Messages for U.S. Citizens: Absentee Voting Week is September 26-October 3

Absentee Voting Week is September 26-October 3
Messages for U.S. Citizens
September 21, 2016

Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections and participating in Absentee Voting Week!

In many states, the voter registration deadline for the November 2016 elections is October 10.  For some voters this might mean their paper voter registration and absentee ballot request must reach their local election officials by October 10.  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 ensure you are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.

If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)in 2016 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will be receiving 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’svoter registration verification website.

ABSENTEE VOTING WEEK: September 26 – October 3

If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch free of charge, the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg can accept voted ballots and Federal Post Card Applications at the drop box in the consular section security entrance (located at the corner of Rivonia Road and Sandton Drive in Sandhurst).  Normal transit time from Johannesburg to the United States is 20 days.

You can get voting assistance from the consulate or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, during the following hours:

Monday – Thursday 8:00am to 5:00pm

Friday 8:00am to 12:00pm

HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING

Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting.  Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot.  Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.

If you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late. The process is easy ­– just follow these steps:

  1. 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.

  1. Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch free of charge, the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg can accept voted ballots and Federal Post Card Applications at the drop box in the consular section security entrance (located at the corner of Rivonia Road and Sandton Drive in Sandhurst).  Normal transit time from Johannesburg to the United States is 20 days.

You can get voting assistance from the consulate or drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, during the following hours:

Monday – Thursday 8:00am to 5:00pm

Friday 8:00am to 12:00pm

If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the consulate, 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.

  1. 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 (on or around September 24) for federal office(President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.

  1. 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.   You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, and search the Internet to locate articles and information.

To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov).  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebookand Twitter.

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact at the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg at acsjohannesburg@state.gov or votejohannesburg@state.gov.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for South Africa.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides several resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector abroad.  Additional information on OSAC can be found on www.OSAC.gov or by following OSAC on Twitter.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and U.S. Consulate Generals in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban are located at the addresses below. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria does not have a consular section and does not provide consular services to U.S. citizens.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitterand Facebook.

United States Consulate General, Johannesburg
(Covering Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, and Free State provinces)
1 Sandton Drive (corner of Rivonia and Sandton Drive)
Sandhurst, Johannesburg
ACSJohannesburg@state.gov
Tel: 011-290-3000 (outside South Africa: +27-11-290-3000)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1684 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-1684)
https://za.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/johannesburg/

United States Consulate General, Durban
(Covering KwaZulu-Natal Province)
Delta Towers, 31st floor
303 Dr. Pixley KaSeme Street
ConsularDurban@state.gov
Tel: 031-305-7600 (outside South Africa +27-31-305-7600)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1445 (outside South Africa +27-79-111-1445)
https://za.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/durban/

United States Consulate General, Cape Town
(Covering Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape provinces)
2 Reddam Avenue
Tokai, Cape Town
ConsularCapeTown@state.gov
Tel: 021-702-7300 (outside South Africa: +27 21-702-7300)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-0391 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-0391)
https://za.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/capetown/
Tumbler: http://usconscapetown.tumblr.com/

United States Embassy to the Republic of South Africa
(Note: The Embassy does not provide consular services and cannot accept ballots or registration materials)
877 Pretorius Street
Arcadia, Pretoria
Tel: 012-431-4000 (outside South Africa: +27-12-431-4000)
https://za.usembassy.gov/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/USEmbassySA/

Note:  The timestamp on this e-mail message may reflect Washington, D.C., time, which may differ from local time.