FAWCO’s message to all overseas Americans: register and vote in 2020

    Here’s FAWCO’s main message to every overseas American we can find. COVID-19 changes this message in only one way – see the text in bold. Further details on this message are available in a virtual workshop on voter registation and assistance. posted on FAWCO's YouTube channel. The channel also has a short video demonstrating how to register to vote using the website of FAWCO's partner the US Vote Foundation. 

    1. Register/Request a ballot

    Register to vote/request a ballot for the 2020 election right away, if you have not already done so. This means going to the website of the US Vote Foundation or the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) and:

    1. clicking on the link s for overseas civilian voters and your state;
    2. entering the information required by your state, and requesting email/online ballot delivery, which all jurisdictions permit, according to FVAP;
    3. generating a PDF; and
    4. printing, signing and dating it.

    Then send the registration form/ballot request to your local election official (LEO) according to the instructions included in the PDF. FVAP’s Voting Assistance Guide (VAG) and the US Vote Foundation website have updated information on how you can return the form and, later, your ballot. To email (or fax) the form/request to the LEO, scan the signed and dated PDF and send it to the email address (or fax number) given in the PDF. If you have already registered to vote, and did not request email/online ballot delivery, do it again: go back to the Foundation or FVAP and submit a new form with this request.

    Also check in with your LEO  – or Can I Vote, site of the National Association of Secreatries of State – a few weeks after you register, in order to check your status.

    2. Vote

    Receive and complete your ballot. States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and they generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. The instructions enclosed with your ballot will say how you can return it: by mail, email, fax or carriers like DHL or FedEx – check them carefully, or go back to the US Vote Foundation or FVAP websites – and return your ballot electronically if possible. The rules for ballots differ from those for registration forms in some states. You can also ask your LEO about this.

    If your ballot does not arrive in time (by October 3, 2020 – one month before November 3), send a federal write-in absentee ballot (FWAB). To get a FWAB, go back to the US Vote Foundation or FVAP (see link on the right side of this page). If your regular ballot arrives after you have sent off your FWAB, vote and send it, too, and let the local election official decide which one to count.

    3. Promote voting by all overseas Americans

    From now until Election Day, but as soon as possible, use every network and connection you have to share this information with other Americans and urge them to register and vote. You can work through your FAWCO club, social media accounts, church, school, business, etc. etc. Click here for links to outreach materials from the US Vote Foundation and FVAP. 

    Email the FAWCO US Voting Committee () with questions or suggestions, or requests to join.



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