Dear American Citizen in Slovenia:
Happy American Independence Day! I am sorry we are not celebrating together with fireworks. Rest assured, we are still planning an American citizen townhall get-together, right after the summer.
A number of items below in the Consular Message this month, including:
· End of travel to U.S. on expired passport
· E-vignette scams
· Approved border crossings with Croatia
· Government of Slovenia employment / job-seekers site
· COVID numbers trending up again
· Upcoming U.S. federal elections
U.S. Embassy, Ljubljana
· End of travel to U.S. on expired passport: During the pandemic there was a special exception allowing U.S. citizens to travel back to the U.S. on an expired U.S. passport. This exception has ended. Please see our Embassy Passport page if you need to renew your passport. All applications, including renewals, require an in-person appointment.
· E-vignette scams: As you likely know, to drive on Slovenian toll highways you must have an annual e-vignette associated with your license plate. The Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs alerted the Embassy that many people in Slovenia have been victim to fraudulent e-vignette websites that charge high fees any may not actually produce a genuine vignette. Always use the official website: https://evinjeta.dars.si/en.
· Approved Border Crossings with Croatia: When crossing the Slovenia/Croatia land border, a small number of the border crossing stations are reserved only for Slovenian/Croatian nationals. See the map of approved border crossings.
· Government of Slovenia employment/job seekers website: We recently came across this Slovenian government, English language site for those seeking job or other employment services in Slovenia: https://english.ess.gov.si/
· COVID numbers trending up again: After a steady downward trend since winter, active case numbers in Slovenia have been climbing again since 7 June, with over 10,000 active cases. Hospitalizations (89) and the death rate (29 in the past six weeks) remain relatively low compared to earlier in the pandemic. Slovenia’s vaccination rate inched up to 58%. For additional information, see our Embassy’s Covid-19 page.
· Upcoming U.S. elections: Many states have elections for federal office in the next 90 day:
July 19: Primary Election- Maryland
July 26: Runoff Primary Election- North Carolina
August 2: Primary Elections- Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington
August 4: Primary Election- Tennessee
August 6: Territory Primary- Virgin Islands
August 9: Primary Elections- Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin
August 9: Special General- Minnesota CD 1
August 13: Primary Election- Hawaii
August 16: Primary Elections- Alaska and Wyoming
August 16: Special General- Alaska U.S. House
August 23: Primary Elections- Florida and New York
August 23: Special Elections- New York CD 19 and CD 23
August 23: State Primary Runoff Election- Oklahoma
August 23: Runoff Special Primary – Oklahoma U.S. Senate
August 27: Territory Primary- Guam
September 6: Primary Election – Massachusetts
September 13: Primary Elections – Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island
In order to vote in the above elections, or the November 2022 general elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2022. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA (or your own state’s election registration form) each year to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.
Follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2022 U.S. elections:
1. Register to vote: Start by confirming your voter registration with your state. Some states require absentee voters to register annually, so you may need to re-register. Go to FVAP.gov to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.
2. Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via FVAP.gov. You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). 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. FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory. FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA. Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
3. Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
4. Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana’s diplomatic pouch. The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility. You will need to place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities once received by the U.S. sorting facility. If would like to use the diplomatic pouch, please put everything in an outer envelope addressed to the Consular Section, and leave it at the Embassy gatehouse. Consular staff will ensure it enters the mail system with a date received stamp. It can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination. Ballots will be received and forwarded whenever submitted but you may want to consider using a courier service if submitting your ballot close to or after the stated delivery time for pouch mail.
Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources. 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 online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana via email.
Remember, your vote counts!
· State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
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