Embassy of the United States of America
Message for U.S. Citizens: Don’t Let the Elections Pass You By September 30, 2020
If you plan to vote in the November 2020 election it is important to ACT NOW! Don’t wait, carefully follow your state’s voting instructions, and return your voted ballot right away! Remember U.S. embassies and consulates are not polling places; same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States – but you can get assistance in requesting and returning your absentee ballot. Many states require voted ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls on Tuesday, November 3.
The Department of State is committed to assisting overseas voters in casting their ballots. For instructions on how to vote from Benin please see our website on voting. For general overseas voting information please see the Department of State’s web site Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad or FVAP.gov.
Never received your ballot? If you registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot prior to your state’s registration deadline, but have not yet received your ballot, complete and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to ensure your vote reaches election officials by your state’s deadline. If your regular ballot arrives later, complete and return it as well. Your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot will only be counted if your regular ballot does not reach local election officials by your state’s deadline. Your vote will not be counted twice.
RETURNING YOUR BALLOT:
Note that the U.S. Postal Service recommends voters mail their completed ballots before Election Day and at least one week prior to your state’s deadline. To allow processing time between Department of State and U.S. Postal Service systems this means ballots must be received in the Embassy no later than October 13, 2020. Ballots received after that date will be forwarded, but may arrive too late to be counted. Please also check the regulations in the state in which you vote as deadlines may differ, and you may have alternative voting options such as electronic voting or by fax.
The above timeline is based on current local and U.S. conditions, which are subject to change. Should conditions change and impact the timeline we will alert you. We strongly recommend you submit your ballot as far in advance as possible.
If you wish to drop off your ballot, or have a friend or colleague drop it off for you, place it in either a U.S. postage-paid envelope (provided with the ballot) or an envelope bearing domestic U.S. postage addressed to your local election officialsand drop it off at the Consular Concierge Window at the U.S. Embassy on Tuesdays at 0900. Submitted ballots should be sealed.
Missed the U.S. Embassy shipment deadline? Consider returning your ballot to the United States via a commercial express courier service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL or return your voted ballot electronically if allowed by your state. Ballots sent to local election officials via express courier service do not receive standard postmarks, so voters using this method should confirm delivery on or before November 3 prior to payment and shipment. Check your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov for guidance.
Returning your ballot by international mail delivery. If using Benin’s postal system, be sure to affix sufficient international postage, and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery. Ballots sent via regular international mail from most countries at this late date are unlikely to reach local election officials by state ballot receipt deadlines, so you may need to consider another method.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT OVERSEAS VOTING. Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting. Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot. Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.
Have Questions? Please contact U.S. Embassy Cotonou’s Voting Assistance Officer at ACSCotonou@state.gov. 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.
Confirm your registration and ballot delivery online. Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website at www.FVAP.gov.
- U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin
- Boulevard de la Marina Cotonou Benin
- +229 21 36 75 00 or +229 21 30 06 50
- Embassy website
- State Department – Consular Affairs
- +1 888-407-4747 or +1 202-501-4444
- Benin Country Information
- Benin Travel Advisory
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter