Released: December 13, 2011 - US Consulate Reminds American Voters in Bermuda About Upcoming Early Elections
THE U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL
For Immediate Release December 13, 2011
U.S. Consulate Reminds American Voters in Bermuda
about Upcoming Early Elections
New absentee voting laws are in effect for the 2012 U.S. elections. Americans abroad will no longer automatically receive ballots based on a previous absentee ballot request. All U.S. citizens outside the United States who want to vote by absentee ballot in the 2012 primary and general elections must complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) every year if they wish to vote from abroad. States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election. No matter what state you vote in, you can now ask your local election officials to provide your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). You can now also confirm your registration and ballot delivery on-line. Be sure to include your email address on the form to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. This is the fastest and most reliable way to receive your ballot on time, and we strongly recommend every overseas voter take advantage of it. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website www.FVAP.gov.
Depending on your state’s voting requirements, you either send in the FPCA electronically or mail it to your local election officials. To mail it, print out the completed FPCA and the (U.S.) postage-paid envelope containing the address of your local election officials. Be sure to affix sufficient postage and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery. Although you may bring your completed FPCA and envelope to the U.S. Consulate for mailing, please be aware that we cannot guarantee receipt to meet a state-specific registration deadline.
U.S. citizens resident in Bermuda who wish to vote in the January, February, and March 2012 presidential preference primaries (P) and primaries for state-level officials (S), such as congressmen, senators, governors, need to submit their FPCAs soon. Please see the list of early-election states below. To access a list of primary election dates later in the year, click on http://www.fvap.gov/resources/media/vaghandout1.pdf.
Register to Vote and Request a Ballot
Submit an FPCA for the following elections by going to the FVAP.gov web portal or by following the instructions in the Voting Assistance Guide, also available at FVAP.gov.
Include an email address, phone number, and/or fax number on your absentee ballot application in case your local election official needs to contact you. Many states allow you to submit your form electronically and deliver your ballot electronically or provide online ballot access. Go to FVAP.gov or your state’s election website to see how you can return your form. Find your state’s website via FVAP at http://www.fvap.gov/reference/links.html. To find out the status of your registration/absentee ballot request, contact your local election office at http://www.fvap.gov/shortcuts/wheresendfpca.html, or visit your state website.
The following early-election states allow you to submit an FPCA now for the 2012 primary. The dates shown below are the primary election dates by state:
- New Hampshire (P): January 10
- South Carolina (P): January 21
The following early-election states allow you to submit an FPCA now that will be valid through the 2012 November presidential election:
- Florida (P): January 31
- Missouri (Republican P): February 7
- Arizona (P): February 28
- Georgia (P): March 6
- Ohio (S): March 6
- Oklahoma (P): March 6
- Tennessee (P): March 6
- Virginia (P): March 6
- Alabama (P,S): March 13
- Mississippi (P,S): March 13
- Louisiana (P,S): March 24
For the following early-election states, the FPCA is valid only in the year it is submitted. To ensure your request is valid for all elections in 2012, submit an FPCA as soon as possible after December 31, 2011.
- Michigan (P): February 28
- Massachusetts (P): March 6
- Texas (P,S): March 6
- Vermont (P): March 6
- Illinois (P,S): March 20
Vote the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)
The FWAB is a backup ballot. If 30 days before the election (or longer based on your geographic location) you think you will not receive your state ballot in time to vote and return it, (especially in January primary states) vote the FWAB at FVAP.gov. The FWAB is also available at the U.S. Consulate. You may submit the FWAB any time after submitting an FPCA.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the Consulate's Voting Assistance Officer at VoteHamilton@state.gov.