Election season is right around the corner! Get your ballot TODAY!

Here is an overview of everything you need to know to vote from abroad: 

  1. Registering to vote and requesting your ballot
  2. Confirming your request has been accepted
  3. Receiving your ballot
  4. Oct 1 and the ballot hasn’t arrived. 
  5. Voting your ballot
  6. Returning your ballot
  7. Checking twice to prevent mistakes
  8. Confirming your ballot's arrival
  9. What to do if you encounter difficulties

Please note that there is NO IN-PERSON VOTING in Ecuador for the November election!

  1. Registering to vote and requesting your ballot for the 2022 midterm elections

The first step is to request your ballot, and if need be, register to vote from abroad. You should do this every election year to ensure you remain on your state’s overseas voter rolls and to ensure your local election office has your up-to-date contact information. It’s important to register as an absentee voter from abroad because the ballots of US citizens voting from abroad have special protections and are different from the standard absentee ballot. 

Go to votefromabroad.org to fill out your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) absentee ballot request — it takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. Choose the option to receive ballots by email.

The second step is to submit the FPCA absentee ballot request (FPCA) to your local election office in the United States. Most states allow you to submit your FPCA directly from www.votefromabroad.org without the need to print it out. But some states require that you submit your completed form by email attachment, fax, or postal mail. State deadlines and submission methods can be found here.

If you have any questions while filling out your request form, go to the Vote from Abroad FAQ section or type your question in the website's chatbox (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen). Or you can email us at [email protected] 

Watch a video on how to use www.votefromabroad.org in English.

  1. Confirming your request has been accepted ☑️

After submitting your FPCA absentee ballot request, call or email your Local Election Official (LEO) to confirm they have received it and will be sending your ballot.

Your LEO's contact information is listed in the instructions generated when you fill out your FPCA form at Vote from Abroad. You can also look up their contact info here

Most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status. To find your state's website, click here and scroll down to “Where Is My Ballot?"

  1. Receiving your ballot 

Your FPCA absentee ballot is not your standard absentee ballot back home! Thanks to the MOVE Act, all states must send FPCA-requested absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election — this year that’s September 24, 2022

And, if requested, all states must send overseas voters their ballot by email.

You don't need to wait for ballots to arrive on September 24. Since Ecuador has no postal mail service, send in a Backup Ballot NOW. {Alternate: If you're worried your ballot won't arrive on time or you received it after October 1, send in a Backup Ballot NOW. The Backup Ballot (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot or 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 here.

 

  1. Your ballot hasn’t arrived? 

Check your spam folder. Still no ballot? Contact your local election official here and confirm they’ve sent your ballot to you. Go to www.votefromabroad.org if you need to send in a new FPCA absentee ballot request form.

If you haven’t received your ballot by October 1 and your state requires postal mail return, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot to make sure your vote gets to your state in time. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.

 

  1. Voting your ballot 🗳️

It’s easy to get informed about candidates, ballot initiatives, and judicial candidates, and important to vote your ballot completely. State and local races are critical in 2022! 

The simplest way is to vote for Democrats straight down the ballot. Some elected positions do not list a party affiliation, like school boards, judges, and others. To determine who to vote for in those cases, you can do the following: 

 

  1. Receiving your ballot 

Your FPCA absentee ballot is not your standard absentee ballot back home! Thanks to the MOVE Act, all states must send FPCA-requested absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election — this year that’s September 24, 2022

And, if requested, all states must send overseas voters their ballot by email.

You don't need to wait for ballots to arrive on September 24. Since Ecuador has no postal mail service, send in a Backup Ballot NOW. {Alternate: If you're worried your ballot won't arrive on time or you received it after October 1, send in a Backup Ballot NOW. The Backup Ballot (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot or 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 here.

 

  1. Your ballot hasn’t arrived? 

Check your spam folder. Still no ballot? Contact your local election official here and confirm they’ve sent your ballot to you. Go to www.votefromabroad.org if you need to send in a new FPCA absentee ballot request form.

If you haven’t received your ballot by October 1 and your state requires postal mail return, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot to make sure your vote gets to your state in time. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.

 

  1. Voting your ballot 🗳️

It’s easy to get informed about candidates, ballot initiatives, and judicial candidates and important to vote your ballot completely. State and local races are critical in 2022! 

The simplest way is to vote for Democrats straight down the ballot. Some elected positions do not list a party affiliation, like school boards, judges, and others. To determine who to vote for in those cases, you can do the following: 

  • Google your county's local Democratic Party
  • Go to the League of Women Voters personalized ballot service 
  • Go to Ballotpedia - Example: google “Ballotpedia Arizona elections 2022”
    • Google the candidate's name to find their campaign website

     

    1. There are lots of ways to return your ballot! 

    Ballot return methods – by email, postal mail, online, fax – vary by state. Always return your ballot as quickly as possible, but especially if your state only allows postal mail return. Find your state's exact ballot return methods here.

    If your state allows email, online upload or fax for ballot return, please use these options as they’re not subject to delay! Here is more information on fax submission.

    If your state requires postal mail return, see info below on options from Ecuador.

    New Jersey Voters: Please note that New Jersey allows for email or fax returns but requires that the ballot ALSO be sent by postal mail.

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

     

    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

     

    You should – and some states require you – to ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope. Find out your state’s requirements here

    (Remember! Only consider using any mail service if you cannot return your ballot electronically.)

     

    The U.S. Embassy/Consulate diplomatic pouch: The U.S. Embassy in Quito or U.S. Consulates Guayaquil requests that ballots sent by the diplomatic post be dropped off no later than four weeks before the ballot due date. You will need to place your ballots in U.S. postage-paid return envelopes (usually provided with your ballot) or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage. You can download a free U.S. postage-paid return envelope template at FVAP.gov.

    Please be aware that using the diplomatic pouch does not mean your ballot will arrive faster. It can take up to four weeks for the mail to reach its final destination. Use a Back-up Ballot to make the diplomatic pouch deadline if your regular ballot hasn’t arrived. Find out more here.

    (Remember! Only consider using any mail service mail if you cannot return your ballot electronically.)

    The U.S. Embassy Quito address is:

    E12-170 Avigiras Ave. and Eloy Alfaro Ave.
    Quito, Ecuador
    Phone: 593-2-398-5000

     

    U.S Consulate Guayaquil address is:

    Santa Anna St. and San Jose Eduardo Rodriguez Bonin Ave.
    San Eduardo Sector
    Guayaquil
    Phone: 593-4-371-7000

     

    Ballots can be dropped off to the American Citizens Services sections.

    • S. Embassy Quito

                Tuesdays and Thursdays between 14:30 and 16:00

    • S. Consulate Guayaquil

    Tuesdays and Thursdays between 09:00 and 12:00

    Please note that when you come to drop off your ballot you will be required to enter the premises, therefore the following guidelines will apply:

    • You may not enter with any bags and will be required to leave your phone at the security desk
    • Face masks are mandatory at all times.
    • Please maintain social distancing (6ft, 2 meters).
    • Please note that all visitors to the U.S. Mission are subject to security screen and you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, I side the facility.

     

     

     

     

    Courier Service:

    If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the quickest option is to use a courier service. 

    DA Ecuador is working to arrange with DHL a discount for ballots to be returned to the U.S. We'll share the specific details here as soon as they've been set. Stay tuned!

    Even with expedited courier services though, ballots still take several days to get to the United States. Please send your ballot as soon as possible! Do not wait! You should – and some states require you – ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope. Find out your state’s requirements here. We do not recommend booking or paying online with any courier service. You will not receive a postmark if you book or pay online.

    (Remember! Only consider using any mail service if you cannot return your ballot electronically.)

     

    1. Checking twice to prevent mistakes

    When filling out and packaging your ballot, don't forget to review the instructions carefully. Don't let human error spoil your ballot!

    Regardless of how you send in your ballot, remember that you (the voter) must be the one who places it “in the mail.” In some states, it is unlawful for any other person to handle your voted ballot, even if it is sealed.

     

    1. Confirming your ballot's arrival at your local election office in the United States

     

    Once you've sent your ballot, follow up with your local election official to make sure that it arrived and will be counted. Please do not just assume that your ballot has made it! 

    The easiest way to ensure your ballot has arrived is to go to "Track Your Ballot" on your state’s website. You can also look up your local election office's contact details here and contact them directly. They may be experiencing a high volume of calls, so you may need to be persistent to get through to someone.

     

    1. Having trouble? Need help? 😕

    We understand that the voting process from Ecuador can sometimes be confusing — that's why we're here to help! Send us an email at  [email protected] or contact [email protected] in Ecuador.