Message for U.S. Citizens: Vote from Abroad and Voting Q&A on Facebook Live

Message for U.S. Citizens
August 21, 2020
Vote from Abroad and Voting Q&A on Facebook Live

The United States will hold General Elections on November 3, 2020.  There is still time to register to vote in your home state and then apply to vote by absentee ballot.  Absentee ballot application deadlines vary from a few days to three weeks before election day – depending on the state.  However, to ensure your ballot is received by the state deadline, we encourage you to apply early.

You may submit the absentee ballot application provided by your state’s election commission or take advantage of the Federal Post Card Application available on  Both applications give you the opportunity to vote in federal, state, and local elections.

The Federal Post Card Application is an application for an absentee ballot, it is not the ballot itself.  Upon submitting the Federal Post Card Application, your state’s local election commission will provide your ballot by e-mail, fax, or mail in accordance with state election law.  Whether you use the Federal Post Card Application or an absentee ballot request through your state’s election commission, your state will provide you with a ballot for your local voting precinct in the United States.

Please note that each state has specific deadlines for requesting absentee ballots, and submission of completed ballots.  Those deadlines can be found on the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at

After completing your ballot, you may have up to three options:  mail, email, or fax.  Again, depending on your state, you can email or fax it back (if your state only accepts it via fax, there are apps that can convert an email document into a fax).  These options seem to be the fastest and most direct.  But in all cases, you can mail it to the United States by dropping it off at the U.S. Embassy in Quito or the Consulate General in Guayaquil using the prepaid envelope provided through  NO POSTAGE STAMPS ARE REQUIRED, neither U.S. nor Ecuadorian.  Voting Assistance Officers in Quito and Guayaquil will personally receive the sealed ballot, affix a date stamp to indicate the date received and mail the ballot via the diplomatic pouch.  You can drop off your ballot in its prepaid envelope at the U.S. Embassy in Quito on Tuesdays between 9 a.m. and 12 noon and at the Consulate General in Guayaquil on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 12 noon.  Please make sure you check the holiday calendar for possible dates that the Consular Section might not be open.

If you have not received your ballot at least 45 days before the election, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is an emergency back-up ballot.  While the FWAB is an option for everyone, voters should first attempt to obtain their ballot from their local election commission to ensure that they can vote for all local elections and ballot initiatives.  Voters should use the write-in ballot only as a last resort.

We recommend you drop your ballot off at least 45 days before the election to ensure it arrives by your state’s deadline.

I have my ballot and pre-printed envelope, where and when can I drop it off?

You can drop off your ballot inside a pre-printed envelope at the time and locations specified below:

  • U.S. Embassy Quito
    Tuesdays between 09h00 and 12h00
  • U.S. Consulate Guayaquil
    Tuesdays and Thursdays between 09h00 and 12h00

For questions regarding voting assistance, please contact or

Facebook Live Q&A about voting from abroad

We invite you to join a Facebook Live Event for American Citizens on how to vote from abroad.  A consular officer from the U.S. Embassy in Quito will be providing information and answering questions.
Facebook Live, Friday, August 21, at 3:30 PM GMT-5.

We hope to see you there!