Message for U.S. Citizens – Don’t Let the Elections Pass You By

If you plan to vote in the November 2020 election, it is important to ACT NOW! Don’t wait, return your voted ballot right away!  Remember that the U.S. Embassy in Bogota is not a polling place; same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States – but you can get assistance in requesting and returning your absentee ballot.  Many states require voted ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls on Tuesday, November 3.

The Department of State is committed to assisting overseas voters in casting their ballots.  For instructions on how to vote from Colombia, please see our website at https://co.usembassy.gov/how-to-register-as-an-absentee-voter/.  For general overseas voting information, please see the Department of State’s web site Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad or FVAP.gov.

Never received your ballot?  If you registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot prior to your state’s registration deadline, but have not yet received your ballot, complete and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to ensure your vote reaches election officials by your state’s deadline.  If your regular ballot arrives later, complete and return it as well.  Your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot will only be counted if your regular ballot does not reach local election officials by your state’s deadline.  Your vote will not be counted twice.

RETURNING YOUR BALLOT:

Note that the U.S. Postal Service recommends U.S.-based voters mail their completed ballots before Election Day and at least one week prior to your state’s deadline, yet overseas voters need to mail their ballots much sooner.  Check the regulations in the state in which you vote as deadlines may differ, and you may have alternative voting options such as electronic voting, voting by fax, or using express courier private service to ensure that your ballot reaches your election official before the absentee vote deadline. 

While the ideal deadline to drop your ballot off at the U.S. embassy has passed, you may still send your ballot through the U.S. Embassy. If you still wish to do so, or have a friend or colleague drop it off for you, place it in either a U.S. postage-paid envelope (provided with the ballot) or an envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officials.  If you are in Bogota, you or someone else can drop off your voted ballot at the U.S. Embassy at Carrera 45 No. 24B-27.  We will forward it via diplomatic mail to the local election official to which is it addressed. Please make sure that your ballot is sealed.

Missed the U.S. Embassy’s September 25 shipment deadline? Consider returning your ballot to the United States via a commercial express courier service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL, or return your voted ballot electronically if allowed by your state.  Ballots sent to local election officials via express courier service do not receive standard postmarks, so voters using this method should confirm delivery on or before November 3 prior to payment and shipment.  Check your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov for guidance.  We do not recommend using local mail services in Colombia to send your voted ballot. 

Returning your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot by email or fax.  Review your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov carefully for guidance.  

HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING.  Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting.  Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot.  Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting. 

Need help? Have Questions?  Please contact U.S. Embassy Bogota’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteBogota@state.gov.  You can also contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program directly if you encounter issues with local election officials by emailing Vote@FVAP.gov or toll free by phone from many countries around the world.   

Confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.  Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website at www.FVAP.gov.