Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!
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. Once you confirm your registration, follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:
- 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 for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way for you to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
- 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.
- Return 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, professional courier service, or through U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur’s diplomatic pouch.
The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility. You will need to place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities. In our experience, it takes roughly four weeks to get your ballot from the Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to various states in the United States. You can check your state’s guidance regarding ballot deadlines here.
If your state’s deadline indicates that your ballot may not arrive on-time if mailed through the Embassy diplomatic pouch, you have several options. You can:
- Check here to see if your state will accept ballots by fax or email in addition to regular mail;
- Drop your ballot at the Embassy with the understanding that it might arrive late; or
- Send your ballot through a commercial courier company.
If you would like to use the diplomatic pouch to mail your ballot to the United States, please utilize one of the following methods:
- Drop your ballot in the sealed, postage-paid ballot 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);
- Hand your ballot in the sealed, postage-paid envelope to an Embassy staff member in the American Citizen Services Unit during your appointment for another consular service; or
- Mail your ballot, in an outer envelope containing the sealed, postage-paid ballot envelope through local mail, to the U.S. Embassy at the following address:
Attn: Consular Section, Voting Assistance Office
376 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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 on-line. You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. 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).