About Absentee Voting

Voting is one of our most fundamental rights as U.S. citizens. FVAP 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.

Elections are managed individually by 50 States, U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia. This means there are 55 different sets of rules for absentee voting by Service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens, but the basic steps are simple:

  1. You register to vote and request an absentee ballot by filling out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), and sending it to your election office in your State of legal residence.
  2. The election office approves the FPCA, disapproves the FPCA or requests additional information.
  3. Once the FPCA is approved, the election office sends an absentee ballot to you.
  4. You then complete, and return your voted absentee ballot to your election office by your State's deadline.

To successfully vote absentee, UOCAVA citizens should:

  • Allow plenty of time to request, receive, and return their ballot.
  • Notify their election office each time their mailing address changes.
  • Become familiar with their State's absentee voting deadlines and procedures to make sure their ballot is properly executed and will be counted.
  • Complete a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) early if unsure of the time required to return the ballot to meet the State's deadline.