US diplomatic representations have begun to provide information for US citizens residing abroad on how to vote, given the upcoming presidential elections. In some states, voter registration and ballot request deadlines for the US General Election are as early as October fifth, less than a week. The US embassies explains that if the citizen is a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, they recommend to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) each year to ensure the entitled person to be able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.
If you have already completed a FPCA in 2020 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will receive 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 websiteThe US embassy in Israel explains in a statement published last week on its official website.
American citizens overseas have several options for submitting their ballots and the Embassy strongly encourage voters to submit their ballots electronically or by fax if that option is available. Where mail-in ballots are the only option, American citizens are invited to use a courier service to send their ballot directly to their home state to be counted. For who live far from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, they can also mail ballots via Israel Post or private courier to the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv as a last resort. The Embassy will then mail your ballots for the voter to the United States to be delivered to their district office via Diplomatic Pouch. “Please note that if you chose to mail your ballots via the U.S. Embassy or the Embassy Branch Office, we cannot guarantee that your ballot will reach your home state in time to be counted”, the consular announcement warns.
The 2020 General Election is on November 3! Follow the steps below to see how you can vote while living abroad.— USEmbassyJerusalem (@usembassyjlm) September 23, 2020
הבחירות הכלליות של 2020 יתקיימו ב-3 בנובמבר! עקבו אחר הצעדים הבאים כדי לראות איך תוכלו להצביע כשאתם גרים מחוץ למדינה pic.twitter.com/zDCcDduCrv
In the website of the US Embassy in Israel, voters can find detailed instructions for sending their ballot to the Embassy in Jerusalem or the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv, noting that it can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by Diplomatic Pouch. “You must make sure your ballot is delivered to the embassy to meet your local voting district’s deadline for mailed ballots”. The statement concludes, indicating that ballots can be dropped off at the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or at the Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv from 8:00 AM-11:00AM on Tuesday and Thursday.