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5 Things You Should Know about voting absentee from overseas


W


ith the primaries underway and the Presidential General


Election fast approaching, now is the time to register and request your absentee ballots. As an American living in the United King- dom, it’s important to know that resources are available to you, and that the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is a Department of Defense program here to help you.


To start, you should register


and request your absentee ballot by using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) available at www.FVAP.gov. Each State will start sending ballot materials


in


late September of this year to all registered voters in preparation for the Presidential Election. You can choose to receive your ballot electronically or by mail. Remember that sending and receiving your form and ballot takes time, so now is the perfect time to get started! Go to www.FVAP.gov to review your voting State’s deadlines and requirements. Below are five things every


American living in the UK should know about absentee voting:


1. As an American citizen living outside the US, your voting rights are protected by Federal Law. This means you are eligible to vote in EVERY Election for federal office such as President, US Senate and US House of Representatives. If you are a citizen who has never lived in the


US contact FVAP to see if you qualify to vote.


2. Voting overseas requires


advance planning and effort. You cannot vote in-person at your local embassy or consulate on Election Day. You must (1) Register and request an absentee ballot, (2) Receive your State ballot, and (3) Return your ballot.


3. You need to start early.


Deadlines for registering to vote and returning your ballot vary by State, and you need to account for mailing time between the State and wherever you are. While some steps can be done electronically,


4. YOU are in charge of your


vote. Check to see when your registration and ballot are due to the State. Follow up with your election official to make sure your materials are received. Pay attention to the deadlines!


5. Mailing resources are available.


When the time comes to mail your FPCA or absentee ballot, the UK’s Royal Mail offers mailing options to the US with delivery times of 5-7 days. If you cannot use Royal Mail, you may also drop off these items at the US Embassy in London or the US Consulates in Belfast and Edinburgh in an addressed, postage-paid envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage). However sending materials via the Embassy or Consulates may take significantly longer than sending via Royal Mail.


For additional information and resources on voting absentee as an American living in in the United Kingdom, you may also visit the US Embassy in London webpage at https://uk.usembassy.gov/u- s-citizen-services/voting/, email LondonVote@state.gov, or contact FVAP directly at FVAP.gov, 1-800- 438-8683 or Vote@FVAP.gov


The American 9


many States require the hard copy! So be sure to check out your State’s guidelines at FVAP.gov.


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