10152018Mon
Last updateFri, 12 Oct 2018 11am

How to complete & submit your US ballot

U.S. citizens who have requested their ballots using votefromabroad.org or fvap.gov, should receive their ballots (preferably by e-mail) within the next few days.

Federal law requires states to e-mail ballots 45 days prior to an election, which is Saturday, September 22nd. If you do not receive it by then, it is strongly recommended that you call your Local Election Official (LEO) and check if your ballot request was properly received.

If you do not receive your ballot by early October (for example, October 3), you can still vote in the federal elections for U.S. House and Senate races. It is necessary to go to the same Web sites and complete a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) and submit it to your LEO’s office. If expediently done, you can take it to the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara on or before October 15 or use electronic transmissions (e.g. fax or e-mail) as per your state’s instructions.

For voters in the Lake Chapala area, the Consulate will accept voted ballots on Wednesday October 10, 9:30-10:30 a.m., at American Legion Post 7 in Chapala or 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic during their normal monthly visit. Otherwise, you have the option to send it by courier, such as UPS, DHL or FedEx.

Voters who receive their ballot can submit it to their state by electronic means if allowed. For states which require the ballot be received by mail only, it is suggested that a voter deliver it to the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara or to their staff during the October 10 visit to Lake Chapala.

Caution: You should be aware that in order to have a mailed ballot officially counted, it must be mailed from Mexico.  The Consulate stamps the ballot with a “From Mexico” imprint making it valid. Hand carry or mail forwarding methods which do not show origin in Mexico could easily be rejected in close elections by opposition staff – remember the “hanging chads”!

Finally, comments such as, “What does it matter? My vote won’t be counted anyway,” are categorically false and promulgated by some who are attempting a form of voter suppression. All states must count every ballot before each respective attorney general can certify the election.

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