Event: U.S. Mission Nigeria Accepting Mail-in Ballots
All U.S. citizens living abroad are encouraged to exercise their right to vote. The U.S. General Election is only 60 days away and will take place on November 3, 2020.
Please follow easy steps below to ensure your vote is counted in a timely fashion:
- Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP.gov. You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2020 to ensure you receive a ballot for every federal election for which you are eligible throughout the 2020 election cycle. The completion of 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 FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.
You can use FVAP’s easy online assistant to walk you through the FPCA at FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. It is important to remember that your voting residence address listed on the FPCA must be an address in the United States. Placing an overseas address in Section 2 of the form may automatically disqualify you. We encourage you to select the option for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state) as this is the fastest way for you to get your ballot. Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA to your election office per the instructions on the website. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state accepts the FPCA by email, mail, or fax. If you must mail your FPCA, please see below for mailing options. Each state has different deadlines for voter registration and ballot request, and many of these deadlines are fast approaching.Please take note of your state’s deadlines and mail your FPCA no later than 4 weeks prior to that deadline.
Important note: In some states, U.S. citizens who were born abroad — and have never resided in the United States — are eligible to vote absentee. If your state is not listed as one of these, please contact your election office to check whether you are eligible. In most instances, a U.S. citizen who has never resided in the United States but is 18 years or older can use the address where their U.S. citizen parent was last domiciled.
- Fill out your ballot when it arrives: When your ballot arrives electronically or via courier mail, fill it out according to the enclosed directions. States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
- Send in your ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, free of charge.
Sending through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate: If you are sending your ballot through the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or Consulate General in Lagos, ballots can be dropped off at the front security entrance on a walk-in basis Monday – Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. You do not need an appointment or identification to drop off your ballot. For security reasons, please do not seal the envelope until you have been screened by security. Ballots must be addressed to local election offices and placed in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. domestic postage so they may be delivered to the proper local election authorities. Postage from Nigeria to the United States is not required using this method.
Please note that it can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent through the Embassy or Consulate. Therefore, the deadline to submit your ballots to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate is Monday, October 5, 2020. If you miss this deadline, U.S. citizens still have the option to send the ballot via international courier services such as UPS and FedEx.
Please note that all visitors to the Embassy and Consulate are subject to security screening. Anyone entering the security perimeter is required to wear a face mask. People with symptoms of COVID19 will be prohibited from entering.
Sending through international courier services: The U.S. Mission in Nigeria has coordinated with UPS, FedEx, DHL to accept mail in ballots nationwide. UPS has offered a discounted shipping rate for mail-in ballots.
Please note: Although FedEx, through their local partners RedStar Express, will accept mail in ballots, they are unable to ship to a P.O. box. Please review your voting office mailing address to determine the mailing address.
For more information on residential pickups or drop off locations, please contact RedStar Express and DHL using the information below:
Phone: +2348165989915 or +2348038072449
Any registered U.S. citizen voter who requests an absentee ballot by their state’s deadline but has not received it at least 30-days before the election, can vote via returned Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is an emergency backup ballot that can be completed using an online assistant and/or via a PDF at: https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fwab2013.pdf.
To learn more about the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and review Frequently Asked Questions, please visit https://www.fvap.gov/guide/appendix/faq.