Absentee Voting Overview

Start the process as soon as possible with an FPCA

Most States require you to register to vote to start the absentee voting process. We encourage you use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA is a form you can use to register to vote and request absentee ballots for the year. We suggest that you send in a new FPCA every year and when you move.

Many States allow you to submit your FPCA electronically and all States allow for at least one form of electronic transmission of your blank ballot. Mail delivery times will vary based on where you are and customs requirements. Mail your materials early enough to account for the mail delivery time. Using electronic options can help reduce the ballot transit time for your election materials.

It only takes a few quick steps to make sure your vote is counted no matter where you are in the world. The FPCA can be completed by using the FPCA online assistant, filling out the PDF or picking up a hard copy version from your Voting Assistance Officer.

Pressed for time? Download the FPCA now and take it with you.

How long will my ballot take to get to my election official?

Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) distributes estimated mail delivery times each election cycle. Below are the most recent published recommended mailing dates by location: 

What to do if you do not receive your requested State absentee ballot

If you requested your absentee ballot and haven't received it from your State at least 30 days before the election, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB is an emergency backup ballot. This backup ballot can be completed using our FWAB online assistant, by filling out the PDF or picking up a hard copy version from your Voting Assistance Officer. The online assistant will guide you through the process of completing the form. Once you complete the form, you will be able to download and print the PDF package to sign and send to your election office. This PDF package even includes a pre-addressed and postage paid label so you don't have to worry about finding stamps! Don't forget a security envelope. (Use a separate blank envelope and write "Security Envelope" on it and place your voted ballot in it. This keeps your vote private.)