The U.S. Embassy in Muscat is here to help you register as an absentee voter and complete your ballot for all elections during the 2016 calendar year. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website at fvap.gov is your best resource to guide you through the process.
1. Register Absentee to Request Your Ballot: To register as an absentee voter and request your absentee ballot, you must first complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) (PDF 321 KB) for 2016. You must complete a new FPCA even if you completed one before. The FPCA is your request for absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the 2016 calendar year.
The online system will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with an original signature. The Embassy can assist you in mailing your FPCA to the U.S.
The latest recommended mailing date to request your absentee ballot for the November 8 general election is August 1, 2016.
2. Receive Your Ballot: The online voting assistant will ask you how you wish to receive your absentee ballot. We encourage that you request an electronic copy of your ballot. States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office. For primary election, states generally send out ballots at least 30 days prior. In most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
You should receive your ballot for the November 8 general election no later than October 8, 2016. If you do not receive your requested ballot, use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.
3. Return Your Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can mail it free of charge at the Embassy. We can also assist with scanning and faxing, depending on what your state requires.
October 15, 2016 is the latest recommended mailing date for returning your completed ballot to your local election office in time for it to arrive by Election Day.
Mailing Instructions: Place your ballots in postage-paid envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address them to relevant local election officials.
Voters may drop off both their FPCA and completed ballots in the consular drop box in the Embassy’s visitor’s entrance. If you can’t visit the Embassy in person, a friend or colleague may drop it off for you. The visitor’s entrance is open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Sunday through Thursday.
You can also return your FPCA or ballot to local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.
The FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact US Embassy Muscat’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteMuscat@state.gov.
Your absentee vote counts. Many U.S. elections for House and Senate have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.