Message for U.S. Citizens: Returning your Ballot for the November 3 Elections

Message for U.S. Citizens
September 3, 2020
Returning your Ballot for the November 3 Elections

You now have less than 60 days until Election Day: November 3, 2020.  We recommend overseas voters return their ballots 45 days before their state’s deadline to give ample time for the ballot to reach the United States.

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 will result in your state’s election commission returning a ballot to you that will give you the opportunity to vote in federal, state, and local elections.

If you have not received your ballot 45 days before the election, you can always use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).  The FWAB is an emergency back-up ballot.  The FWAB is a fallback option, and voters should first attempt to obtain their ballot from their local election commission to ensure they can vote for all local elections and ballot initiatives.

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

Once you have obtained your ballot, you have several options to return it to your state’s election commission:

  1. E-mail or fax your ballot to your state’s election commission, if your state permits it.  See the Federal Voter Assistance Program Website for information applicable to each state.  Note that not all states allow voters to return their ballots via email or fax.
  2. Drop your ballot off at the U.S. Embassy in a postage-paid envelope provided by your state’s election commission or available on  The U.S. Embassy in Quito will receive ballots on Tuesdays between 9h00 and 12h00 and the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil will receive ballots on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9h00 and 12h00.  Please make sure you check the holiday calendar for possible dates that the Consular Section might not be open.  A voting assistance officer will receive your ballot and mail it to the United States through the diplomatic mail service.  Once in the United States, your ballot will be routed to your state’s election commission.
  3. Return your ballot via private courier company, such as DHL or FedEx, directly to your state’s election commission.  Please note if you choose this method you will assume all costs associated with returning the ballot and will not be able to use the postage paid envelope available on

U.S. citizens are advised that Ecuadorian local mail is not currently an option for sending ballots to the United States.  Per the United States Postal Service, Ecuador has suspended postal services until further notice due to the COVID-19 state of emergency.  We have no information on when or if normal local postal service will resume.

Do not mail your ballot to the U.S. Embassy or U.S. the Consulate General.  Also, please note the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate General are not polling locations.  You will not be able to cast a ballot here.  But we can receive your ballot when dropped off (during the hours noted above) AND facilitate the return of your ballot to your state’s election commission via diplomatic mail.

For questions regarding voting assistance, please contact or