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How to Vote from Colombia

 

If you're a U.S. citizen or dual-national abroad, and will be 18 years old on November 8 this year, you have the right to vote from abroad in the 2022 midterm elections - and every U.S. election. 

As a U.S. citizen, you can register to vote from abroad while living, working, or traveling overseas by submitting one form, the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). It doesn't matter if you were registered to vote before you left the U.S. or how long you have lived outside the U.S. (including if you've never resided there).

Below you'll find an overview of the entire process of voting from Peru including how to:

  1. Register and Request a Ballot
  2. Confirm and Receive a Ballot
  3. Vote and Return a Ballot
  4. Track a Ballot

Questions along the way? Contact [email protected] at any point! 

 

1.  Register to vote and request your ballot

Visit VotefromAbroad.org to fill out your absentee ballot request, also known as the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)— it only takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA serves as a voter registration form as well. Be sure to choose the option to receive your ballot via email

Every state has different submission rules and deadlines! 

Your state’s can be found at Your State Rules  and on the VotefromAbroad.org homepage.  

If you have any questions while filling out the form, you can refer to FAQs, also on the homepage.  If you don’t find your answer listed there,  click the online  Voter Help Desk’s red circle at the bottom right and type in your question.  Or email: [email protected]



2.  Confirm your request has been accepted and that you will receive a ballot

You should always verify with your local election official that you will be receiving a ballot. After you submit your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) request form, if they don’t send you a confirmation of receipt right away, call or email your local election official to verify they received it and will be sending a blank ballot to you. You can look up their contact information  at  Your State Rules

The contact information is also listed in the instructions generated when you complete the FPCA on VotefromAbroad.org. Alternatively, most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status, although these sites can sometimes be outdated and are not aimed at abroad voters; You can find it by searching for "[state] verify voter registration."

By  federal law pertaining to overseas voters, all states must send absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election (MOVE Act). This year: September 24, 2022.

--->  Tip:  For states requiring mail back ballots, you don't need to wait for ballots to come out on September 24. If you must mail back your ballot, we recommend sending in a Federal Write-In Ballot (FWAB) NOW as a backup! This allows you to use a quicker and more economical method of mail, courier, or embassy/consult delivery (see below in section 3). If you then receive your state’s complete official  ballot in time to mail  or courier it back, you can do so! Your FWAB ballot will be superseded by your state’s ballot - you will not be voting twice!  

The FWAB is specifically for overseas voters who are concerned they won't receive their official ballot in time to return it by the deadline. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found in FAQs Here

You can easily fill out online and download a  FWAB backup ballot at:  FWAB backup ballot ONLINE  or download and fill out by hand online here: FWAB backup ballot

When it's time for ballots to come and you don't see yours, check your spam folder - ballots can hide in there! If you still don't see it, contact your local election official and confirm they sent your ballot out. Remember, you can look up your local election oficial’s contact info at Your State Rules

If you don't have your ballot by October 1 and you must mail it back, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot to make sure your vote gets to your state in time.  See details above. 

 

3.  Vote and Return your ballot

Return your ballot ASAP via the easiest and quickest  option available for your state!

Because ballot return methods vary by state, carefully check your state’s guidelines on return via online upload, email, fax, or postal mail at Your State Rules.  If  your state only allows postal mail return you must return your ballot as quickly as possible! See mail-return options below. 

--->  Tip:  New Jersey Voters - Please note that New Jersey allows for email or fax returns, but also requires that the ballot be sent by postal mail as well. 

--->  Tip: New York Voters - Here are instructions on How to fold the New York State General Election ballot.

 

Returning your ballot via online upload or email

Bingo! If your state allows, these are the easiest, fastest options. Use these! 

(Note that DA continually works with individual state representatives to promote legislation that would allow these option for all states. )

Returning your ballot via fax

If you don’t have a fax machine or international fax service isn’t easily available, you can use an Email-to-Fax service! The Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) offers one free. Simply download an FVAP Transmission Cover Sheet; fill it out and EMAIL it along with your completed ballot to [email protected]; they will convert your email to a fax and fax it to your local election office as listed on  your Cover Sheet. 

Other free Email-to-Fax services are available online; two are:

HelloFax allows you to send up to 5 pages for free.

FAX.PLUS allows you to send up 10 pages for free.

Note: If you wait until too close to November 8th, the FVAP service will get busy and they won’t be able to guarantee your faxed ballot will arrive by your state’s deadline; it would then be best to use an alternate service. 

Returning your ballot via mail

If your state requires postal mail ballot return, your options are :

Post Office

Use your local post office IF you have reliable postal service in your area! and IF you are sending your ballot back early enough to allow time for delivery to your local election office in the states. Be sure to add international postage to your Postage Paid envelope. 

Courier Service

Courier service is a more reliable and timely option, but of course more costly. For fees, hours,  and locations nearest you, contact the main offices listed: 

FedEx: Carrera 8 No. 12 B-62, Bogota; 601.291.01.00

UPS: Bogota: Tel. 01 8000 189 961

DHL: Central Office: Calle 9 #37A Local 1-186, Bogotá; 57 (1) 7477777

  • DHL: Cra. 15 # 119 – 48 local 101 cerca a Unicentro, Bogotá; 57 310 2097887
  • DHL: Cl. 14 #52-12, Medellín, Guayabal, Medellín, Antioquia; 57 310 2097547
  • DHL: Calle 23 D No 5AN - 18, Av. Estación, Cali, Valle del Cauca; 57 310 2097658
  • DHL: el Triangulo, Av. Santander #55 44 Sector, Manizales, Caldas; 57 310 2097543
  • DHL: Cra. 14 #11 Norte - 95, Armenia, Quindío; 57 310 2097529
  • DHL: Cabecera, Cra. 35 #53-18, Bucaramanga, Santander; 57 76973134

Servientrega (International): Calle 64 G # 89a - 83m, Bogotá; (571)291 6300 - 291 6320; [email protected]

Note: Can be a more economical option though not as reliable as the others. 

--->  Tip: Family members whose ballots are in separate postage-paid envelopes and both addressed to the same local election office may use one courier delivery package.

Important: You must ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope when mailing using any service.

--->  Tip:  Check your state’s deadline for ballot return and count backwards to ensure timely delivery. The postmark date is important to ensure your ballot is counted!

--->  Tip:  Even with expedited courier services, ballots still take several days to get to the United States.

 

Diplomatic pouch delivery from the US Embassy in Bogota:  

Voters in Colombia can drop their ballots off at the U.S. Embassy at Carrera 45 No. 24B-27, Bogotá. There will be a ballot drop box located in the security hut at the main entrance; Simply drop off your ballot in the sealed, postage-paid  envelope provided with your ballot (or in an envelope containing sufficient U.S. postage) addressed to your local election office, and the Embassy will provide diplomatic pouch delivery of your ballot to the U.S.; once in the U.S., your ballot will be sent via the US Postal Service to your destination as addressed. Please note that total transit time between the Embassy and your local voting district may take up to 20 days, so it is recommended to drop off your ballot as soon as possible. 

Note: Despite the Embassy’s 20 day delivery time provided, due to time constraints and the volume of ballots expected to impact the US Postal Service, DA does not recommend using the diplomatic pouch after Oct. 4th.  

 

Regardless of how you send your ballot

--->  Tip:  Know that it is unlawful in some states for a second party to handle your voted ballot, even if it is sealed. To ensure lawful ballot return, you the voter, should place your voted ballot in the mail, provide to the courier,  or hand in for the diplomatic pouch. Alternatively, contact [email protected] to find out if your state is one that disallows second party handling of voted ballots.  

 

4.  Track your ballot

Once you've mailed your ballot, follow up with your local election official to make sure that it arrived and will be counted. Nearly all states have online tracking services. To find your state's website, go to Your State Rules  and scroll down to "Track Your Ballot." On the same web page, you can also look up your local election office's contact details and contact them directly. If they are experiencing an influx of calls or emails, you may need to remain persistent, but this can be the most direct and reliable way to track your ballot. 

--->  Tip:  Know that voter error is the main cause of ballot rejection! 

Having trouble? Need help?

We understand that the voting process from abroad can be confusing — that's why we're here to help. Send an email to  [email protected]    

 

Download your sticker! Share with your friends!  

 I Voted From Colombia



REVIEW OF KEY POINTS FOR VOTING

  • Request your overseas ballot now! www.votefromabroad.org 
  • Check the option (on the request form) that your ballot be sent to you by email!
  • Submit your request form online or by email, if your state allows; unfortunately, some states require you to mail your request.   
  • If your state allows you to return your voted ballot electronically – do it!  (By email, upload, or fax).
  • If your state requires you to mail back your ballot:
    • Request your ballot now so you’ll receive it on Sept 24 when counties start sending overseas ballots out (45 days before the election)
    • Download and vote your ballot immediately!
    • Use your embassy or consulate’s diplomatic pouch (by Oct 2nd) or use a courier service to send it back.
  • Track your request form and your ballot.
  • Questions?  [email protected] 



Need help scanning your ballot?

 Watch this video on how to scan using your smartphone.

If you don't have a scanning app on your phone, you can use Adobe Scan mobile app for iPhone & Android

 


Annual General Meeting (AGM) April 15, 2021

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is just two weeks away! On Thurs. April 15, 2021 at 6:00 pm where all Democrats Abroad Colombia volunteers are invited to join virtually to become informed on the latest Democrats Abroad Colombia highlights over the past year and look to the future of our chapter here in Colombia. We have a lot to be proud of and all credit goes to all of our members like you! Please click HERE to sign up for the AGM and receive the link to the meeting.

 During our meeting, we will also be holding our Executive Committee elections for 2021-2023! Below we present to you the four open positions and the corresponding nominees for this next cycle. Take a moment to read their brief bios and purpose statements for running for office. Please support your candidates and Democrats Abroad Colombia as we select new leadership by filling out the electronic ballot through this link.

 You may vote for all positions. Your electronic signature will be your name and contact information as indicated, so please fill out the form completely and SUBMIT.

 It takes all of a minute to send in your vote and you have until Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm (CST) to send it in, so make sure to get your vote in! We will announce the votes at the Annual General Meeting.

 Thanks to all our wonderful and talented nominees who are equally excited and committed to bringing out the best for Democrats Abroad Colombia.

 Sincerely,

Monica Gonzalez
Andrew Fischer
Nominations and Elections Committee

Nominees

Chair Nominee
Quyen Nguyen

I am an Iowa voter and I have lived in Colombia for four years with my Colombian partner who is a Bogotá city councilor. I have a consulting business in which I guide undergraduate and graduate students through the admissions process. I also teach courses on inclusive leadership to undergraduate business students at el CESA.

I have been honored to serve as your chair since 2019, and hope I can continue to lead DA Colombia in this capacity. Since I have been in this role, we have achieved many great things. Here are just a few:

  • Built a team of over 2 dozen volunteers who helped us get Biden and other Democrats into office
  • Hit the highest membership growth rate of any country committee in the Americas
  • Hit nearly 70% engagement with our members for the 2020 elections
  • Had the highest percentage of compliance (over 99%) in the Americas for database management

 

I am very proud that DA Colombia has become a globally recognized country chapter, and I hope we can spend the next two years continuing to build on and carry out this work together.

 

Vice Chair Nominee
Jimmy Colon

My name is Jimmy Colon. I was born in Newark, New Jersey but was raised in Puerto Rico.

I graduated from high school at Florida Ari Academy. I earned my Bachelor of Arts - Accounting Magna Cum Laude Honors (Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, USA)  and got my Master of Arts. International Studies-Economics at  Ohio University, Ohio. USA.

I am 100% bilingual with more than 20  years of experience working at multinational companies, holding positions from Financial Manager / Controller and General Manager.

I best describe myself as a positive, well-organized and highly result-oriented individual who can work under pressure with an outgoing personality.

I command good communication skills at multiple organizational levels and have Managed work in a dynamic environment with the ability to handle conflicts (Internal / external) and create win/win situations.

I view myself as an analytically minded person with strong negotiation skills, openness to change and the ability to overcome obstacles thinking out of the box.

 My motivation to run as Vice-Chair- Democrats Abroad,  Colombia Chapter, is to contribute my knowledge and experience by proactively engaging the membership base via open debate and activities as well as achieving a 15% increase in the membership base.

 

Secretary Nominee
Sydney Slotkin

I would be honored to be your new Secretary of Democrats Abroad Colombia. Originally joining as a member in 2018, I became an active volunteer in 2020 and co-led DA Colombia’s first GOTV and phone banking campaigns to meet our goal in registering and supporting voters. In 2021 I also joined the Global Youth Caucus Steering Committee where I hope to encourage young voters to become more involved with the organization.  

I grew up in New York where I vote today and studied at American University in Washington, DC. I originally moved to Medellin in 2012 to teach English and achieve Spanish fluency. I extended my time here to work with the Colombian Ministry of Education’s Colombia Bilingue project where I worked in Valledupar and Medellin. I currently live in Bogota with my partner where I work remotely as a Global Operations Manager leading my team in the Americas.

After increasing membership last year, I see the next 2 years as a time to define our goals as a young chapter and support members between election cycles. In addition to being hardworking and passionate, my experience streamlining and implementing processes and programs will help DA Colombia’s goals become a reality.

I hope to gain your support and to meet you all in person or virtually soon!

 

Treasurer Nominee
Carolina Carter

I am a US citizen that has lived in Colombia on and off for many years and am interested in and follows political developments in both the United States and Colombia. I am particularly passionate about protection of women's sexual and reproductive rights, gender diversity and identity rights, and migrants’ rights. I have a degree in Political Science from Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala and a master’s degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. After returning to Colombia in 2010, I worked in monitoring and evaluation for the operator of the USAID human rights program and for the past eight years have been working at an international NGO dedicated to transitional justice.

 I served as Vice Chair and Chair of Democrats Abroad Colombia in 2010-11 and have been treasurer for the past two years. The Executive Committee and our magnificent group of volunteers did an incredible job last year in increasing membership and conducting a successful Get Out the Vote campaign. I would like to continue to be a part of this team and contribute to the work of Democrats Abroad globally and in Colombia. I ask for your vote to re-elect me as treasurer so that we can carry on this work together!


Dems Abroad Colombia September Newsletter

 

 

Dear Friend, 

We are now 45 days away from the elections, and there is no time to waste! 

If you elected to receive your ballot by email, you should receive it by Saturday, September 19 (not sure whether or not you did? Chat with someone for help on votefromabroad.org). If you must send your ballot back by postal mail, please send it by Monday, September 21 to ensure it gets back to the U.S. on time! You can save tons of money by sending it back through the U.S. Embassy (more on that below). 

We are still always looking for volunteers for the global network and DA Colombia (respond to this email for more info). If you don’t have time to volunteer but still want to help in other ways, consider the following:

  • Stay informed by following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter and by reading our newsletters—then re-share this info with others.
  • Ask 5 friends to join Democrats Abroad Colombia.
  • Donate $20.20 for the 2020 elections. Each dollar you give helps us reach four more potential voters!
  • Join caucuses to get more involved with special communities you’re passionate about. 

Your vote counts. If you haven’t registered to vote or requested your ballot yet, don’t worry. There is still time if you do it right away. If you encounter any issues along the way, don’t give up—we are here to help you exercise your right to vote. 

Democratically yours,
Quyen Nguyen
Chair, Democrats Abroad Colombia


Need help registering to vote? Join us for 1:1 help on Sundays or chat with someone on votefromabroad.org

ballot box

Ballots officially are sent out on September 19. Fill it out and do not waste time- send it back to your local board of elections ASAP. Sept 19 is 45 days from November 3 or 6 weeks away!  We’ve done some homework and here’s what we know.

If you MAIL in your ballot (OPTION 1):

  • The US Embassy (Bogotá) and Consulate (Barranquilla) can deliver your ballot (or voter registration packet).
  • It is FREE.
  • Your ballot or voter registration packet MUST be in a sealed, addressed and postage-paid envelope.
  • You can in-person drop off your ballot or registration packet OR you can mail it to the US Embassy or Consulate (see mailing address below).
  • Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.
  • You are not able to track mail delivery via this method.

If you MAIL in your ballot (OPTION 2):

  • Several private courier services offer international delivery including: Deprisa, FedEx, DHL, and 472.
  • This method includes tracking for mail delivery.
  • Delivery time can approximately range 4-6 business days.
  • This method does incur a cost. Approximate quotes we've received are $120,000~$220,000. 

Should you opt to send your ballot through the US Embassy or Consulate, bear in mind the time lapse of sending your ballot or registration packet. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to send your ballot or registration packet as soon as you can to allow for on-time delivery. Remember, Sept. 19 is already 6 weeks away from Nov 3. 

Contact us with any questions, challenges, or experiences you want to share at [email protected] or via messaging our Facebook or Instagram accounts. We can help you make a plan to get your ballot in.

How do I send my ballot to the U.S. from Colombia?

Get your ballot to the U.S.

Private Couriers


FEDERAL WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOT (FWAB)

If for any reason, you do not receive your ballot (having registered and requested one) and the time is ticking, you can mail in the FWAB. This ballot serves as a back-up ballot. It is official and counts. You can find an FWAB at https://www.votefromabroad.org/fwab/

Once you mail this in, you do not need to send in the other ballot should it come in later. We do recommend, as with the state ballot, follow up. Contact your local election office. Check in with friends and family as well to ensure they are doing the same.

----

DA Colombia
http://www.democratsabroad.org/

 

P.S. - Click below to let us know your current voting status!

How to return your 2020 ballot to the US from Colombia

The least expensive option for returning your ballot is to send in or drop off your ballot to the US Embassy in Bogotá or the US Consulate in Barranquilla. Your envelope needs to have a US stamp or postage paid. Please allow as much time as possible - we recommend four to six weeks!
 
 
US Embassy - Bogotá
Mailing address:
Att: Voting Assistance Officer
Cra. 45 No. 24b-27
Bogotá D.C
Colombia 11132
In-person drop-off: Monday-Friday 2pm-4pm
 
US Consulate - Barranquilla
Mailing address:
American Citizen Services
Calle 77b 57-141 Suite 511
Barranquilla, Colombia
In-person drop-off: Monday- Friday 8am-5pm
 
If you want to have the ability to track your ballot and can spend more, use a private courier, e.g. DHL, FedEx, Deprisa, Servientrega. This can cost from COP120,000 to COP220,000.
 
 
If none of these options will work for you, please get in touch with us, and we’ll help you make a plan! 

DA Colombia Intro


HOW TO VOTE FROM COLOMBIA


WELCOME TO DEMOCRATS ABROAD COLOMBIA!

Are you a U.S. citizen, a Democrat, and living in Colombia? Get involved with Democrats Abroad Colombia (DA CO), the official country committee for Democrats Abroad. The first step is to click on JOIN/SIGN IN in the upper right-hand corner of this page. This will add you to our mailing list and ensure that you are included in the official count of Americans living abroad around the world, which determines how many representatives we can send to the Democratic National Convention. 

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@demsincolombia) for voting information and announcements of meetings and events. If you're interested in volunteering, hosting an event, or helping to get out the vote, please fill out this interest survey and we’ll get back to you!

Contact: [email protected]