Voting

U.S. citizens can still use the mailing system through the U.S. Embassy Bangkok and U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai to mail voting materials for run-off elections.  Please follow the instructions below to make sure your ballot is submitted properly and on time to be forwarded to your district office.

The U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate General are here to help you exercise your right to vote and answer your voting questions.  Ballots and voter registration forms mailed from overseas should be sent as soon as possible upon receipt.  If you are sending your voting materials to the United States by using the U.S. Embassy mail system (called the diplomatic pouch), please allow 2-4 weeks for documents to arrive at your voting district in the United States after being received at the U.S. Embassy Bangkok or U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai. We strongly recommend you mail your documents as far in advance as possible.

Voting from abroad is a three-step process that needs to be started early.

Step 1:  Request Your Ballot: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) at FVAP.gov. The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted. All FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.

Pro Tip: You can use FVAP’s easy online assistant to walk you through the FPCA based on your state. We encourage you to select the option for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state) as this is the fastest way for you to get your ballot. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state accepts the FPCA by email, mail, or fax.  If you are required to mail your FPCA, see mailing options below.

Step 2:  Receive and Complete Your Ballot:  If you submitted a FPCA, then states are required to send your ballot 45 days before a regular election for federal office.. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.  Resources for researching candidates are outlined below.

Step 3:  Return Your Completed Ballot:  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. Embassy in Bangkok or the Consulate General in Chiang Mai.  Please see below for more details.

How to Mail Voting Materials from Thailand:

Drop off Ballots: U.S. citizens may bring voting materials to the U.S. Embassy Bangkok or at the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai at the American Citizen Services security entrance.  Please bring your U.S. passport to show the guards, and they will allow you entry to bring ballots to a voting officer inside the American Citizen Services section.  Non-U.S. citizens will not be permitted to enter the building to drop off ballots.  Please make sure your envelope is signed, sealed, and addressed to your district office.  It also must include U.S. postage, or use a U.S. postage-paid envelope.  You can find postage-paid envelopes available for download at this link.  U.S. citizen employees of the Department of State are responsible for the handling of your ballots.  Ballots may only be dropped off during normal business hours, found on the right side of this page.  Please also note holidays when services are closed.  Appointments are not required.

Pro Tip: You can print the U.S. postage-paid envelope on regular paper, then tape it to your envelope when you are preparing your ballot to be sent.

Mailing Ballots: If you live far from Bangkok or Chiang Mai, you may also mail ballots to the Embassy or Consulate General addresses below, then we will forward these to the United States to be delivered to your district office.  Please utilize Thai Post, DHL, or FedEx to mail ballots; other methods are not reliable.

Pro Tip: You need two envelopes. It is best if one is bigger, so one envelope can fit inside the other. Address the larger envelope to the Embassy or Consulate General at the mailing address below. Address the smaller envelope to your local state election office and enclose your ballot or FPCA inside. The smaller envelope needs to be postage-paid or have sufficient U.S. postage to be delivered to your local election office from the U.S. sorting facility where it will be mailed. Seal the smaller envelope, place it inside the larger envelope, and mail it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
American Citizen Services
Attn: Voting Assistance Officer
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok, Thailand 10330

U.S. citizens in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaengphet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Petchabun, Phayao, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, and Uttaradit provinces should mail their ballots to the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai at:

U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai
American Citizen Services
Attn: Voting Assistance Officer
387 Wichayanond Rd
T. Chang Moi, A. Muang
Chiang Mai 50300 Thailand

Pro Tip: Your ballot will be returned via the Diplomatic Pouch, which is slower than normal mail. Please allow 2-4 weeks for your ballot to arrive at your local election office. If it’s more convenient, you can also return your FPCA or ballot to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service, at your own expense.

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Go to the FVAP links page for helpful resources to aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain on-line. You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).

Missed the U.S. embassy/consulate shipment deadline? 

Commercial Express Courier: 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 an election deadline prior to payment and shipment.  Check your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov for guidance.

Returning your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot by email or fax: Review your state’s voting procedures at www.FVAP.gov carefully for guidance.

Returning your ballot by international mail delivery.  If using Thailand’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.

Remember, your vote counts!

FAQs:

Q: What is my U.S. voting residence address?

A: It’s usually the last place you lived before moving overseas. You do not need to have any current ties with this address. More information can be found at this link on the FVAP website.

Q: Can I vote in person at the Embassy or Consulate General?

A: No. Elections are run at the state level. You must communicate directly with your state to register, request a ballot, and vote as described above.  However, we are happy to help you register and to send your voting materials to your state district office.

Q: Do I have to send in a separate application for each election?

A: The FPCA allows you to request an absentee ballot for all federal elections in the calendar year. Depending on your state, you may receive a ballot with local or state offices and initiatives as well (e.g., Governor, City Council). We recommend that you send in a new FPCA every January and each time you move.

Q: When will I get my ballot?

A: State election offices are required to send absentee ballots at least 45 days before a federal election.  If you asked to receive your ballot by email, it should arrive right away. Mailed ballots will take longer depending on the postal system in the country where you’re located.

Q: What if I don’t get a ballot?

A: If you don’t receive an absentee ballot in time to return it to your state, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a backup ballot to vote for federal offices.  If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot as well.  Your state will count only one.

Q: Does voter registration affect my tax status?

A: You can vote for federal offices without a change to your tax status, but voting for non-federal offices may result in state and local taxation. There may also be tax implications when changing your residence from one state to another. We recommend that you seek legal advice when changing your voting residence.

Q: How can I send my form?

A: All states will accept your form by mail, but they vary on email and fax. Check your state’s requirements/guidelines at FVAP.gov.  If you are required to mail your voting materials, please follow the instructions above.

Still have questions? Check out the full list of FAQs at the FVAP website. Or email the Voting Assistance Officer at U.S. Embassy Bangkok at acsbkk@state.gov or the Voting Assistance Officer at U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai at VoteChiangMai@state.gov.