Message to U.S. Citizens

Location: Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

Event: The 2020 election is just around the corner – make sure your vote counts!

If you plan to vote in the November 2020 election, it is important to send your voting 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 completed ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls on Tuesday, November 3.

Never received your ballot? Complete a Federal Write-in Absentee 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 (FWAB) 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 FWAB 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 ABSENTEE BALLOT OR FWAB: 

Note that the U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail their completed ballots before Election Day and at least one week prior to your state’s deadline.  Please note that ballots received close to or on Election Day will be forwarded but may arrive too late to be counted.  We strongly recommend you submit your ballot as far in advance as possible.

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 voting by email or fax.

As a last resort, eligible voters are permitted to drop off ballots at the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv.  Ballots can be dropped off at the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or at the Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv from 8:00 AM – 2:00PM on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv will be shipping absentee ballots via DHL on October 22 and October 29 free of charge.  To ensure that your absentee ballot will make it into each DHL shipment, please drop your absentee ballot off prior to the day the shipment is scheduled to depart.

Other methods of returning your absentee ballot: 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.govfor guidance.

Have Questions?  Please contact the Embassy’s Voting Assistance Officers at JerusalemVote@state.gov or VoteTelAviv@state.gov.  You can also contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program directly if you encounter issues with local election officials by emailingVote@FVAP.gov or toll free by phone from many countries around the world.