President Abraham Lincoln had a colourful way of explaining the importance of voting. He said, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” That is quite the motivation!
The bottom line is voting is important for all Americans, and all Americans can vote no matter where we are in the world. The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai is committed to helping every U.S. citizen in northern Thailand exercise their right to vote in the November 3rd general election and I wanted to provide you some key information on how to do so.
Voting from overseas is easy and free, but it is important that you start now. If you have not registered with your state yet, please check FVAP.gov today to learn about your state’s registration process and deadlines for requesting and submitting your ballot.
Voting from Thailand is a simple three-step process:
Step 1: Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP.gov. This will allow you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives). Selecting the option to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state) will help ensure that you receive it as quickly as possible.
Step 2: Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, which is Saturday, September 19th. That date is getting close so act quickly. Note that some states will still send ballots even after September 19th.
Step 3: Return Your Completed Ballot: The recommended deadline for submitting ballots by mail from overseas is October 1st to meet state ballot receipt deadlines. Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not. If your state requires you to return your ballot by mail, you can do so free of charge at the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai.
U.S. citizens may drop off their voting materials at the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai in the voting box located at the American Citizen Services security entrance. Please make sure your envelope is signed, sealed, and addressed to your district office. It also must include U.S. postage or use a postage-paid envelope. You can find postage-paid envelopes available for download at this link or at https://www.fvap.gov/eo/overview/materials/forms.
You may also mail sealed ballots via Thai Post to the Consulate General at the address below, we will forward these to your district office in the United States.
U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai
American Citizen Services
Attn: Voting Assistance Officer
387 Wichayanond Road
Susan B. Anthony once said “Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” Consulate Chiang Mai is ready to help our fellow Americans use their right to vote, right here in Thailand. Please register today, email us at VoteChiangmai@state.gov if you have any questions and God bless America.