Message for U.S. Citizens: Voting Deadlines and Instructions for U.S. Citizens Voting Abroad

The November 2020 election is fast approaching!  If you are a U.S. citizen overseas, register and request your ballot today!


If you mail your ballot through the U.S. Embassy, we must receive your ballot by October 2, 2020 to ensure timely delivery.  U.S. embassies and consulates are NOT polling places.  Same-day, in-person voting is not available outside the United States. 


How do I register and request my ballot?  Go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website at  If available for your state, select the option to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax).  Mailed copies may not arrive in time.


How do I return my completed ballot?  Most states require that ballots reach state election officials before voting closes on election day (Tuesday, November 3).  Many states now allow ballots to be returned electronically, which is the best option to make sure your vote counts.  If your state requires ballots by mail, you can send them through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy’s diplomatic pouch.


Returning your ballot by mail:  Ballots sent via regular international mail are unlikely to arrive in time.  If you use the Embassy’s diplomatic pouch, print a postage paid return envelope from and drop off your ballot at the American Citizens Services section of the U.S. Embassy in Managua by October 2, 2020.  Due to COVID-related shipping delays, the Embassy cannot guarantee that ballots submitted after this date will reach election officials before state deadlines.  If you submit a paper ballot after October 2, your best option to make sure your vote arrives in time is to use a courier service such as FedEx or DHL.


Additional Questions

Most questions about voting can be answered at  You can also contact the U.S. Embassy at or at 2252-7161 during business hours.

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