US Citizens in Kolkata - Registering to Vote and Requesting Absentee Ballots

U.S. citizens living outside the United States must be registered to vote,
and must request an absentee ballot in order to participate in this year’s
elections. If you have not registered to vote or requested your absentee
ballot, you should do so now!

You can register and request a ballot at the same time by completing a
combined voter registration application and absentee ballot request form
known as the Federal Post Card Application, or FPCA. This form, along with
key state-by-state instructions, is available on the Federal Voting
Assistance Program website at www.FVAP.gov or at the U.S. Embassy and
Consulates in India.

New Procedures for 2010 Election

The recently enacted MOVE Act gives U.S. citizens overseas the ability to
request and receive absentee ballots electronically. All voters who want to
take advantage of this new option should send in a new FPCA with your email
and/or complete fax number clearly written out. U.S. citizens who have
changed their names, addresses, or email addresses, or who are infrequent
voters, should also submit a new FPCA.

Seventeen year-olds who will be 18 on Election Day (November 2, 2010) can
also register now. Some states allow U.S. citizens who have never resided
in the United States to vote in their parents’ state of voting residence.
Check the www.FVAP.gov website for your state’s procedures.

Be sure to follow your state’s instructions carefully when completing the
form and sending it to local election officials in the United States. The
FVAP website and the Overseas Vote Foundation website,
www.overseasvotefoundation.org, have wizards that help you complete and
address your FPCA.

The new law requires states to send out ballots a minimum of 45 days in
advance of Election Day. If you fail to receive your absentee ballot within
a reasonable time period, notify your local election officials by phone or
email, and ask for a new ballot electronically.

Every voter should be aware that you can use the Federal Write-in Absentee
Ballot (FWAB) as a back-up emergency ballot. Like the FPCA, the FWAB and
instructions for its use are available on the www.FVAP.gov website or from
the U.S. Embassy.

Vote your ballot and return it promptly to ensure it reaches your local
election officials before your state’s ballot receipt deadline. If you use
the FWAB, and later receive your official ballot, vote and return it
immediately. Under the new law, states must put in place a mechanism that
allows voters to confirm that the voted ballot has been received by the
state. Again, check www.fvap.gov for a link to your state’s election
information. You may drop off election materials at the Embassy or
Consulates in India, but transit times may delay arrival in your state’s
elections office.

Questions?

The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi is also always
available to answer questions about absentee voting. To contact the Voting
Assistance Officer, call 2419-8000 ext. 4110 or 4306 or send an e- mail to
votenewdelhi@state.gov.

American Citizens Services Unit
U. S. Consulate General
5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kolkata (Formerly known as Calcutta)
West Bengal, India 700 071
Telephone: American Citizen Services: (91) (33) 3984-2400 Ext 2443
Telephone for Telephone Operator Assistance: (91) (33) 3984-2400 and Dial
“0”
Facsimile: (91) (33) 2282-2335
E-mail: American Citizen Services: KolkataACS@state.gov
Webpage: http://kolkata.usconsulate.gov/