An official website of the United States government

Message for U.S. Citizens – Don’t Let the Elections Pass You By
September 29, 2020

If you plan to vote in the November 2020 election, act now!  Don’t wait, return your ballot by October 2!  Ballots received after October 2 will be forwarded, but they might arrive too late to be counted.  As a reminder, ballots returned by the U.S. embassy or consulates can take up to four weeks to reach their final destination in the United States, so now is the time to get your ballot to us.  Remember U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not polling places, and same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States.  However, you can get assistance in requesting and returning your absentee ballot.  Many states require completed ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls on November 3.

The Department of State is committed to assisting voters abroad in casting their ballots.  For instructions on how to vote from Mexico please see the U.S. Mission to Mexico’s voting webpage.  For general information about voting from abroad please see the Department of State’s website, Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad, or FVAP.gov.

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


The U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail their completed ballots before Election Day and at least one week prior to your state’s deadline.  To allow processing time between the Department of State and U.S. Postal Service, this means ballots must be received by the U.S. Embassy or one of the U.S. Consulates in Mexico no later than October 2.  Ballots received after that date will be forwarded but might arrive too late to be counted.  Voting deadlines vary by state, and you might have alternative voting options such as electronic voting or by fax.  Check the regulations in the state in which you plan to vote.

The above timeline is based on current local and U.S. conditions, which are subject to change.  Should conditions change and impact the timeline we will alert you.  We strongly recommend you submit your ballot as far in advance as possible.

If you wish to drop off your ballot, or have someone drop it off for you, place it in either a U.S. postage-paid envelope (provided with the ballot) or an envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officials.  U.S. Embassy Mexico City will accept in-person drop-off of absentee voting materials on days the Embassy is normally open between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Please bring your completed, sealed voting materials to the Consular waiting room’s entrance on Rio Danubio and place them in the sealed ballot box with the ACS representative outside.  You do not need to enter the Embassy or pass through additional screening to submit your voting materials.  If you’re not in Mexico City, check with the consulate near you for their hours and ballot box details.

Missed the U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s shipment deadline?  Consider returning your ballot to the United States via a commercial express courier service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL or return your voted ballot 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 3 prior to payment and shipment.  Check your state’s voting procedures at FVAP.gov for guidance.

Returning your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot by email or fax:  Review your state’s voting procedures at FVAP.gov carefully for guidance.

Returning your ballot by international mail delivery:  If using Mexico’s postal system, be sure to affix sufficient international postage and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.  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, so you might need to consider another method.


Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about voting from abroad.  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?  If you are a U.S. citizen living in Mexico, follow the steps outlined in this video.

Have Questions?  Please contact the U.S. Embassy Mexico City or your nearest U.S. consulate.  You can also contact the Federal VotingAssistance 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 FVAP.gov.