Updated March 2021
U.S. citizens overseas can vote, wherever they are. Remember that YOUR VOTE COUNTS!
U.S. citizens overseas can learn more, including upcoming state and federal election dates, at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. Please note that in-person voting is not available at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas.
STEP ONE: REGISTER TO VOTE!
Registering to vote 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 your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.
STEP TWO: REQUEST YOUR BALLOT!
Once you are registered to vote, request your ballot! Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can 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 online assistant can assist you in 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 to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
STEP THREE: COMPLETE AND RETURN!
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.
Return your completed and signed ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not. Check your state’s current rules here. 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 the U.S. Embassy Lima’s diplomatic pouch.
Postage: The diplomatic pouch provides mail service for ballots and voter registration forms between embassies and consulates and a U.S. sorting facility. You will need to place your ballots in postage-paid return envelopes (printed from FVAP.gov) or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage for them to be delivered to local election authorities. The U.S. Embassy DOES NOT provide or sell postage. U.S. postage may be purchased online at https://www.usps.com. Click here for the latest updates and information on U.S.-Peru postal services.
Diplomatic Pouch: If using the diplomatic pouch, ballots and voter registration cards can be dropped off at the U.S. Embassy (Avenida La Encalada 1615, Santiago de Surco, Lima 15023) between 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. You do not need an appointment to submit voting materials. Place your materials in a postage-paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials. Please note it can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by an embassy or consulate via diplomatic pouch.
Researching candidates and issues: 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 online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (firstname.lastname@example.org). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
If you have any questions about overseas voting, please contact U.S. Embassy Lima’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteLima@state.gov.