July 4th Voting Message, June 29, 2016

Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections!

 To vote in the November 2016 elections, U.S. citizens overseas must submit a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)in 2016 requesting an absentee ballot.  Whether you are a first-time voter or have already voted absentee in past elections, you must complete and submit the FPCA each year to vote.

You can always get voting assistance from the Embassy or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, during the following hours:

U.S. Embassy Athens:  9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday except Greek and U.S. holidays and the last Wednesday of every month.

U.S. Consulate General Thessaloniki:   9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday except Greek and U.S. holidays. (Drop-off only.  For voting assistance, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Athens at VoteAthens@state.gov.)

Normal transit time from Athens to the United States is seven days.  Normal transit time from Thessaloniki to the United States is 10 days.

If you have never before voted while overseas, the process is easy:

1.     Request Your Ballot:  Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).   You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2016, to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2016 elections.  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee bhttp://redirect.state.sbu/?url=https://www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter/registration-ballotsallots for allelections 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.

You can complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov.  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.   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).  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website.  The FVAP.gov website will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

2.     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 permit you to confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

3.     Return Your Completed Ballot:  Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically while others do not.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can do so free of charge at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  Place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address them to the relevant local election officials.

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will 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 (vote@fvap.gov).  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts viaFacebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.govIf you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the Athens Voting Assistance Officer at +30-210-720-2414, or at VoteAthens@state.gov


Remember, your vote counts!