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

Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the

2016 U.S. elections!

 

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 participate in elections as an

overseas absentee voter.

 

You can always get voting assistance from the embassy/consulate or drop off your

completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials,

during the following hours:

 

You may drop off your completed forms and ballots, addressed to your local

election officials, at the American Citizens Services Section of U.S. Embassy

Dakar from Monday to Thursday between 08:00 and 12:00, and on Tuesday and

Thursday between 14:00 and 16:00. Normal transit time between from Dakar to

the United States is 10 days. If it’s more convenient for you, you can also return

your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or

professional courier service at your own expense.

 

If you have never voted while overseas before, the process is easy — just follow

these steps:

 

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 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. The FPCA is

accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.

 

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. FVAP.gov 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.

 

  1. 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. For most states, you can

confirm your registration and 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, 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 via Facebook and Twitter.

 

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website,

FVAP.gov. If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please

contact Embassy Dakar’s Voting Assistance Officer at DakarACS@state.gov.

 

Remember, your vote counts!