With the 2016 presidential election approaching, November 8, it is time to act soon. American expatriates living in the UAE will need to meet that deadline too and should cast their ballot as early as possible before that day. In addition to institutional web pages, voters can found several sites with information and services relating to voting. US Expats in UAE can only vote by absentee ballot, but can register online!
“For voting purposes, your state of legal residence is generally the state wherein you resided immediately before leaving the United States, even if you no longer own or rent property or intend to return there in the future.”
US citizens over 18-years old and residing outside North America can still vote in the American elections. Eligible absentee voters can check the US Consulate General Dubai Newsletter for info on how to request a ballot for US federal elections. It is a simple process to register and vote via the Federal Voting Assistance Program (fvap.gov – a US government website). There are elections & voting filling instructions, details and resources available at the site. The use of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which acts as both a registration and absentee ballot request form, will start the absentee voting process.
FVAP assists voters through partnerships with the Department of State.
For the first time the American Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates has established a voters’ centre in its Dubai headquarters at Emarat Atrium building near Safa Park to help guide American citizens through the process of voting while living abroad.
The business council represents 700 American businesses and employees in the UAE who make up part of an estimated 55,000 US expats living in the country.
Once application forms are filled out at the voting centre, absentee ballots are sent to the centre for UE expats to pick up at a later date. The UAE expats can send them home to the US directly or drop off to the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and US Consulate in Dubai.
The ballots would be mailed free of charge to each voting expat’s home state in advance of elections for counting before the end of the election day.
Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad. American citizens residing in Dubai and the UAE for work or education reasons can take the necessary steps to vote in the 2016 U.S. elections!
If you have never voted while overseas before, just follow the 3 simple step process:
- Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You can complete the FPCA online at gov.
- Receive Your Ballot: Confirm your registration and ballot delivery online. Is it too late to register? One can do so at any time during election season. Note: States are no longer required to automatically send absentee ballots to overseas voters; therefore, it’s important that you complete a new FPCA each January, which will ensure that you receive your absentee voter materials in a timely manner for any elections held that calendar year.
- Complete & Return Your Ballot: Voters can return paper voting forms or ballots via e-mail to the address provided on the form.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please see the Voting Message, or else contact Dubai’s Voting Assistance Officer at 04-309-4000 between the hours of 8:00AM to 4:30PM Sunday to Thursday, or at DubaiACS@state.gov.
For example, usvotefoundation.org, which brings voter services to millions of American voters, has information on states’ election dates and deadlines. The Overseas Vote Foundation or VoteFromAbroad.org websites also have details on the Upcoming Federal and State Election Dates and Deadlines, as for the Presidency.
Overseas voting at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and US Consulate in Dubai is straightforward; voters can simply return their absentee ballot in the envelop provided – no postage necessary when dropped off and mailed through these U.S. foreign delegation offices that function as a polling station with a ballot drop box—it is located at the entrance to the consular section. Alternatively, one may actually return their vote electronically via email or fax by scanning the material and using a secrecy cover sheet between the ballot and the signed envelope. Otherwise, choose to vote online. On Election Day, exercise your duty and right as an American citizen by voting!