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Ask the Consul: Absentee Voting

Ask the Consul: Absentee Voting

24 September 2012 U.S. Consulate Messages 3

September 2012: Absentee Voting in Yucatan

As election time approaches, many Americans ask for advice on overseas voting. The most important steps are to a) register and b) request an absentee ballot. The easiest and fastest way to accomplish this is to go to the website for the Federal Voting Assistance Program. If the link does not work, simply enter “www.fvap.gov” into your browser. The application will display two choices, one for military personnel stationed overseas and one for U.S. Citizens living overseas. Click on the appropriate “Get Started” button and follow the prompts. Once you complete the process, you should receive your ballot.

Note that each state has its own requirements and, if you fail to follow them completely, your election officials may discard your vote. Pay close attention to your state’s voting requirements, especially registration, voting procedures and deadlines. People who have lived overseas for an extended period frequently ask in which state they should register. If you do not currently have a U.S. address, use your most recent address as the appropriate state. If you have never lived in the U.S., use your parent’s address as the appropriate state. Do not have your ballot sent to Consulate General Merida. The Consulate cannot accept personal mail, including ballots.
Once you have completed your ballot, you may bring it to Consulate General Merida for delivery to the U.S. Unless you use the postage free envelope that many states provide, you must apply the appropriate U.S. domestic postage. You can purchase U.S. postage online; it is not available in Merida. The Consulate will accept ballots between 8:00AM and 12:00 noon, Monday through Friday. You do not need an appointment. It will take two to three weeks for your ballot to reach the United States address, so please plan ahead.

If you live on the Riviera Maya, you may deliver your ballot to one of the Consular Agencies in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Cozumel. We strongly advise you to check office hours and make an appointment with the appropriate Consular Agency. It will take three to four weeks for the ballot to reach the United States destination.

If you do not receive your ballot within 45 days of your state’s voting deadline, you may go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program webpage and print the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). This ballot requires the voter to write in the names of the voter’s preferred federal candidates. Some, but not all, states accept the FWAB for state officials but, again, the voter must write in the candidates’ names.

For more information, read Overseas Voting Information on the Consulate website. You may also visit the Consulate website to read the most Recent Messages about Overseas Voting.

Comments

  • Working Gringos 4 years ago

    Susun, we would suggest that you call the consulate directly... perhaps they can help.

  • Susun Wilkinson 4 years ago

    I have spent a month trying to get my ballots from the state of Georgia. 8 e-mails, 4 international calls, 2 international faxes later, I finally have my ballot. However, we were told that if we do not mail it back in a 9 1/2 by 4 1/8" envelope, our ballot will more than likely be rejected. Are you kidding me? 3 office supply stores later and we have yet to find any such thing. When we lived in Belize, the consulate mailed our ballots for us. Maybe because there is no mail service there, but I do not understand, why the consulate here would not provide this service, even if we had to pay the postage.

  • Merida Mikey 5 years ago

    I've been going round and round with the Florida Supervisor of Elections in the county where I prreviously resided. Pinellas County mails their absentee ballots on October 2nd. I finally convinced a supervisor that I would not have time to receive my ballot and mail it in in time. Supposedly, they are going to send me a ballot via e-mail on October 2 which I can print out, fill out, sign and take to the Consulate.

    In this article, the Consulate says allow two to three weeks for mailing. My question is this: HOW MUCH HELP IS THAT!?! I can use the local mail and get equal or faster sevice.

    I will find an alternate method as I want my vote to count this election. I just had high hopes that the Consulate could come up with something better than what they are offering.

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