Instructions for Voting in 2020

VOTING IN 2020 U.S. ELECTIONS

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 you state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.  Once you confirm your registration, follow a few steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:

  1. 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.
  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 allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
  3. Return Your Completed 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 Athens or U.S. Consulate General Thessaloniki’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.  If using diplomatic pouch, please note that it can take four to six weeks for mail to reach its destination.  All overseas U.S. citizens are advised to submit their forms and ballots accordingly.  Your voting materials can be mailed to U.S. Embassy Athens or dropped off as follows in Athens or Thessaloniki:
  • Athens:  Drop your sealed registration form or ballot in the voting box at the Kokkali Street gate entrance at the U.S. Embassy in Athens during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on work days).  Please note that there is no need to go through security and enter the Embassy to drop off your ballot.  Allow four weeks for delivery.  As of April 22, 2020 weekly diplomatic pouch service has been restored after previous COVID-19 disruptions.
  •  ThessalonikiWe are currently unable to accept drop-offs in Thessaloniki due to reduced onsite staffing related to COVID-19.  When we are back to regular staffing, we will update this page, and you will be able to bring your sealed registration form or ballot to U.S. Consulate General Thessaloniki during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on work days), which will then be sent to Athens for a consolidated package from Greece to the United States.  Allow six weeks for delivery.  

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,