Voting in U.S. Elections from Hungary
Register and request your ballot by your state’s deadline. You can use FVAP’s easy online assistant at www.fvap.gov/FPCA to walk you through each section of the form. After you finish filling out the FPCA, print it, sign it, and send it to your election office. Most states accept the FPCA by email or fax while some require it by mail. Check your state-specific guidelines at FVAP.gov.
Once you receive your requested absentee ballot, vote and return it as soon as you get it. Remember to carefully follow the instructions, especially if a “security envelope” is required, and sign the package as indicated when returning it.
To save time, send voted ballots electronically if allowed by state law. Voters can check if their state accepts completed absentee ballots by email, fax, or via an online portal at FVAP.gov/guide.
If a requested ballot has not arrived, use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) immediately at www.fvap.gov/FWAB. It works like a backup ballot. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, complete and send in the official ballot, too. Only one will be counted.
Make sure the voted ballot is received by your state. Go to FVAP.gov, click on your state and then the “check the status of your voted ballot” button.
To find your state’s election website for specific information on candidates, elections, contact information, and links to your local election offices, visit our contact page. You can also reach out directly to your election office for status updates on your registration and absentee ballot.
COVID-19 ELECTION UPDATE – FVAP is working closely with state election offices, the Military Postal Service Agency and other federal agencies to bring you up-to-date information on possible mailing delays. Please visit FVAP.gov/COVID-19 for the latest information on any international postal disruptions or contact your installation military post office.
Send In Your Ballot
Don’t wait, return your voted ballot right away! Remember U.S. embassies and consulates are not polling places; same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States. The majority of states require voted ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls.
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 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.
Returning Your Ballot
The best way to return your ballot is online, if allowed by your state. If you wish to drop off your ballot, or have a friend or colleague drop it off for you, place it in either a postage-paid envelope or an envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officials and deposit the envelope in the Voting Ballot Box located inside the U.S. Embassy Consular Section Security Entrance. The Consular Entrance is staffed Monday through Friday from 08:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00, excluding American and Hungarian holidays. Please allow three weeks delivery time for the mail to reach voting officials in the United States.
Missed the U.S. Embassy shipment deadline?
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. Check your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov for guidance.
Returning your ballot by international mail delivery. If using Hungary’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.
Confirm your registration and ballot delivery online. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website at www.FVAP.gov.
If you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late.
The process is easy — just follow these steps:
- Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).
Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.
The online voting assistant available at FVAP.gov is an easy way to complete the FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Be sure to include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.
- Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot for delivery to the United States free of charge, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest is accepting voted ballots and FPCAs. Feel free to drop your ballots and FPCAs in our secure ballot box, located inside the U.S. Embassy Consular Section Security Entrance. The Consular Entrance is staffed Monday through Friday from 0800-1200 and 1300-1700, excluding American and Hungarian holidays. Please allow at least two weeks delivery time for the mail to reach the United States.
If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the Embassy on your behalf or you can send your FPCA or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.
- Receive Your Ballot
After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection. States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election (on or around September 24) for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.
- Return Your Ballot
As with the FPCA, you can return your voted ballot to your local election officials free of charge via the nearest embassy or consulate or mail it directly at your own expense.
Your Vote Counts!
Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline (differs by state).
Be an educated voter. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, and search the Internet to locate articles and information.