Absentee Voting Information
— Absentee ballots allow service members, civilian employees and their families to vote while stationed overseas. (USMC photo by Lance Corporal Shannon E. McMillan).
Federal Voting Assistance Program
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is a Department of Defense (DoD) organization that works to ensure Service members, their eligible family members, and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so—from anywhere in the world.
FVAP assists voters through partnerships with the Military Services, Department of State, Department of Justice, and election officials from 50 States, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. State and local governments administer U.S. elections, including those for federal offices. FVAP supports state and local election officials by providing absentee voting information, materials, training and guidance.
Voters can contact FVAP's call center at 1-800-438-VOTE (8683), DSN 425-1584 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Toll-free phone numbers from 67 countries are listed at FVAP.gov. Find FVAP on Facebook at facebook.com/DoDFVAP and follow @FVAP on Twitter.
The following information on absentee voting comes from the Federal Voting Assistance Program:
U.S. citizens who live outside the country are eligible to vote absentee. The Federal Voting Assistance Program wants to be sure that those who are eligible are aware of the steps they need to follow. Here is how to vote absentee when living abroad:
Register to vote and request your ballot in one easy step.
First absentee voters need to fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)and send it to your election office.
Next, check your voter registration deadline for the next election based on your state. Voters will want to send in the FPCA by August 1 for the General Election.
Voters will want to determine their voting residence. In many cases, the voting residence is likely the same as the legal residence. Click here to learn how to determine your voting residence.
Using the FPCA offers protection that voters will have their ballot sent by their state 45 days before the election. It's a good idea to send in a new FPCA every January and each time you move.
Fill out and send in your ballot when it arrives.
Voters should receive their ballot by early October for the General Election.
Voters need to vote and return their ballot as soon as they receive it. Click here to check the deadline for your ballot based on your state.
If a voter has requested a ballot but hasn't received it yet, they can request the status of the ballot request by contacting their election office.
Voters can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if there isn't enough time to receive and send back their ballot before the election. The FWAB works as a backup ballot. If the official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.
After the ballot has been sent, voters can check if it was received by your election office.