Voting in U.S. Elections

Please note: In order for the U.S. Embassy to forward voting material to your election officials, you must enclose it in a pre-paid envelope that has been addressed to the appropriate office in the United States. The U.S. Postal Service will not accept envelopes that are not sealed, missing postage, or not addressed correctly. Envelope templates are available for printing on FVAP.gov that can be printed directly on to an envelope. Once this is complete, place it in a separate envelope and mail it to the Embassy via Japan Post.

Election 2020 Important Update – November 12, 2020

The Embassy continues to forward voting material to the United States via the diplomatic pouch. Although voting has concluded for the 2020 Presidential Election, some states still have upcoming runoff elections. We encourage all voters who are eligible to vote in runoff elections to send their ballots to the Embassy for forwarding to the United States.

Upcoming elections include:

  • 12/01/2020 Georgia Congressional District 5 Special General Runoff
  • 12/05/2020 Louisiana Congressional District 3 General Runoff
  • 1/05/2021 Georgia U.S. Senate Special Runoff Election
  • 1/05/2021 Georgia U.S. Senate General Runoff Election

Please visit FVAP at https://www.fvap.gov/guide/upcoming-elections for more information about how to vote in these runoff elections. If you have eligibility questions, please contact the appropriate election authorities in your voting district.

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Election 2020 Important Update July 28, 2020

Due to anticipated delays in sending mail to the U.S. through Japan Post, the U.S. Embassy recommends sending your voting materials to us directly so that we can forward your voter registration documents, ballot requests, and ballots to your local jurisdiction. The process is simple: please prepare your ballot and/or registration materials as you would if you were sending it through the U.S. postal system yourself. Most states provide an envelope with pre-paid postage which you should have received when you registered for an absentee ballot. If you do not have one of these envelopes, you can download a pre-paid envelope from FVAP.gov. You can find the address for your local jurisdiction at FVAP.gov as well. Once you have completed your ballot, place it in your pre-paid U.S. mail envelope, seal it, and put the sealed envelope with the ballot into a separate envelope approved for use in Japan (you can buy one at any Japan Post office). Mail the whole package to the U.S. Embassy with appropriate Japanese postage. Once we receive it, we will forward your U.S. mail envelope with ballot to the United States using the U.S. Postal Service.

Send your voting materials to:

American Citizen Services
U.S. Embassy Tokyo
1-10-5 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo
107-8420

We recommend that you plan accordingly so that your completed ballot reaches the Embassy at least 3 weeks prior to the election.

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Make your voice count!  Vote!

Did you know that many U.S. elections for House and Senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in U.S. elections:

  1. Request Your Ballot:
    Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You can complete a new FPCA to ensure you receive your ballot for the upcoming elections. Completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, Senate, and House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. You can also contact your state or local registrar to request a ballot for all elections.  Go to www.FVAP.gov. You can complete the FPCA online at www.FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. 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). Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature. If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.
  2. Receive and Complete Your Ballot:
    States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
    • Local Mail or Courier Service: Return your completed ballot directly to your election authorities using international mail through Japan Post or a courier service such as FedEx or DHL.
    • Using the U.S. Embassy: Mail your completed ballots to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo for forwarding to the United States. You will need to place your ballots in an envelope bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities.

    In order for the U.S. Embassy to forward voting material to your election officials, you must enclose it in a pre-paid envelope of standard size that has been addressed to the appropriate office in the United States. The U.S. Postal Service will not accept envelopes that are not sealed, missing postage, or not addressed correctly. Envelope templates are available for printing on FVAP.gov that can be printed directly on to an envelope. Once this is complete, place it in a separate envelope and mail it to the Embassy via Japan Post.

    Some states require that your ballot be received in the election office on or prior to election day. In order to ensure sufficient time, please send your ballot to the Embassy no less than three weeks before your deadline.

  3. Email to fax service by FVAP:
    The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) provides an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to states that do not accept emailed documents. Get more information online here.

Registering to Vote:

First-time voters and those who will turn 18 on or before November 3, may use the FPCA to vote by absentee ballot from abroad. The FPCA is your official U.S. ballot request. In order to be prepared to vote and receive your official absentee ballot, we suggest that you register using this form as soon as possible. It takes only a few quick steps to make sure your vote is counted no matter where you are in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. I no longer have an address in the United States. What do I do?
    The FVAP.gov FAQ page can answer your questions.
  2. I have never lived in the United States. What can I do?
    Start here: Never Resided in the U.S.

Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources

Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.

Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the Internet to locate articles and information.

For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov

The Embassy and Consulates in Japan also have email addresses specifically for voting:

Remember, your vote counts!
Register at FVAP.gov to send your vote home.