Absentee voting is a simple 3 step process
1. Send in a completed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to your local election officials
- They will confirm your eligibility to vote and put your name on a list to receive absentee ballots for any elections held that calendar year.
- They will send you a blank absentee ballot electronically or by mail.
- Federal Post Card Application Fact Sheet
- Federal Post Card Application
2. Receiving Your Blank Absentee Ballot
- Forty-five days before the November general elections, your state will either send your blank ballot to you electronically or mail it to the address you provided on your FPCA.
- If you haven’t received your blank ballot 30 days prior to an election, don’t wait any longer; use the emergency Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to vote.
3. Voting and Returning Your Ballot
- Complete your ballot carefully and legibly. Return it to your local election officials before your state’s ballot receipt deadline. Send it back as early as possible.
- Overseas voters have a number of options for returning voted ballots:
- Local mail: If you have good mail service to the United States, put your ballot in the mail with appropriate international postage.
- U.S. Embassy Pouch/APO/FPO: You can drop off your ballot request or voted ballot at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for return to the United States. It must be addressed to your local election officials and have sufficient postage or be in a postage-paid envelope. A postage-paid envelope is available on the FVAP web site. Contact the voting assistance officer or visit the Embassy website for specific instructions.
- Fax, Email, or Internet: A number of states now allow the electronic return of voted ballots. Consult the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Voting Assistance Guide for electronic transmission options for your state.