Ask the Consul, U.S. Embassy Bridgetown – ‘Last Minuter Absentee Voting Advice’
- Who can vote absentee?
Generally, all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who are or will be residing outside the United States during an election period are eligible to vote absentee in any election for federal office. This year’s general election will include all the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the seats in the U.S. Senate. Some states also allow overseas voters to vote in elections for state and local offices, as well as for state and local referenda. Voting eligibility and residency requirements are determined by the individual U.S. states. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website for more information: www.FVAP.gov.
- Are you a U.S. citizen who has not yet received your absentee ballot?
You do not have to wait for your state-issued absentee ballot to vote. If you have applied for an absentee ballot from your state of residence but did not receive it, please visit www.FVAP.gov to complete a federal write-in absentee ballot.
Write in the candidates of your choice and deliver it in person or by mail in a sealed, addressed envelope to the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados. Please note that the federal write-in absentee ballot will permit you to vote in elections on the national level only. It will not include referenda or elections for state or local-level officials.
- What if I receive my absentee ballot after submitting my federal absentee ballot?
Fill it out and send it back immediately. Local election officials only count one ballot per voter, and will count the state-issued ballot first, provided it is received prior to your state’s deadline. The federal write-in absentee ballot will be counted only if the regular ballot does not reach your local election official by the state deadline. Submitting your state-level ballot after your write-in ballot will not invalidate your vote. For more information about your state election official and relevant deadlines, please visit: http://www.fvap.gov/map.html.
- I have questions. How can I contact the Embassy?
The most thorough source of information about all American Citizens Services in the Eastern Caribbean, as well as local contact information, can be found at http://barbados.usembassy.gov. Additionally, U.S. Embassy Bridgetown’s Voting Assistance Officer can be contacted with any last-minute questions at BridgetownACS@state.gov.