Multiple Voting Options for Military and Overseas Citizens for the November 3, 2020 Presidential General Election
Act Now to Avoid International Mail Delivery Delays due to COVID-19

New Site Press Release

Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Alternate: Jim Irizarry, Assistant Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

(Redwood City, CA) Military and citizens living outside the United States who wish to participate in the November 3, 2020 Presidential General Election may receive their ballot via email, mail, fax, or access it online. “Our goal in every election is to ensure every eligible voter has the opportunity to cast their ballot, no matter where they are,” said Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder.

As described below, San Mateo County invites individuals to submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to receive a ballot:

  • Members of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine on active duty
  • A spouse or dependent of a member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine on active duty
  • U.S. citizens abroad

The FPCA form is available at the Federal Voting Assistance Program website www.fvap.gov or U.S. Embassies. Eligible voters may also go to the California Secretary of State’s website www.registertovote.ca.gov to register as a military or overseas voter. When registering, voters may choose to receive their ballot by email, fax, or mail.

Another option for overseas voters this election is San Mateo County’s remote accessible vote by mail (RAVBM) system. Beginning October 5, voters may enter their information at www.smcacre.org/VoterLookup to find a link to their ballot. The voter marks their selections and prints the completed ballot along with an Oath of Voter form. The ballot and form may be returned via fax (650.312.5348) or mail.

Pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, San Mateo County will send your ballot 45 days prior to Election Day. To avoid possible overseas mail service disruptions this election due to the COVID-19 pandemic, non-mail voting options are encouraged for this election.

The final day for registered voters to request a mailed ballot is October 27. The Registration & Elections Division advises overseas voters to request a mailed ballot by October 20 to allow adequate delivery time for ballot materials. Applications for faxed or emailed ballots may be submitted up to and including Election Day. Ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. Pacific Time on Election Day, November 3, 2020, by fax, or postmarked by November 3, 2020. Mailed ballots must arrive by Friday, November 20, 2020 to be counted. Overseas voters returning their ballots by mail are encouraged to return them as early as possible to arrive on time.

Military and overseas citizens using the mail may vote using a backup ballot if they do not believe they will receive their ballot in adequate time to return it and meet the November 20, 2020 deadline. The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is available now at www.fvap.gov or any U.S. Embassy.

November 3, 2020 Presidential General Election COVID-19 Prepared

Vote Centers will follow COVID-19 safety procedures. For more information on the November 3, 2020 Presidential General Election, please call 650.312.5222, visit www.smcvote.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @smcvote.