Celebrate democracy this 4th of July by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2014 U.S. elections!
In order to vote in the November 2014 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2014. 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.
If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application over the 4th of July holiday for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch free of charge, the U.S. Embassy Majuro is organizing a Fourth of July (July 5th) party and voter assistance will be available and Federal Post Card Applications will be accepted. If you have an invitation, come on in and talk to Jeff Shelden. If you don’t, just have the security post page me, and I’ll come out to meet you, anytime between 5 pm and 8pm.
If you can’t make it to this event, 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: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 to 5:30, and Friday 8:00 to 3:00. We typically schedule appointments if you need advice on Thursdays, but if it’s just a drop-off, we’ll take that anytime. Normal transit time from Majuro to the United States is ten days.
If you have never voted while overseas before, the process is easy – just follow these steps:
- Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.
The online voting assistant available at FVAP.gov is an easy way to complete the FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, 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). Be sure to include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.
- Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
See the information at the beginning of this message for options to drop off your FPCA in person to the U.S. Embassy, Majuro.
If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA to the Embassy on your behalf or you can send your FPCA or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.
- Receive Your Ballot
After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection. States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.
- Return Your Ballot
As with the FPCA, you can return your voted ballot to your local election officials free of charge via the nearest embassy or consulate or mail it directly at your own expense.
Your Vote Counts
Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline (differs by state).
Be an educated voter. 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 is widely available and easy to obtain via numerous websites such asProject Smart Voter. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, and search the Internet to locate articles and information.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Embassy Majuro’s Voting Assistance Officer at 692-247-4011, or atMajConsular@state.gov.