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Message for U.S. Citizens: How to vote from anywhere when you're an American overseas resident

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2 simple steps for U.S. citizens overseas to vote from anywhere


Living across the pond? Working outside the states? No matter where you are, you can vote.


If you’re a U.S. citizen living abroad, you can have your absentee ballots sent to you this election year. Here’s how:  


1. Register to vote and request your ballot.  


Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and send it to your election office by August 1 (or later depending on your state) for the General Election on November 3, 2020.  


Find your state deadlines, election office’s contact and other helpful information at FVAP.gov.  


Your voting residence (the U.S. state or territory where you are registering to vote) is likely your legal residence or the U.S. address where you last resided. Here’s how to determine your voting residence.  


Using the FPCA ensures that your state will send your ballot to you at least 45 days before the election — a protection not guaranteed when using other forms. It’s a good idea to send in a new FPCA every January and each time you move.  


2. Fill out and send in your ballot when it arrives.  


For the general election, you should receive your ballot by early October.  


Vote and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. The recommended vote-by date is October 13, 2020 if you are outside the U.S.  


If you requested your ballot but haven’t received it, contact your election office to ask about the status of your ballot request.  


If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). It works like a backup ballot. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.  


After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office. Get started at FVAP.gov




U.S. Embassy Panama City, Panama 

Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue 

Clayton, Panama 

+507 317-5000 




State Department – Consular Affairs 

+1 (888)407-4747 or +1 (202)501-4444 


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Denese A. Rodgers
+507 6456-8539
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