Voting Message for U.S. Citizens – Don’t Let the Elections Pass You By

U.S. Embassy Madrid, U.S. Consulate General Barcelona (September 29, 2020)

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 Spain and Andorra please see our website https://es.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/voting/.  For general overseas voting information please see the Department of State’s web site 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 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 Embassy in Madrid or the Consulate General in Barcelona 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 at the Embassy in Madrid or the Consulate General in Barcelona, 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.

  1. Go to the Consular Section entrance of the U.S. Embassy Madrid with your FPCA or voted ballot, weekdays between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm; or go to U.S. Consulate General Barcelona entrance, weekdays between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.
  2. Announce you would like to drop off voting materials.
  3. Present suitable ID (preferably a U.S. passport).
  4. Present the sealed registration or ballot.
  5. The ballot will be screened (but not opened) by security.
  6. In Madrid, you can drop-off the ballot at the marked clear box located right after you go through security, but before you enter the actual building. In Barcelona, once you have cleared security, you will be directed to enter the consulate to drop off the ballot at the box located near the receptionist. Currently due to COVID-19 restrictions, we ask that you do not proceed into the consular waiting room, unless you have an appointment.

If you are sending your ballot through one of the consular agencies in Spain, immediately send an email to the agency located closest to you to schedule an appointment. You must contact your nearest consular agency as soon as possible, as any ballots submitted through a consular agency must first be couriered to Madrid to be sent in the diplomatic pouch. To arrive in Madrid before the recommended October 2 deadline, ballots must be submitted to a consular agency by September 30.”

 Missed the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General recommended 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 Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot by email or fax.  Review your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov carefully for guidance.

 Returning your ballot by international mail delivery.  If using Spain’s postal system, be sure to affix correct 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.

 Need help?  You can get in-person assistance from our Embassy or Consulate General Voting Assistance Officers or private U.S. citizen volunteers at the following event(s):  Please review this video of a live Q&A which was held by consular officers from Consulate General Barcelona for answers to many questions about overseas voting.

Have Questions?  Please contact Embassy Madrid’s Voting Assistance Officer at +34 91 587 2200, or Consulate General Barcelona’s Voting Assistance Officer at +34 93 280 2227, or via email at VoteMadrid@state.gov or VoteBarcelona@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 and learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website at www.FVAP.gov.