Message for U.S. Citizens
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 submit forms and ballots to the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid from 8:30 to 13:00, Monday through Friday, except on U.S. and local holidays. Delivery time for the ballot to reach the United States is approximately two weeks.
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 FPCAallows 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.
2. 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 (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebookand 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 Madrid’s Voting Assistance Officer firstname.lastname@example.org.
The contact information of our Embassy in Madrid, as well as the Consulate General in Barcelona, is below. All contact numbers and addresses are also available on our website.
U.S. Embassy Madrid
Calle Serrano 75
U.S. Consulate General Barcelona
Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23
For further information:
· See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Spain Country Specific Information.
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
· Contact the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, located at Calle Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid, at +34 91 587 2200, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +34 91 587 2200. Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, Spain, located at Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23-25, 08034 Barcelona, at +34 93 280-2227, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondaythrough Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. Citizens is + 34 91 587 2200.
· 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 (
Remember, your vote counts!
Featured image by Openclipart, PD
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