FVAP RELEASES UPDATED ABSENTEE VOTING FORMS - New voter registration/ballot request and back-up ballot forms now available

November 5, 2013 - Alexandria, Va. - The revised Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) forms are available now at FVAP.gov . Service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens can use the FPCA to both register to vote and request their absentee ballots. The FWAB serves as a backup ballot if the voter does not receive the requested absentee ballot in time. FVAP.gov provides these PDF-fillable forms in addition to online assistants that guide users through the form-completion process.

The forms were updated in an effort to clarify form use and requirements. FVAP conducted a series of usability assessments through the Federal Register process resulting in substantial improvements using many established best practices for election-related forms.

"FVAP is always looking for ways to better serve military and overseas citizen voters, and we believe these new forms do just that. This was by no means a solitary effort ? the improved forms are products of stakeholder collaboration," said FVAP Director Mr. Matt Boehmer. "I thank everyone who took the time to provide insightful input, and I hope you can see your efforts reflected in the updated forms."

The revised forms clarify instructions for voters and include additional classification selections for activated National Guard members and U.S. citizens who have never resided in the United States. The signature area size on the FPCA was increased to ensure local election officials can read the voter's signature. Both forms also now include an Agency Disclosure Statement which is required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Voting Assistance Officers should send voters to FVAP.gov whenever possible for updated forms and use of the online assistant, but can obtain hardcopy forms through their proper channels. FVAP encourages overseas citizen groups to also stress using the online assistants to simplify form completion, but can contact FVAP directly to acquire hardcopy forms.

Previous versions of the forms should not be distributed to voters; however, if a voter has previously obtained an older form, he or she may still use it, based on current State requirements and contact information. After the 2012 election, the FPCA and FWAB became subject to OMB requirements. As a result of this change, all previous versi as obsolete for GSA printing requirements.

Voters should apply for absentee ballots in January of each year or at least 90 days before the specific election in which they want to vote. If his or her mailing address changes, especially between the primary and general election, the voter will need to submit an updated FPCA.

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For more information on FVAP or assistance with the absentee voting process, visit FVAP.gov for live chat assistance, call FVAP at 1-800-438-VOTE or DSN 425-1584 (CONUS)/312-425-1584 (OCONUS), or email vote@fvap.gov. Remember, you also can contact your unit or installation voting assistance officers for assistance during any step of the process.
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PDF version of FVAP News Release #21