An official website of the United States government

How to Register as an Absentee Voter
August 26, 2020

Participate in Absentee Voting Week and exercise your right to vote by following these steps for the 2020 U.S. elections!

The 2020 general election is coming up, and as a U.S. citizen in Venezuela, you have the right to vote! To do so, you must first register as an absentee voter to receive your ballot. These registration deadlines are approaching quickly, so fill out your registration today.

To get started, you should take the following steps today:

Check your local state requirements

The rules governing registration for an absentee ballot and submission of voting materials will vary from state to state. Check the website for your local state election official for more information. Alternatively, the website for the Federal Voting Assistance Program – www.FVAP.gov – contains state-by-state information.

Complete a Federal Post Card Application

Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, we recommend that you complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to receive your ballot this fall. The FPCA allows you to register to vote and to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.

The online voting assistant available at FVAP.gov (the Federal Voting Assistance Program website) is an easy way to complete the FPCA. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign. 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).

Submit your FPCA

You have several ways of submitting your completed FPCA. Check your instructions carefully, as states differ in the how they receive these submissions.

  • Electronic: Many states accept the electronic return of FPCAs. Consult your local election official website or the voter guide ongov for options for submission by fax, email, or internet for your state. We strongly recommend that you take advantage of electronic options if they are available.
  • Express courier: You can send your FPCA directly to your local election official via professional courier services such as FedEx, DHL, or UPS. (Note that FedEx doesnot deliver to P.O. Boxes.) We do not recommend using local mail services in Venezuela to send your FPCA.

Submit your ballot

You should receive your blank ballot around 45 days before the November 3 general election (September 19, 2020). Stay tuned for further guidance from Embassy Bogota during voting season on how to cast your ballot!

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 so long as they are valid and reach local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

Be an educated voter. Check out the FVAP page for helpful resources on candidates and issues. To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the U.S. Embassy Bogota Voting Assistance Officer at VoteBogota@state.gov. Embassy Bogota also has plenty of information on voting from Venezuela on the Voting page of this website: https://co.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/voting/.