How do you request an absentee ballot?


Quick Answer

To request an absentee ballot, download the form from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), fill it out and send it to a local election office. The FVAP online assist feature can provide forms, instructions and absentee voting information by state, notes the FVAP.

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How do you request an absentee ballot?
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Full Answer

It is fairly easy for U.S. citizens living abroad to vote. To request an absentee ballot, use the following steps.

  1. Visit the FVAP website
  2. The FVAP is responsible for providing voting assistance for all citizens living overseas.

  3. Download the necessary forms
  4. Citizens living abroad must send in a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to receive a ballot. To download an FPCA, click the state or U.S. territory on the map on the FVAP website to access voter information and print out the FPCA forms.

  5. Send in the FPCA forms
  6. Fill out the FPCA forms. Find the address for the local election office on the state information page. Mail the forms to the relevant office.

Citizens can receive ballots electronically by email, fax or download, depending on their state of residence. They can also receive paper copies by mail. They usually receive them 45 days before mid-term and general elections and 30 days before primary or special elections, according to the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Citizens living abroad should send in an FPCA form every January. If they do so, they can receive ballots automatically for any elections that year. To ensure that the ballot goes to the right place, voters should send in a new FPCA if they change address or change email accounts.

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