Don’t Let the Elections Pass You By!

October 21st UPDATE:

Can I still register to vote?  

In most cases, yes, but it depends on your state. To check if there is still time to vote from abroad in your state of voting residence, visit https://www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter.  Click on your state and scroll down to “Federal Election Deadlines” to verify your state’s deadlines.  

For full instructions on how to vote from New Zealand, please read our voting page.

I never received a ballot. Can I still vote? 

In most cases, yes, but it depends on your state. Check with your local voting office to make sure you are registered to vote and go to https://www.fvap.gov/citizen-voter.Click on your voting residence state to complete the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB).  If you are not yet registered, you will have the option to register when you complete the FWAB. 

If I send my ballot now, will it reach the U.S. in time? 

Don’t delay!  It may reach your voting office in time, but ballot return deadlines vary by state.  For many states, ballots must be postmarked– and not necessarily received– by November 3in order to be counted. For other states, the ballot must be received by November 3.  You can drop off your completed voting forms and ballots addressed to your local election officialsat the U.S. ConsulateGeneral Auckland, 3rd Floor, 23 Customs St. East, Auckland CBD 1010. Our ballot dropbox is in our public lobby, open from 8:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday, except NZ and US holidays.  You can also mail your completed ballots to the Consulate at the address above. There is also a ballot dropbox available at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington at 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thordon, Wellington.  

If you drop off or mail your ballot prior to November 3, your ballot will be postmarked at the consulate and forwarded by Diplomatic Post to the appropriate voting office. We cannot guarantee or confirm delivery.  Given that the election is only a few weeks away, you may opt to send your ballot by courier.  You will need to pay for courier services, but your ballot may arrive more quickly to your voting office in the United States. 

What if I have more questions? 

Email VoteAuckland@state.gov or join the Federal Voting Assistance Program as they answer your voting questions virtually through Zoom every Thursday at 2:00pm New Zealand Daylight time.   

Meeting ID: 659 083 7720 

Passcode: p564bw 

September 28th UPDATE: 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 U.S. embassies and consulates are not polling places; 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 New Zealand, please read our voting page.  For general overseas voting information please see the Department of State’s website 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 voters mail their completed ballots before Election Day and at least one week prior to your state’s deadline.  To allow processing time between Department of State and U.S. Postal Service systems this means ballots must be received in the Consulate no later than October 2, 2020.  Ballots received after that date will be forwarded, but may arrive too late to be counted.  Please also 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 or by fax.

The above timeline is based on current local and U.S. conditions, which are subject to change.  Should conditions change and impact the timeline we will alert you.  We strongly recommend you submit your ballot as far in advance as possible.

If you wish to drop off your ballot, 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. You can drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, at the U.S. Consulate General Auckland, 3rd Floor, 23 Customs St. East, Auckland CBD. Our ballot dropbox is in our public lobby, which is open from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday, except NZ and US holidays.  There is also a ballot dropoff box available at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington at 29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington.  You may also mail your completed, sealed ballot to the U.S. Consulate.

Missed the U.S. consulate 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.

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

Returning your ballot by international mail delivery.  If using New Zealand’s postal system, be sure to affix sufficient international postage, and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.  Ballots sent via regular international mail from most countries at this late date are unlikely to reach local election officials by state ballot receipt deadlines, so you may need to consider another method.

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.

Have Questions?  Please contact Post Auckland’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteAuckland@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.

For further information: