US Elections: Americans in the UAE urged to register to vote
Citizens can bring their ballots to the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi no later than October 15
American citizens planning to vote in the upcoming US presidential elections have until October 15 to register their ballot.
They can bring it to the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi before this date, where staff then send it to America in time for the November 3 election.
If they do not wish to avail of the embassy service, then an international courier or postal service can be used.
Some US states allow citizens to vote online. But for those that do not, citizens in the UAE must download a ballot.
Officials urged people to do this as soon as possible to avoid potential delays caused by Covid-19.
The guidelines have been issued by the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi to ensure American citizens have their say on who will become the nation’s 46th president.
“The pandemic has caused a delay or suspension of international mail services,” said Alaina Tibaneli, vice consul at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
“Some people may not have been able to vote in the primary elections. However, all those who want to submit a ballot by mail for the 2020 general election will be able to do so.
“The US Embassy is now collecting voting materials from US citizens to be mailed directly to the United States.”
Voters have two options in the 2020 presidential election campaign.
The Democrat Party's candidate is former vice president, Joe Biden, who was formally nominated during a virtual convention on Tuesday ahead of Bernie Sanders. Mr Sanders is a veteran senator from the US state of Vermont.
Mr Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, will now take on incumbent President Donald Trump and Mike Pence representing the Republican side in a bid for the White House.
The election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3 with the winner due to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.
Election officials in Abu Dhabi said ballots brought to the US Embassy prior to October 15 should make it to the US in time to be counted.
Voters here must complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA allows voters to register and request an absentee ballot at the same time and can be found at FVAP.gov.
Each state has a specific deadline for voter registration and the website also offered US citizens state specific information.
“It is always best to register at the start of the year as it will ensure voters can participate in all federal elections,” said Ms Tibanli.
“All states allow voters to receive their ballots electronically and some even allow ballots to be submitted electronically.
“If a state requires a ballot be returned by mail, voters can bring their ballots to the US Embassy or use international mail or commercial courier services.
“Registration is fast, easy and can be done from anywhere in the world.”
Updated: August 22, 2020 10:12 AM