Message for U.S. Citizens – U.S. Embassy Riga, Latvia (October 16, 2020)
Event: Voting from Overseas – Only 18 Days Until the Federal Elections
Check Election Voting Deadlines: Each state has its own deadlines for registration, ballot request, and ballot return. Go to FVAP.gov and click on your state to see the deadlines for your state.
If you haven’t registered it may not be too late! If the deadline for registration hasn’t passed, voters can register to vote and request a ballot with the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).
If you have registered and haven’t received your requested ballot, fill out the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is an emergency backup ballot for uniformed and overseas citizens who did not receive an absentee ballot from their state in time to participate in the election. If you do not receive an absentee ballot in time to return it to your state, you can use the FWAB as a backup ballot to vote for federal offices. If your official absentee ballot arrives after you send in the FWAB, then you can fill out and send in the official ballot as well. Your state will count only one.
Send ballots electronically, if allowed by state law. To save time, voters can check if their state accepts completed absentee ballots by email, fax or via an online portal.
Mail in your ballots. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy Riga. Please note that delivery times vary, but it can take up to 3-4 weeks for mail to reach its destination from the Embassy. Ballots received at the Embassy will be postmarked at by the next business day after dropoff.
Drop your ballot off at the main entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Samnera Velsa iela 1. Please ensure that you place your ballot in postage paid return envelope or in an envelope bearing sufficient U.S. postage for it to be delivered to the proper local election authorities. Follow the steps below to drop you ballot off at the Embassy:
1. Approach the window at the main entrance.
2. Present your identification documents to the guards so that you can enter.
3. Once you enter, hand your ballot to the guard inside who will put the envelope
through security screening procedures similar to airport screening.
4. Once screened, the guard will hand the ballot back to you to put into the ballot
box, labeled “Ballot Box” located just inside the door.
Virtual voting assistance. The Federal Voting Assistance Program is offering recurring virtual voting assistance via Zoom for the next two weeks to provide direct support to overseas citizens. Voters can participate in any of the meetings and speak with an FVAP voting Ambassador who can answer questions about absentee voting, including inquiries about the FPCA and FWAB forms. Voters can also use the chat to write their questions for the FVAP representatives. None of these sessions will be recorded nor will they be uploaded to social media. These office hours are intended to support those voters who are not able to call us during FVAP’s regular business hours.
Every Wednesday at 6:00 AM EST (converted time = Latvia 1:00 PM)
FVAP Representative: Sean
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89965798879?pwd=MHJnbDhWZzQrTDNKNFowL0dPTnFWUT09
Meeting ID: 746 356 6929
Every Wednesday at 9:00 PM EST (Latvia 4:00AM)
FVAP Representative: Deana
Zoom Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6590837720?pwd=S3crV1dqU2hab1BUOW1ZNi9DcVkxUT09
Meeting ID: 659 083 7720
Every Thursday at 7:00 AM EST (Latvia 2:00 PM)
FVAP Representative: Kayla
Zoom Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/9750035128?pwd=TFZnTHd2dkR6YVhxbWNlcVB2Vy9BUT09
Meeting ID: 975 003 5128
Have More Questions? Please contact Riga’s Voting Assistance Officer at +371 67107000, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Remember, your vote counts!
- U.S. Embassy Riga, Latvia
Samnera Velsa iela 1
+371 6710 7000
+371 6710 7000 (after hours)
- After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +371 2920 5708
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Latvia Country Information
- Enroll in Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
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