THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
With less than a week to go until the US Elections on November 3, 2020, we've compiled some last minute resources to help answer some pressing questions as the clocks count down til the polls close.
This depends on your state; some states have a deadline in October for registering as a voter, although some allow you to register and submit your registration with your ballot, almost up until election day. Use this tool on the FVAP website to find out what your state's deadlines are: www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter.
If you still have your absentee ballot, vote and submit it as soon as possible. Although many states will accept ballots after election day, there are varying rules around extra time available, and some courts have already begun to consider rulings against accepting late paperwork. As such, voting ASAP is essential. Use the FVAP's state by state guides - www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter - to find out the specific deadlines and rules for your state.
Amid the pandemic, there have been reports of delays in international shipping, including between the UK and the US. You can use USPS International Service Alerts to reveal any disruptions in post from your country to the US. For example, at the moment, USPS advice that for mail between the UK and the US, Priority Mail Express International guarantee is suspended.
Alternatives to sending your ballot via Royal Mail or USPS include using your nearest US Embassy's diplomatic pouch service, or private courier services. Also, check if your state is accepting ballot submissions electronically, you can find out using this tool from the FVAP - www.fvap.gov/guide.
You can confirm if your absentee ballot arrived at your election office by going to www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter, and clicking "Check the status of your voted ballot".
If you haven't received your absentee ballot, and there isn't time for a new one to be sent and submitted, you can use the backup form - the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which you can download here - www.fvap.gov/fwab-privacy-notice. The FWAB works like a regular ballot, so you'll need to print it out, fill it out and send it. If you need to do this by mail, based on your state's ballot rules, make sure you factor in mailing times.
As always with last minute election voting speed is essential. If you have a question you can contact an organization like the FVAP as soon as you can to ask. You can find contact details for the FVAP or your local election assistance office at www.fvap.gov/info/contact.