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1040 Abroad

Absentee Ballots Due to Arrive for Overseas Americans

Overseas Americans should receive an absentee ballot by September 19th

Published on September 17, 2020

Ballot paper being mailed A Ballot Paper being returned in Oregon, US. Photo: Chris Phan

Overseas Americans who have registered to vote in the 2020 US Elections should be about to receive their absentee ballot form, if they haven't received them already.

As explained by the US Embassy in London in an an article published this week, states are required to send absentee ballot forms to voters 45 days before the election, which this year will be September 19. Some Americans living abroad may have already received their absentee forms. If you haven't received yours, the Embassy explains the next steps.

If you requested the absentee ballot paper to be sent to you by e-mail, you should receive this by September 19. If you are receiving your ballot paper by mail, you may need to wait a little longer depending on the postal situation, which has been complicated this year due to international cargo disruption caused by Covid-19.

When you receive your ballot paper, most states will allow you to confirm receipt online. If in doubt, check your state's procedures at www.fvap.gov/links. The US Embassy recommends you "plan to return your ballot as soon as possible to account for transit times between overseas posts and local voting districts." In many circumstances, you'll be able to track your mail in ballot to make sure it has been received. Consult your state's election information online for more details.

As well as Federal Post Card Applications, the US Embassy in London can mail ballots back to the US through its free diplomatic pouch. Normal transit time from London to the US, from receipt at the Embassy to entry into the United States Postal Service, is 10-14 days, but the Embassy is trying to speed this up. Drop off your ballot at the consular entrance of the Embassy between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. After hours or on weekends you can drop it off at the service entrance to the Embassy at the West Pavilion, across the street from a local branch of District Coffee. You can also mail it to:

Embassy of the United States
American Citizen Services
33 Nine Elms Lane
SW11 7US

Ballot paper not arrived? Concerned or have any questions? Check out the FVAP website for more information on state-specific voting procedures: www.fvap.gov.

To see the full post from the US Embassy, go to




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