Editor’s note: Democrats living outside of the United States can register to vote and request absentee ballots from Vote From Abroad.
Absentee Voting Week is September 29-October 6
Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2014 U.S. elections and participating in Absentee Voting Week!
In many states, the voter registration deadline for the November 2014 elections is October 6. For some voters this might mean their paper voter registration and absentee ballot request must reach their local election officials by October 6. In order to vote in the November 2014 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2014. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA each year to ensure you are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.
If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2014 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will be receiving your blank ballot or instructions for how to access your ballot soon 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.
Absentee voters can drop off their ballots at the security entry point to the U.S. Embassy, Stockholm, at any time.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING
Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start 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 these steps:
- Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, 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)
Absentee Voters are welcome to drop off their ballots at the security entrance at the U.S. Embassy, Stockholm, at any time. The ballots will be forwarded to your local voting office free of charge via diplomatic pouch.If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the U.S Embassy, Stockholm, on your behalf or you can 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 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
As with the FPCA, you can return your voted ballot to your local election officials free of charge via the nearest embassy or consulate or mail it directly at your own expense.
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 Stockholm’s Voting Assistance Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in (Country) enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Sweden at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.
Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/travelgov and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/travelgov. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Embassy in Stockholm is located at Dag Hammarskjoldsvag 31, Stockholm and is open, Monday through Friday from 9 – 11AM, except for Swedish and American holidays, phone number +46 (0)8 783 5375. Our regular telephone hours are between 1 PM and 2 PM, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is +46(0)8 783 5300.