Your vote counts!
Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters? 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. Voting while living overseas is important!
Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2016 U.S. elections:
Step One: Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) (PDF 32 KB). You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2016 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2016 elections. The completion of the FPCA allows 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.
Step Two: 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.
Step Three: 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.
You can mail in your FPCAs and or ballots by either dropping it off at the Embassy in Nairobi, or mailing it via the Kenyan Postal System.
If you would like to drop it off at the Embassy, you can drop off the postage-paid envelope (containing your FPCA) at the mail screening facility at the Embassy and we will mail it back to the States for you. The mail screening facility at the Embassy is located nearby to the U.S. Citizens’ parking area, on the road that runs along the north wall of the Embassy between Muthaiga and United Nations Avenue at the very western end of the Embassy compound. (NOTE: It is acceptable for private U.S. citizens or U.S. citizens’ groups to collect FPCAs and deliver them to the Embassy on behalf of other eligible voters, as long as each FPCA is in its own U.S. postage-paid envelope.)
If you prefer to mail your FPCA and or ballot through the Kenyan Postal System, please be sure to affix sufficient postage for international shipping and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.
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.
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 Facebook andTwitter.
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 Nairobi’s Voting Assistance Officer at 254-20-363-6451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, your vote counts!
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Kenya 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 Kenya located on United Nations Avenue, Nairobi, at +254 (0) 20 363 6451 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Monday through Thursday and 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +254 (0) 20 363 6170.
- 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 (except U.S. federal holidays).
Providing Assistance to U.S. Citizens is our Top Priority!