In some states, voter registration and ballot request deadlines for the November 2020 elections are as early as October 5th. We recommend that you complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) each year to ensure you are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.
If you have already completed a FPCA in 2020 and have requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will soon be receiving your blank ballot or instructions for how to access your ballot (if you have not already received it). If you are not sure about the status of your absentee ballot request, you should contact your local election officials in the United States or check the status of your registration via your state’s voter registration verification website.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING
Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues, that now is the time to be thinking about overseas voting. Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot. Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.
If you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late. The process is easy — just follow the steps below, and check our step-by-step guide for detailed instructions:
1. Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
An FPCA allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices 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. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.
2. Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
If you would like the U.S. Embassy to forward your FPCA to the United States, there are three ways that you can send us your sealed FPCA in a postage-paid envelope. You can:
1) Drop your FPCA in the sealed, postage-paid FPCA envelope (which you can download here) in the ballot box outside the front entrance of U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur (located at 376 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur) on any business day between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (please note our holiday schedule for days when we are closed);
2) Hand your FPCA in the sealed, postage-paid FPCA envelope to an Embassy staff member in the American Citizen Services Unit during your appointment for another consular service; or
3) Mail your FPCA, in an outer envelope containing the sealed, postage paid FPCA envelope through local mail, to the U.S. Embassy at the following address:
Attn: Consular Section, Voting Assistance Officer
376 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur on your behalf, or you can send your FPCA directly to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.
Please note that all visitors to the Embassy are subject to security screening and you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility. It can take four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by an embassy or consulate.
Please be mindful that you will need to place your FPCA in a postage paid return envelope or in an envelope bearing sufficient U.S. postage and address it to the relevant local election authorities. If you drop off your FPCA or ballot at the U.S Embassy without postage, USPS will not deliver it. The U.S. Embassy takes no responsibility for delivery of FPCAs and ballots received without postage.
3. 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.
4. Return Your Ballot
We recommend that if you plan to return your paper ballot to your election officials via U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur, please return your ballot to the Embassy by October 2nd to account for transit times between Malaysia and U.S. voting districts.
If you would like the U.S. Embassy to forward your ballot, the three ways described in Section 2 (concerning transmission of FPCAs) also apply for ballot transmission. You can download the postage paid ballot envelope from the FVAP.gov website, as well as find your election office’s mailing address.
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, you can check if it was received by your election office.
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.
To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur’s Voting Assistance Officer at KLACS@State.gov.