Important Voting Information for US Citizens

U.S. Embassy Lilongwe, Malawi

Message for U.S. Citizens

Final Opportunities to Return Voted Ballots

Embassies and consulates are not polling places. Don’t wait, return your voted ballot right away!

The majority of states require voted ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls on Tuesday, November 6th. U.S. citizens who want to participate in the 2018 U.S. elections should already have returned their absentee ballots to their local election officials. U.S. embassies and consulates are not polling places; same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States.

Never received your ballot? If you have registered to vote and requested your absentee ballot prior to your state’s registration and absentee ballot request deadlines but have not yet received your ballot, you should immediately complete and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to ensure your vote reaches election officials by your state’s deadline. If your regular ballot arrives later, go ahead and complete and return it as well. Your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot will only be counted if your regular ballot does not reach local election officials by your state’s deadline. Your vote will not be counted twice.

The final date to return your voted paper ballot to your local election officials for the November 6th election is October 15, 2018. If you wish to drop off your voted ballot, you can do so at the main entrance of the U.S. Embassy Lilongwe at any time and the consular section will return it to the United States via unclassified pouch.  If you need voting assistance, the consular section is available Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 am – 12 pm noon and Fridays from 8 am – 10 am.

Ballots not sent to local election officials by our embassy shipment deadline? If you wish to participate in this election and have not yet sent your ballot to your local election officials by the U.S. Embassy Lilongwe drop off deadline listed above, you should consider returning your ballot to the United States via an express courier service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL or electronically if allowed by your state. Ballots sent to local election officials via express courier service do not receive standard postmarks, so voters using this method should confirm delivery on or before November 6th prior to payment and shipment. Check your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov for guidance.

Returning your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot by email or fax. Consult and carefully review your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov.

Returning your ballot by mail. Ballots sent via regular international mail from most countries at this late date are unlikely to reach local election officials by state ballot receipt deadlines. If you still wish to send your voted ballot via mail, place your voted ballot in a U.S. postage-paid envelope addressed to your local election official. Drop it off at the Embassy and we’ll send it back home for you without the need to pay international postage. If you can’t visit the Embassy in person, ask a friend or colleague drop it off for you. If it’s easier for you to use Malawi’s postal system, be sure to affix sufficient international postage, and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.

HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING. Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting. Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot. Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.

Need help? You can get in-person assistance from our Embassy Voting Assistance Officers:  Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 am – 12 pm noon and Fridays from 8 am – 10 am.

Have Questions? Please contact U.S. Embassy Lilongwe’s Voting Assistance Officer at LilongweConsular@state.gov. You can also contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program directly if you encounter issues with local election officials by emailing Vote@FVAP.gov or toll free by phone from many countries around the world.

Confirm your registration and ballot delivery online. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website at www.FVAP.gov.

-Voting is a right of every U.S. Citizen. The Embassy is interested in ensuring that all U.S. Citizens have the opportunity to vote while they are overseas.

The best source of information on elections, about registering to vote, and how to arrange for an absentee ballot is the FVAP (Federal Voting Assistance Program) website http://www.fvap.gov/. The FVAP website offers resources to guide voters through the process of requesting an absentee ballot including wizards to confirm a U.S. citizens’ eligibility to vote in a specific locale and contact information for election officials.

Voting regulations vary from state to state including deadlines and methods to return an absentee ballot. Please visit http://www.fvap.gov/ for current information for your state of residence. The Consular Section is ready to assist U.S. citizens who cannot access the FVAP website or have questions about an absentee ballot. The Consular Section can direct you to the appropriate voting registration forms and provide general information taken from the FVAP website. Any U.S. citizen in Malawi can visit the Consular Section to ask for advice or e-mail questions to LilongweConsular@state.gov.