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7 Vital Things To Know If You'll Be Voting Absentee This Election

If you’re an American living abroad or a military member serving away from home, you can vote absentee in the upcoming election. Let FVAP help!

This election is frickin' wild.

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It seems like every day there's another alarming headline about the state of the election, doesn't it?

No matter who you're voting for, this election feels more urgent than ever. Worry not — voting absentee is easy and requires just a little bit of preparation. Here's what you need to know to participate.

1. Voting absentee is really just a two-step process.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

# Go to to register and request an absentee ballot by filling out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Send it to back to your election office before the deadline (find that info by going to and selecting your state).

# When you receive your ballot, fill it out and send it into your election office.

2. You can vote from ~anywhere~.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

Anywhere! You can have an absentee ballot sent to you — wherever you are. If you’re living overseas, you can vote absentee. If you’re in the military and in the US but too far away from your voting residence, you can vote absentee.

3. Military spouses can vote absentee, too.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

You're away from your voting residence, so you can vote absentee! Simple as that.

4. You don't have to remember a ton of deadlines. There are just three recommended deadlines for returning your ballot!


The recommended deadlines for returning your absentee ballot are:

* Oct. 10, 2016: If you’re on a ship at sea.

* Oct. 15, 2016: If you’re overseas.

* Nov. 1, 2016: If you’re stateside but away from your voting residence.

5. Didn't get your ballot in time? Hey, it happens. Don't worry — there's backup.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

If you don’t receive your absentee ballot in time to return it to your election office by the deadline, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). It’s a backup ballot. If you receive your state absentee ballot after submitting the FWAB, vote and return it as well. Only one will be counted if both your state ballot and FWAB are received by the deadline.

6. After you fill out your ballot and send it in, how do you know if it's been received?


You can find out! Select your state at to find out the status of your voted ballot right now. 😮

7. And if you want to talk to a human for help, you can do that, too.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

You can find the contact info for your election office here. They'll be happy to assist you.

Need more help? Contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program!