An official website of the United States government

February 5, 2024

Your vote counts! Did you know that many U.S. federal elections for the House of Representatives 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 that 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 2024 federal U.S. elections:

1. Request your ballot

Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2024 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2024 elections.

Submitting the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted.  All local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.

You can complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov.  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.  We encourage you to request your blank ballots be delivered electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state).  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website.  The online voting assistant will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original ink signature.  If you must return a paper version, please follow the same instructions below for returning your ballot.

2. Receive and complete your ballot

States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and generally send ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

3. Return your completed ballot

While some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically, others do not.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can do so free of charge at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  Place your ballot in a postage-paid return envelope or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address them to the relevant local election officials.

For Americans in Spain or Andorra, you can get voting assistance or can drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials, at the following locations:

  • Completed voting forms or ballots may be sent through the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, by dropping them off in sealed envelopes at the American Citizens Services unit between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday except for U.S. and local holidays.
  • Completed voting forms or ballots may be sent through the U.S. Consulate General Barcelona, by dropping them off in sealed envelopes at the Consulate between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday except for U.S. and local holidays.
  • If you are sending your voting form or ballot through one of the U.S. consular agencies, send an email to the agency located closest to you to schedule an appointment to drop off the document.


You can also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.

Research candidates and issues.  Please see the FVAP links page for resources you can use to research candidates and issues.  FVAP regularly sends information about election dates and deadlines through their Voting Alerts.  Email vote@fvap.gov to subscribe or follow FVAP on Facebook or X.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov. If you are in Spain or Andorra, and have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact VoteMadrid@state.gov or VoteBarcelona@state.gov.

Remember, your vote counts!