Though the General Election is still a month away, it’s time for military voters to start returning their absentee ballots so they arrive in time to meet state deadlines.
Election offices nationwide were required to send ballots to military voters who requested them by Sept. 22. If you haven't received your ballot yet, you may want to use the federal backup ballot, the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) has an easy-to-use online tool that will help you fill out and submit your ballot on their website, FVAP.gov.
Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)
The FWAB serves as a backup ballot if you don't get your regular absentee ballot in time. FVAP.gov offers an online assistant that will guide you through the form-completion process, as well as lets you complete a paper write-in absentee ballot that you can print out and mail back to your home state for the upcoming election.
Some states let you complete the entire process online.
If you end up receiving an official ballot after sending in a backup ballot, you should still fill it out and send it back. States will ensure only one ballot is counted per voter.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP)
The FVAP has a website that allows you to register to vote, request ballots, and in some cases actually submit your ballot online.
The website also lists all candidates for federal offices in your home voting district and links you to the official state voting website for assistance in researching and understanding your state and local election issues.
If you are just starting to think about next month's election, there may still be time to register to vote in many states. You can visit FVAP.gov for your state's specific voter registration, ballot request and ballot submission deadlines.
"Absentee voters should check their state voting deadlines, follow all ballot instructions and send back their ballot in plenty of time for it to arrive," FVAP Director David Beirne said. "We encourage military and overseas voters to use the backup ballot at FVAP.gov if they are concerned about missing their state's voting deadline."
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