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Voting Information
 

The Consular Section assists Americans in Sri Lanka and the Maldives to vote at federal elections. For voting assistance or questions, please visit www.fvap.gov or email votecolombo@state.gov or telephone 011-249-8686.

VOTING FROM ABROAD IN 2016 U.S. ELECTIONS

Your vote counts!  Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters? All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline. 

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2016 U.S. elections:

1.     Request Your Ballot:  Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).   You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2016 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2016 elections.  Completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which the FPCA is submitted.  The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. 

You may complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov.  The online form will ask you questions specific to your state.   On that form we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by e-mail, Internet download or fax, depending on your state).  Include your e-mail address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the Web site.  FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically, or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

2.     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.  For most states, you may confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

3.     Return Your Completed 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, you may do so free of charge at the U.S. Embassy.

To mail your paper voting forms or ballots from the U.S. embassy, place your ballots in a postage-paid return envelope or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address them to your relevant local election officials. 

You may drop these items off at the U.S. Embassy security gate office at 210 Galle Road in Colombo 3 from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for delivery to the U.S. via the embassy’s Diplomatic Pouch.  Please note that pouch mail may take an average of three weeks to reach their destination in the United States.     

If it is more convenient for you, you may also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via direct international mail or professional courier service at your own expense, rather than through the embassy.

Researching Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that may aid your research of candidates and issues.  Non-partisan information about candidates, voting records and positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain on-line.  You may also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the Internet to locate articles and information.  For additional information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP's Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov).  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Web site, FVAP.govIf you have questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Embassy Colombo’s Voting Assistance Officer at 011-249-8686, or at votecolombo@state.gov

Remember, your vote counts!

 

 

 

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