Voting in U.S. Elections from Abroad
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is the official U.S. government website for overseas voters. They provide information on registering absentee for U.S. elections, as well as details of upcoming elections, registration dates and deadlines.The Department of State also maintains comprehensive information for U.S. citizens abroad who wish to vote in U.S. elections, which is available on their website.
To vote from abroad, you have to register to vote with local election officials in your state of legal (voting) residence, AND every year you have to request to receive absentee ballots. You can begin the registration process at the FVAP website.
If you’d like more information on the Federal Voting Assistance Program or need help with the absentee voting process, please visit FVAP.gov for live chat assistance; call FVAP at 1-800-438-VOTE or DSN at (425) 1584 (CONUS)/(312) 425-1584 (OCONUS); or email email@example.com. Service members: Remember, you also can contact your unit or installation voting assistance officers. And don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DoDFVAP and follow @FVAP on Twitter.
Last Minute Voting
U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not polling stations – and you cannot attend on election day to cast your vote. We are here to answer your questions about voting from abroad, and assist with forwarding your voting materials to your local electoral office in the United States.
If you have registered to vote but not received your ballot 30 days before the election, or you haven’t registered but would still like to vote, please refer to your State-specific instructions and complete a FWAB if appropriate.
Facebook Live on Overseas Voting
U.S. Consulate General Auckland, New Zealand
Message for U.S. Citizens/Nationals – Registering to Vote, 2020.
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 2020 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, professional courier service, or through U.S. Embassy Wellington or U.S. Consulate General Auckland’s diplomatic pouch. The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility. You will need to place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities.If using the diplomatic pouch, ballots can be dropped off to the American Citizens Services section at the U.S. Consulate in Auckland.
Please either mail the ballots, or deliver in person to:
U.S. Consulate General,
Level 3, Citibank Building,
23 Customs Street East,
Hours for personal delivery are 8am-4pm, Monday to Friday.
Ballots can also be delivered in person or mailed to the U.S. Embassy in Wellington. Ballot papers can be dropped off during business hours, 8am-5pm at the guard booth in Halsey Street, or addressed and mailed to:
P.O. Box 1190
Please note that all visitors to the Embassy are subject to security screening and you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility. Please note that it can take up to three weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by an embassy or consulate via diplomatic pouch. All overseas U.S. citizens are advised to submit their forms and ballots 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 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).
U.S. Consulate General Auckland, New Zealand
Citigroup Centre, 23 Customs Street East, 3rd Floor, Auckland
Business Hours Phone: +64-9-303-2724: 7:30a-4:00p M-F
After-Hours Emergency Line for U.S. citizens: +64-4-462-6000
State Department — Consular Affairs: 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
New Zealand Country Specific Information.
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security updates.
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 above. 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 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:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and New Zealand Country 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. Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand located at Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor, 23 Customs Street East, Auckland or at +64-9-303-2724, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +64-4-462-6000.
- 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).