Data Standardization and the 2022 General Election Research

FVAP Releases Research Note on Data Standardization and the 2022 General Election

FVAP's latest research note uses 2022 transactional data to assess the absentee voting process for military and overseas citizen voters. The results of this study show the importance of Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) protections. These safeguards allow voters to successfully complete the voting process by leveraging the 45-day period prior to a federal election for receiving an absentee ballot and options for electronically requesting or receiving absentee ballots. For the 2022 General Election, 13 states and four jurisdictions reported transactional data, which accounted for about 41.5% of the total UOCAVA population in the U.S. 

2020 ESB Research Note Highlights for participating jurisdictions:

  • UOCAVA voters using the Federal Post Card Application to request absentee ballots had a higher return rate than those requesting ballots with state applications.
  • For ballots requested in 2022, blank ballots transmitted electronically were returned at higher rates than those transmitted by mail, in particular when the ballot was requested very close to Election Day. However, blank ballots transmitted to ADM by mail were returned at higher rates than those transmitted electronically. For overseas citizen voters blank ballots transmitted electronically had slightly higher return rates than those transmitted by mail.
  • UOCAVA voters returned their ballots in 2022 later than in 2020 and fell closer to the timeline observed in the 2018 General Elections. Of recent election cycles, 2020 had the earliest ballot return timeframe.
  • UOCAVA ballot return rates were higher for ballots requested during the election year, and that ballots requested before the 45-day deadline had lower rejection rates than those requested closer to Election Day. This demonstrates the importance for voters to take action early to be able to successfully complete the voting process.
  • Uniformed Services relied more on electronic ballot requests compared to overseas citizens for the last four general elections (i.e., 2016 to 2022). However, overseas citizens increased their use of electronic means to request a ballot for the 2022 General Election, following the trend started in 2020.

Since 2015, FVAP has been working with The Council of State Governments' Overseas Voting Initiative (OVI) to develop, and have states utilize, a standardized format that captures transactional-level data about military and overseas voters. The OVI and FVAP are working to expand Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) Section B (ESB) Data Standard collection coverage to additional states and jurisdictions in anticipation of the 2024 General Election.

To review the Executive Summary: click here.

To review the full technical research report: click here.

PDF Version of Release


For more information on FVAP or assistance with the absentee voting process, visit call FVAP at 1-800-438-VOTE or DSN 425-1584 (CONUS)/312-425-1584 (OCONUS), or email Remember, you also can contact your unit or installation voting assistance officer for assistance during any step of the process.; Twitter @FVAP. Additional Information for non-UOCAVA Uniformed service members, their families, and Department of Defense civilians who are currently stationed in the same location as their voting address may visit to register to vote and request information from their local election office to vote locally.