Message for U.S. Citizens: Registering to Vote and Submitting a Ballot
Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world!
Start by confirming your voter registration with your state. Some states require absentee voters to register annually, so you may need to re-register. Go to FVAP.gov to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more. Once you confirm your registration, follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2022 U.S. elections:
- Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via FVAP.gov. You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). 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. FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory. FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA.Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way for you to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
- 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. Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
- Return Your Completed, Signed 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 by mail, you can do so through international mail or professional courier service. The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General Dubai can also send it for you if you follow these instructions:
- Place your ballot requests or voted ballots in “postage paid” return envelopes (click here to create envelope) or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address them to the relevant local election officials. Drop the envelopes off at the Embassy or Consulate’s consular guard booth any day of the week Monday – Thursday between 8:00am – 4:00pm in Dubai or between 8:00am and 2:30pm in Abu Dhabi (Fridays between 8:00am and 11:00am in Dubai or between 8:00am and 10:30am in Abu Dhabi), and we will send it back home for you without the need to pay international postage.
- It takes approximately three weeks for voting materials to reach local election officials. Please plan accordingly.
Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources. Go to the FVAP links page for helpful resources to aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues is widely available and easy to obtain online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online 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 (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
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 the U.S. Embassy’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteAbuDhabi@state.gov or the Consulate General’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteDubai@state.gov.
U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi Embassies District, Plot 38, Sector W59-02, Street No.
+971 2 414 2200
U.S. Consulate General Dubai Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed and Al Seef Streets
+971 4 309 4000
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.