The Best Way to Return Your Ballot (by Oct 2)

Federal law requires states to send overseas voters their ballots by September 19. That means it is time to start planning how to return your ballot back to your state in time for it to be counted, since the official mail-in deadline may not allow for sufficient time for international mail service.

The government's recommendation is to ensure your overseas ballot is received by the local embassy or consulate (or sent via international mail) for mailing no later than October 2.

If you have the option, we strongly encourage you to return your ballot electronically. For those states that offer a fax return option, you may wish to use an online fax service.

The following options are suggested for those who must return their ballot by mail

1. Using the list below, identify your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. Place your completed ballot in a postage-paid envelope addressed to your local election officials. The postage-paid envelope can be printed from the FVAP website. Then, place the sealed envelope in a separate envelope, addressed to the embassy/consulate with the words “VOTING MATERIAL ENCLOSED” printed on the front of the envelope. 

You may then mail your ballot to the embassy or consulate. Alternately, if you live in or can travel to Brasilia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador or Porto Alegre, you may make an appointment to drop your ballot off in person.

U.S. Embassy Brasilia
SES – Av. das Nações, Quadra 801, Lote 03,
70403-900 – Brasilia, DF
Ballots can be mailed or dropped off with an appointment on Mondays and Fridays.

U.S. Consulate General São Paulo
Rua Henri Dunant 500, Chacara Santo Antonio,
04709-110 – São Paulo, SP. 
Ballots can be mailed or dropped off with an appointment on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

U.S. Consulate General Rio de Janeiro
Avenida Presidente Wilson, 147 (Rua Mexico entrance) – Centro,
20030-020 – Rio de Janeiro, RJ.   
Ballots can be mailed to the consulate or dropped off in the consular waiting room without an appointment, during working hours (9:00am to 4:00pm) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  

Consular Agency Salvador 
Av. Tancredo Neves, 1632
Sala 1401 - Salvador Trade Center - Torre Sul
Caminho das Árvores
41820-020 - Salvador, BA
Ballots can be mailed or dropped off with an appointment, which can be scheduled by contacting [email protected].  

U.S. Consulate General Recife 
Rua Goncalves Maia, 163, Bairro Boa Vista,
50070-125 – Recife, PE.  
Recife is accepting ballots by mail only.

U.S. Consulate General Porto Alegre
Rua Bezerra de Menezes, 82, Passod’Areia,
91350-130 – Porto Alegre, RS.  
Ballots can be mailed or dropped off by appointment, which can be scheduled by contacting [email protected].  

2. Mail via an international courier service like DHL or FedEx.

If you have not received your ballot by the end of September, vote using a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot. This serves as a backup in case your official state ballot does not reach the US in time.

Any overseas voter is entitled to fill out and send in a FWAB.

  1. Fill out your FWAB here
  2. Print the form.
  3. Send it in using one of the above-mentioned options.

Note that if your state ballot does arrive after you have mailed the FWAB in, you can mail it in as well and your FWAB will be discarded if both are received in time. There is no penalty or risk of double voting.

Should you need any assistance in filling out or returning your ballot, contact us at: [email protected]