state’s voter registration verification website.
You can get voting assistance from contacting the Embassy Consular Section by phone during working hours or by email (VoteChisinau@state.gov).
Normal transit time for ballots from Moldova to the United States is 20 days. Please visit https://www.fvap.gov/COVID-19 for information on international postal disruptions.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD
Tell everyone the time to start thinking about overseas voting is now. Post your active voter plans to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media, and note you will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot. Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out.
If you have never voted while overseas before, it is not too late. The process is easy – just follow these steps:
- Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, we recommend that you complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.
The online voting assistant available at FVAP.gov is an easy way to complete the FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Be sure to include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.
- Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the embassy, on your behalf. To arrange this please contact the voting assistance officer at VoteChisinau@state.gov . You can also send your FPCA or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.
- Receive Your Ballot
After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection. States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election (September 19) for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.
- Return Your Ballot
We recommend that if you plan to return your paper ballot to your election officials via the U.S. embassy/consulate, please return your ballot to them by October 2 to account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts. If you wish to drop off your ballot, or have a friend or colleague drop it off for you, place it in either a postage-paid envelope or envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officials. You can download the postage paid envelope from the FVAP.gov website.
You can make arrangements to drop off your completed forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, by contacting the Consular Section (VoteChisinau@state.gov). All ballots collected by October 3rd will be mailed out on that date or with the next delivery back to the United States. We will continue to receive and mail ballots through the election season. Ballots will be stamped with the date received and mailed.
If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).It is a backup ballot you can use if you don’t receive your ballot in a timely manner. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.
After you send in your ballot, check to verify it was received.
Your Vote Counts
Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%. 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 (differs by state).
Be an educated voter. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online and search the Internet to locate articles and information.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact US Embassy Chisinau’s Voting Assistance Officer at +373 22 40 8300, or at VoteChisinau@state.gov.