Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections and participating in Absentee Voting Week!
Click here for an Insta TV video with information about voting from Germany!
October 5, 2020, is the deadline in some states to register to vote and request a ballot for the November 2020 elections. Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in the past, you should complete a Federal Post Card Application (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 2020 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will receive your blank ballot (or instructions for how to access it) soon, if you have not already received it. If you are not sure about the status of your absentee ballot request, contact your local election officials in the United States or check the status of your registration via your state’s voter registration verification website.
We recommend mailing your ballot by October 6. Mail from Germany to the United States can take up to 20 days, but could be longer due to COVID-related delays.
You can drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, at the U.S. embassy and consulates below during the following hours:
Berlin: Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 4:30pm at the U.S. embassy building located in Dahlem at Clayallee 170, 14195 Berlin (main entrance on Clayallee). Please bring an ID (preferably a U.S. passport) and tell the guard that you would like to drop off voting materials. Note: Ballots cannot be accepted at the embassy building in Mitte near the Brandenburg Gate.
Frankfurt: Monday through Friday during regular business hours at the consulate general entrance located at Gießener Str. 30, 60435 Frankfurt. Tell the guard that you would like to drop off voting materials. The guard will show you to the voting materials drop-box where you can leave your registration or ballot.
Munich: Monday through Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm at the American Citizens Services entrance at the consulate located at Koeniginstrasse 5.
NOTE: Ballots must be placed in postage-paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. domestic postage so they may be delivered to the proper local election authorities. For further information regarding absentee voting see www.FVAP.gov.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING
Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to take action to vote from overseas. Post on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media that you are voting from abroad when you drop off or mail your 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 (or see the video above):
- Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
The FPCA 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)Berlin: Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 4:30pm at the U.S. embassy building located in Dahlem at Clayallee 170, 14195 Berlin (main entrance on Clayallee)). Please bring an ID (preferably a U.S. passport) and tell the guard that you would like to drop off voting materials. Note: Ballots cannot be accepted at the embassy building in Mitte near the Brandenburg Gate.Frankfurt: Monday through Friday during regular business hours at the consulate general entrance located at Gießener Str. 30, 60435 Frankfurt. Tell the guard that you would like to drop off voting materials. The guard will show you to the voting materials drop-box where you can leave your registration or ballot.Munich: Monday through Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm at the American Citizens Services entrance at the consulate located at Koeniginstrasse 5.
Ballots must be placed in postage-paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. domestic postage so they may be delivered to the proper local election authorities. For further information regarding absentee voting see www.FVAP.gov.
If it’s more convenient, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA on your behalf or you can mail 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 (September 19) 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
If you plan to return your paper ballot via the U.S. embassy/consulate, please get it to us by October 6 to account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts. If you wish to drop off your ballot, or have a friend or colleague drop it off for you, place it in either a postage-paid envelope or envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officials. You can download a postage-paid envelope from the FVAP.gov website. Return your ballot to the embassy or consulate as explained above.
If there isn’t enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, you can still vote in the November elections using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). This is a “backup ballot” if you don’t receive your ballot in a timely manner. 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.
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 resources to research candidates and issues. 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 the Voting Assistance Officer at:
U.S. Embassy Berlin VoteBerlin@state.gov
+49-30-8305-0 (business hours)
U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt VoteFrankfurt@state.gov
+49-69-7535-0 (business hours)
U.S. Consulate General Munich VoteMunich@state.gov
+49-89-2888-580 (business hours)