Message to U.S. Citizens (October 26, 2020)
Location: Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza
Event: The U.S. General Election is November 3 – make your vote count!
November 3 is the U.S. General Election. In order for your vote to count, you must send your absentee ballot as soon as possible. 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. We encourage you to check your state’s voting requirements to determine when your absentee ballot needs to arrive.
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 your 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.
If your state requires you to either mail or fax your ballot, and you do not have access to a fax machine, you can use the Department of Defense (DoD) fax service. You can send your election materials to your election official by fax by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and FVAP will fax your election materials for you. This service is fax only. If your State accepts your election materials by email you should email them directly to your election official. FVAP will not transmit email to email transactions.
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 will occur on or before November 3 prior to payment and shipment. Check your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov for guidance.
As a last resort, eligible voters are permitted to drop off ballots until Tuesday, November 3 at the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or the 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. Both locations will be open to drop ballots off on Monday, November 2 and Tuesday, November 3.
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 emailing Vote@FVAP.gov or toll free by phone from many countries around the world.