Please read this whole message carefully, since it contains important information to help U.S. voters in Sweden vote this year.
Do you know when you'll be getting your ballot and how to return it? The 2020 presidential election is less than 50 days away. Don't delay!
Voting from abroad has in fact already begun. Some states have sent ballots to overseas voters already and all states will have done so by September 19.
Here's how to make sure you can vote this year:
Request Your Absentee Ballot Now: Use VoteFromAbroad.org
If you haven't already, request your absentee ballot now. Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form and send it to your local election office. Start here:
Some states require you to send your FPCA by postal mail. You need to send it as soon as possible so that you don't miss a deadline.
On the form, make sure that you select to receive your ballot by email. That way you will get your ballot much sooner.
If you've already requested your absentee ballot this year, but did not select to receive your ballot by email, simply send an updated FPCA.
Remember to follow up with your local election official to verify that you are all set and will be sent a ballot. Their contact information can be found here: www.votefromabroad.org/states
When You Get Your Ballot: Vote and Return it Right Away
All states must send ballots by September 19 that are requested via an FPCA. If you opted to receive your ballot by email, you will get it right away.
Along with your ballot, you will receive state-specific instructions for how to vote and return it. Make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully. This is extremely important, because your ballot might not be counted if something is wrong.
Then return your voted ballot as soon as possible. Each state has different deadlines and options for returning a voted ballot. Make sure you return your ballot using a method your state allows.
Here's how we recommend prioritizing the options for returning your voted ballot from Sweden:
Email / Online Upload: If your state allows you to return your ballot via email or online upload, we highly recommend doing so.
Fax: If your state does not allow ballot return by email or online upload, your second best option may be to send it by fax. A good way to do this is to use the Email-to-Fax service provided by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP.gov). Send your voted ballot and any required supporting materials by email to [email protected] using the FVAP fax transmission coversheet at: www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/coversheet.pdf. FVAP will then fax your election materials to your Local Election Official.
Courier Service: International courier services like DHL, UPS, or FedEx are currently still operating fast delivery to the United States. If your state requires you to send your ballot by postal mail, you may want to consider this option first to ensure that you meet the applicable deadline. Unfortunately, this option can be expensive. Note that if your state provides a PO box for ballot return, call or email your local election office to ask for the physical address for courier delivery. Courier services do not deliver to PO boxes.
Postal Mail: Regular international mail has frequently experienced delivery delays this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. We recommend using this option only if none of the above options apply to you. Send via tracked letter if you can. Also send a backup ballot (FWAB) today (details below).
- U.S. Embassy Diplomatic Pouch: The Embassy in Stockholm can deliver your voted ballot to the U.S. for you free of charge. However, you must drop it off in-person, and it can take six weeks or more to reach its destination. This means you could miss the deadlines, so we recommend against using this option unless all other options don't work for you. For more information, click here.
After you send in your voted ballot, be sure to verify that it was received and counted. You can contact your Local Election Official directly for confirmation. Find their contact information here: www.votefromabroad.org/states.
Use a Backup Ballot (FWAB) Today
If you vote in a state that requires you to return your ballot by postal mail, we recommend already using a backup ballot (FWAB) as soon as possible. This will ensure that your vote is counted, even if there is a postal mail delay.
The following states currently require voted ballots to be returned by postal mail:
AR, CT, GA, ID, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI
NOTE: these states could still make changes to their ballot return requirements, so double check the instructions when you get your ballot.
You should also send a backup ballot if you requested a ballot, but have not received it by September 19.
Live Voter Assistance via Zoom
Need assistance? We've got you covered.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, Democrats Abroad is offering live 1-on-1 voter assistance via Zoom.
Before you call, some frequently asked questions are answered here.
Phonebank to Get Out the Vote in Sweden
Other than voting yourself, the most effective thing you can do to make a difference right now is online phonebanking!
Will you sign up to make calls?
It's free, feels great to do, and anyone with a laptop and internet can do it from home.
We have several volunteer phonebanking training sessions coming up. Find a training time for you HERE.
THANK YOU to all the amazing volunteers in Sweden who have been making calls. Together, we've made more than 5500 calls this year!
We'll be doing more of our popular "huddles" to make calls together over the coming weeks. Look up the huddle times and RSVP here.
Thanks for taking the time to read through all that important information.
If you have questions or need to get in touch, you can email me at [email protected].
Thank you for being a member of the Democrats Abroad Sweden community and, most importantly, thank you for being a voter this year.