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Overseas voters

US citizens who are currently abroad can register to vote and request their absentee ballots at the same time with the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).

  1. Use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) Online Assistant, or download and complete the FPCA on your own.
  2. Provide a phone number and at least one email address where you can be reached, just in case your local election office needs to get in touch with you.
  3. Print, sign, and date the form.
  4. Send your completed form to your local election office. If you are using the FPCA to register to vote, you can mail or fax the form. If you are already registered and are using the FPCA to request an absentee ballot, you can mail, email, or fax your signed form to your election official.
  5. The Federal Government recommends submitting the form at least 90 days before Election Day. If you miss this deadline, just submit the form as soon as possible.
  6. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day.
  7. Once you receive your absentee ballot, fill it in completely, sign and date the form where indicated, and send it back to your local election office.

If you haven't received your ballot within 30 days of Election Day, contact your local election office.

If your absentee ballot never arrives, you can vote by using the backup Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

  1. Use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) Online Assistant, or download and complete the FWAB on your own.
  2. Provide a phone number and at least one email address where you can be reached, just in case your local election office needs to get in touch with you.
  3. Print, sign, and date the ballot.
  4. Return your completed ballot to your local election office as soon as possible, and ideally by Election Day. All states will let you return the ballot by mail, and some will let you return it via fax or email. Contact your local election office if you’d like to return your ballot by fax or email.
  5. If your regular absentee ballot arrives, complete it and return this ballot as well. Your local election office will make sure that only one of the ballots is counted.