September 16, 2016
In many states, the voter registration deadline for the November 2016 elections is October 10. For some voters this might mean their paper voter registration and absentee ballot request must reach their local election officials by October 10. In order to vote in the November 2016 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2016. 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 2016 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 VOTING WEEK
If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch free of charge, the U.S. Embassy in Manila is organizing the following Absentee Voting Week events to provide voter assistance and accept voting ballots and Federal Post Card Applications.
September 22 and 29, 2016:
The American Citizen Services (ACS) unit of the U.S. Embassy will provide assistance with voting registration on September 22 and September 29 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in U.S. Embassy. ACS staff will be available to assist U.S. citizens to register to vote in the November 8, 2016 U.S. elections.
Please be prepared to include the following when completing your voting registration materials: 1) your voting residence address which is your last U.S. address or your legal U.S. residence address; and 2) your Social Security number or your State Driver’s License or ID number. Voting materials will be collected by U.S. Embassy staff and forwarded to your local election official.
Click on this link for a video discussing Frequently Asked Questions regarding Absentee Voting in US Elections: http://snip.state.gov/elx.
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)
You may drop your FPCA or ballot in person at the American Citizen Services at U.S. Embassy Manila at 1201 Roxas Blvd., Manila.
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 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 (on or around September 24) 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 U.S. Embassy 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 American Citizen Services at (02) 301-2246 or 301-2567 or email us at VoteManila@state.gov.
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel websitefor the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Philippines Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, at +(63) (2) 301-2000, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(63) (2) 301-2000.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).