The 2012 election cycle begins now. Be an active voter. Start thinking about your participation in the U.S. 2012 elections today!
The Consular Section staff is ready to assist with completing your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the form you need to complete this year to participate in the 2012 elections as an overseas absentee voter. We can provide you information about your voting rights and help ensure you are able to exercise your right to participate in upcoming local, state, and federal elections.
New absentee voting laws are in effect for the 2012 elections. You will no longer automatically receive ballots based on a previous absentee ballot request. All U.S. citizens outside the United States who want to vote by absentee ballot in the 2012 primary and general elections must complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) every year if they wish to vote from abroad. States are now required to send ballots 45 days before an election. No matter what state you vote in, you can now ask your local election officials to provide your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or by fax, depending on your state). You can now also confirm your registration and ballot delivery on-line. Be sure to include your email address on the form to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. This is the fastest and most reliable way to receive your ballot on time. We strongly recommend every overseas voter take advantage of it. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website www.fvap.gov.
Beginning January 2012, presidential primaries will be held in New Hampshire (January 10), South Carolina (January 21), Florida (January 31), Missouri (February 7), Wisconsin (February 21), Arizona (February 28), and Michigan (February 28). Other states will follow throughout the spring and summer. Voter registration deadlines for primaries are as early as January 3, 2012. Note: Participation in party presidential caucuses by overseas voters is not protected by federal law and requires in-person attendance in most cases. Contact state party officials for further information if the party you are affiliated with selects presidential nominees by caucus.
You can obtain a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP’s website, www.fvap.gov. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices. An online wizard will help you complete the form. Depending on your state’s voting requirements, you then either send in the FPCA electronically or mail it to your local election officials. To mail it, print out the completed FPCA and the (U.S.) postage-paid envelope containing the address of your local election officials. Then, the Consular Section can mail them for you. You can submit your forms or ballots to us during our normal American Service Hours (2-3:30pm) or submit them to our dropbox between 8:00 to 3:30. If you arrive between 3:30 and 5:00pm, please ask the security guards to call the Consular Section so that we may receive them.
Even if your state does not have a presidential primary in the early months of 2012, it is important that you submit a new Federal Post Card Application this and every January to receive all absentee ballots for which you are eligible. By applying early, you provide election officials sufficient time to contact you and resolve any issues with your registration/ballot request.
If you register but do not receive your State ballot thirty days before the election, you can still vote by using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballott (FWAB). The online version of the revised FWAB is available now at www.fvap.gov. The FWAB serves as a back-up ballot. Voters should still vote and return their State absentee ballot if they receive it before the election. The State absentee ballot will be counted instead of the FWAB if received by the State deadline. Voters can visit www.fvap.gov to use the online wizard or access the PDF fillable forms. The online wizard will populate the candidate names for federal elections 30 days prior to the date of the election. The FWAB is a standard form accepted by all 55 States and territories for uniformed service members and overseas voters.
Remember that your vote counts, and that 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 valid absentee ballot that reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline. Be an Educated Voter. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues is widely available and easy to obtain via numerous websites such as Project Smart Voter. 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 (email@example.com). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy Rangoon’s Consular Section: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Consular Section regrets to inform you that as of May 1, 2013, we will no longer accept FECs. We will only accept U.S. dollars (in good condition).
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