FVAP Releases 2018 Post-Election Report to Congress

The Federal Voting Assistance Program's 2018 Post-Election Report to Congress shows that the program's efforts contributed to voter success among absent military members in the 2018 General Election. During the midterm election year, FVAP continued to expand awareness and use of voting assistance resources and reduced voting obstacles for active duty military personnel covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

After every federal election year, FVAP conducts post-election surveys and analyzes state and federal data to evaluate the experience of military and overseas voters — and the impact that FVAP and DoD voting resources have on this experience. The first phase of this research — documented in the Report to Congress — reveals key indicators about military voters, Voting Assistance Officers, and state election officials during the 2018 General Election. FVAP will release its findings on the voting experiences of U.S. citizens residing abroad before the 2020 election.

"I look forward to the opportunities and accomplishments ahead," FVAP Director David Beirne said. "I know that together, in partnership with the dedicated UOCAVA community, we can continue to provide support to military members, their families, and U.S. citizens living abroad to help them vote from wherever they are."


Highlights from the 2018 Report to Congress

  • In 2018, 61 percent of military members were registered to vote, which is 12 percentage points lower than the civilian population with similar demographics.
  • The voter participation rate for military members in 2018 was 26 percent, compared to a participation rate of 52 percent among civilians with similar demographics.
  • Election offices sent 655,409 absentee ballots to military and overseas voters in 2018 and received 344,392 back, for a return rate of 53 percent. The rejection rate was 6 percent.
  • Active duty military members who received assistance from a DoD resource (FVAP, Unit Voting Assistance Officers, Installation Voter Assistance Offices) were significantly more likely to submit a ballot than if they did not receive DoD assistance, a consistent finding across the last four General Elections.
  • More than four out of five (82%) military voters who reported casting an absentee ballot were aware of FVAP.
  • Between 2014 and 2018, awareness of FVAP among all military members rose from 38 percent to 47 percent.
  • FVAP.gov's web metrics indicate that its popularity increased significantly compared to the 2014 midterm election — with a 136 percent increase in site sessions in 2018.
  • FVAP trained nearly 3,000 Voting Assistance Officers in 2018 and developed the Effective Voting Assistance Model (EVAM) to share proven methodologies and identify the ideal characteristics of military voting assistance programs.
  • In 2018, the vast majority of state election officials who used FVAP products and services were happy with them (80% to 100% reported satisfaction with individual products and services).
  • Some states do not ensure special protections for military and overseas voters unless they register and request a ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).


View the full 2018 Post-Election Report to Congress here.




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. Facebook.com/DoDFVAP Twitter @FVAP