In preparation for the 2018 election cycle, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) updated the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Service members, their eligible family members, and overseas citizens may use the FPCA to register to vote, request absentee ballots, and update contact information. If they do not receive their requested absentee ballot from their State, they can vote using the FWAB as a backup ballot.
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) requires FVAP to prescribe both standard forms, which are accepted by all States and territories in elections for federal office. Both forms require review and public comment every three years. The forms are available at FVAP.gov, and through an online assistant for completing them. While voters also have the option of using other types of absentee ballot request forms, these forms may not grant the same protections that UOCAVA ensures, such as the option to receive their blank ballot electronically and the requirement for election offices to send ballots to voters at least 45 days before elections for federal office.
To develop the new forms, FVAP leveraged an iterative process of expert design input, information gathering and testing with election officials, voters, and other stakeholders. Thanks to these efforts and the feedback received during public comment periods through the Federal Register, the forms have been improved with easier-to-understand instructions and visual cues, including larger text and color, to simplify form completion and clarify the submission process.
“This was by no means a solitary effort - the improved forms are products of stakeholder collaboration, usability testing, and valuable input from the public. I thank everyone who took the time to provide insight, and I hope you can see your efforts reflected in the updated forms,” FVAP Director David Beirne said. “These forms represent the latest example of FVAP’s dedication to continuous process improvement and applied research to increase the opportunity for our military, their families, and overseas citizens to successfully cast an absentee ballot.”
FVAP recommends voters submit a new FPCA in January of every year and each time they move, and to use the FWAB if they haven’t received their ballot from their State in time to return it by the election deadline.
•The FPCA and FWAB can be completed using an online assistant (fvap.gov/military-voter/registration-ballots)
•Download the fillable FPCA (fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fpca.pdf)
•Download the fillable FWAB (fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fwab.pdf)
Summary of Changes
•Updated section headings that reflect intuitive descriptions to help the voter complete the forms (i.e., “classification” changed to “Who are you?”; “voting residence address” changed to “What is your address in the State or territory where you are registering to vote or requesting a ballot?”).
•Removed Witness Signature box. On the FPCA, no State requires a witness; on the FWAB, the “additional information” section is used for the four States requiring witness signature(s).
•Added list of States that require additional information. This change was based on usability findings that showed voters do not look up State-specific information unless directed to do so.
•Removed the request for Race, as it is not a UOCAVA requirement.
•Simplified the choice for blank ballot receipt transmission by changing the rank-order preference to checkboxes; test groups found the ranking option confusing.
•Implemented visual cues, including larger text and color, to simplify form completion and clarify the submission process.
•Redesigned the printed FWAB structure to eliminate the Security Envelope. The ballot portion folds in half and seals using self-adhesive strips.
Important Information for Voting Assistance Officers
Voting Assistance Officers should send voters to FVAP.gov whenever possible to use the online assistant or access the fillable-PDF forms. Hardcopy forms will NOT be available until later this year. Please wait until you receive additional guidance to order the hardcopy forms through your proper Service channels.
Please update your communications and materials with links to the new forms (as applicable).
Do not distribute old versions of the forms to voters; however, if a voter has obtained an older form, he or she may still use it, based on current State requirements and contact information.
Overseas citizen groups should encourage voters to use the online assistant, but can contact FVAP directly to acquire hardcopy forms later this year.
Important Information for Election Officials
Election officials should begin accepting the new forms while continuing to accept previous editions of the forms. While the forms include the statement, “Previous editions are obsolete,” it is in reference to Federal printing requirements through the General Services Administration (GSA) only and not related to voter use, or election official processing, of the forms.
Please update your communications and materials with links to the new forms (as applicable).
Federal Voting Assistance Program
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is a Department of Defense (DoD) organization that works to ensure Service members, their eligible family members, and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so — from anywhere in the world.
FVAP assists voters through partnerships with the Military Services, Department of State, Department of Justice, and election officials from 50 States, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. State and local governments administer U.S. elections, including those for federal offices. FVAP supports State and local election officials by providing absentee voting information, materials, training and guidance.
Voters can contact FVAP’s call center at 703-588-1584 (toll free 1-800-438-VOTE or DSN 425-1584) or email (email@example.com).
Toll-free phone numbers from 67 countries are listed at FVAP.gov.
Find FVAP on Facebook at (facebook.com/DoDFVAP) and Twitter (twitter.com/fvap).
Dear DNC Member,
Pursuant to our rules, this email serves as your 7-day notice for our upcoming 2017 DNC Fall Meeting, October 19th - 21st, 2017 at Bally's Las Vegas, in Las Vegas, NV. Please find below key information on our meeting.
You will find an updated overall schedule for the meeting here.
You will find the agendas for the various meetings throughout our 3 days in Las Vegas, which are subject to change, here.
Should you not be able to attend any portion of the Fall Meeting, you can fill out a proxy form here. We will need you to fill out a proxy form for each individual meeting that you cannot attend.
On Wednesday, October 18th registration will be open from 6am-9pm at the hotel. Feel free to stop by as you arrive to the hotel.
Please find below the Election Fact Sheets for the various caucuses and councils.
Regional Caucuses (for specific information please refer to the Regional Caucus Fact Sheet):
Constituency Caucuses (for specific information please refer to the Constituency Caucus Fact Sheet):
Councils (for specific information please refer to the Council Fact Sheet):
•Seniors Coordinating Council
•Native American Council
•Small Business Council
•Veterans & Military Families Council
If you are interested in running for an officer position within a caucus, you can find the nominating form here. To note, the form is fillable, so you can send it to members of your caucus to gather the required signatures. In order to ensure there are no technical issues accessing these forms, we recommend using internet browsers other than Internet Explorer.
As we conduct our general party business in Las Vegas we will also have a number of actions that members can take throughout the week. Please find them below:
•October 19th from 12pm-4pm & October 20th from 12pm-6pm the DNC Action Center will be open where members will be able to phone bank into key targeted races
•October 19th from 11am-12:30pm & October 20th from 3pm-4:30pmthe DNC Pitch-a-thon will be happening where tech companies will be able to pitch their services and for state party members and EDs to provide feedback.
•Friday, October 20th from 12pm-6pm the DNC Exhibit Hall will be open where members can connect and build relationships with allied groups
•Friday, October 20th in the Evening - DNC members are invited to take part in the Las Vegas Pride Parade with the Nevada State Democratic Party. More information will be shared as we solidify logistics Chair's Appointments In a separate email Chairman Perez will send you his nominations for the 75 at-large DNC Members and appointments to the DNC Standing Committees. Arriving in Las Vegas Here are some friendly travel tips that might help you prepare.
•Cab ride from McCarran International Airport: $25-$30
•Check-In at Bally's is at 4PM and checkout is 11AM. To note, if you check-in prior to 4PM you will incur a $20 charge
•There is a cost for parking at Bally’s. The parking fee is $10 a day for self-parking, or $18 per day for valet parking
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me or my staff.
Democratic National Committee
Highlight and click on this link to this fascinating and informative report on the recent of history of wages in the United States.
Week 28: Donate to Hurricane Relief
Dear DNC Member,
The past few days have been devastating for our friends in Puerto Rico and all those in the path of the hurricane Maria. Please consider donating to the Red Cross to help those affected if you can.
Democrats have been united against the latest GOP health care repeal effort. And Senator John McCain’s dramatic announcement today that he will not vote for Graham-Cassidy has carried the bill one step closer to defeat. But the fight isn’t over yet. We need to make sure Trumpcare ends up in the dustbin of history where it belongs once and for all. While Senate Democrats held countless hearings, accepted more than 180 Republican amendments, and debated the Affordable Care Act for over 160 hours on the floor, Republicans will vote on a bill with little if any debate and without a CBO score or basic knowledge of how many millions of Americans will be hurt.
If doctors made health care decisions for patients without knowing the consequences, they would be sued. But that’s exactly what Republicans are doing right now. This is not regular order – it’s malpractice. And any member of Congress who supports this sham deserves to be voted out of office. Millions of Americans would be at risk, so we need as many voices as possible to defeat this life-threatening bill.
One of the most troubling aspects of this bill is its lack of funding for opioid addiction treatment. Opioid addiction is taking lives and tearing apart families. Instead of fighting to address the problem, Republicans in Congress want to ram through this partisan bill to take away people’s health care and slash billions in funding for addiction treatment. More than six weeks after calling the opioid epidemic a national emergency, President Trump has done nothing to help those affected. Now he’s leading the Republican charge to strip protections and resources from the working families who need them most.
This issue knows no party. From New Hampshire to Nevada, the opioid crisis has ravaged communities across the country. We cannot sit idly by while Republicans choose cruelty over compassion and destroy the lives of millions. We must elect more Democrats to fight this urgent crisis with the urgent action it demands.
We’ll have the chance soon with Election Day 2017 is less than 50 days away. Things are heating up in Virginia, where our candidate for governor, Ralph Northam, had a tremendous debate performance against his opponent on Tuesday night. Northam has spent his life as a public servant, while Republican nominee Ed Gillespie has made a career serving big corporations, special interests, and himself. Hard-working Virginians need a candidate that will support them and their families. Ralph Northam is that candidate.
But the Virginia governor’s race is just one election where voters are flocking to Democrats. Our CEO Jess O’Connell and DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post published a piece on TIME.com about the recent string of Democratic victories in special elections across the country, including in some deep-red districts where Trump won handily in November. From New Hampshire to Oklahoma, the American people are sending a loud and clear message: Democratic values are American values.
So much is at stake in these elections. Working families deserve a better deal from their representatives. They deserve a better deal on health care and housing, on wages and workers’ rights, on education and retirement security. And as our incredible National Political and Organizing Director and new mother, Amanda Brown Lierman, wrote in a Medium post this week, working families deserve a better deal on child care. Democrats are offering that better deal, and the American people are responding at the ballot box.
This week also marked the start of the Jewish New Year as communities in America, Israel, and around the world began to observe the Jewish High Holy Days. From the beginning of Rosh Hashanah to the final sealing on Yom Kippur, the Days of Awe are a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal.
Over the past year, we’ve seen how fear and hatred can divide our country. But while each new year brings new challenges, the DNC will always be a steadfast partner to Jewish communities as we combat anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, and as we continue the work of tikkun olam.
Democratic National Committee
Press Contact: Aloka Barthel
Tel: (+49) 017632935147
Democrats Abroad Endorses “Medicare-for-All” Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2017 – Democrats Abroad endorses the “Medicare-for-All" bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on September 13th by Bernie Sanders and co-sponsors including Sens Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.
"The ‘Medicare-for-All’ bill is currently the best route to attaining the goal of universal health care and as such we endorse it." stated Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad, on behalf of the International Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad. "We invite those who favor other routes to put forward ideas that are as practical and thorough in attaining coverage for all.”
As Sanders explained in The New York Times Wednesday, the bill would mean that “every family in America would receive comprehensive coverage, and middle-class families would save thousands of dollars a year by eliminating their private insurance costs as we move to a publicly funded program.”
The endorsement from Democrats Abroad is the most recent push in support for universal health care from the organization, which has consistently maintained a stance that health care is a right, not a privilege. Americans around the world have advocated for an affordable healthcare solution for residents in the United States similar to what many have experienced first-hand overseas.
The organization is currently asking Americans abroad to share their perspective through http://democratsabroad.org/healthcare_stories.
“We consistently hear stories in support of universal health care, including many about 'health care refugees' - Americans abroad who can't return to the States because their health care would be cost prohibitive back home," added Bryan. "Health care should be a given, not a question mark, and it's time for U.S. policies to reflect that."
***Addendum: As an issue that impacts Americans across all demographics, additional quotes on this issue are provided below.
Ana Blackstad, Chair, Hispanic Caucus of Democrats Abroad: “Latinos face the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group within the United States. ‘Medicare-for-All’ would help Latino families access preventative care for illnesses that disproportionately affect the Latino community, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and asthma.”
Ann Hesse, Co-Chair, Women’s Caucus of Democrats Abroad: “Health care is absolutely key to a woman's well-being and economic stability, and we know that women are particularly discriminated against in the patchwork of health care plans currently available in the US. We believe that this bill provides the very best chance yet for our mothers and sisters back home to have the same access to high-quality care that we enjoy abroad.”
Salli Swartz, Co-Chair, Women’s Caucus of Democrats Abroad: “The Democrats Abroad Global Women's Caucus strongly supports the ‘Medicare-for-All’ bill introduced this week before Congress by Bernie Sanders. This Bill if enacted will protect women's' right to health care which is essential to protecting our rights to maternal care to pregnant women and children and reproductive health benefits."
Martha McDevitt-Pugh, Chair, LGBT Caucus of Democrats Abroad: “A health crisis can hit any community, and LGBT Americans know only too well the devastating consequences discrimination can have on the health of individuals and communities. The ‘Medicare-for-All’ bill would ensure access to care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender people and provide a foundation of integrity for American society and our families.”
Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for United States citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee, with eight positions on the Democratic National Committee, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to select our presidential candidate.
For more information, visit http://www.democratsabroad.org.
Have you had a good experience with universal healthcare? Let Congress know by sharing your story at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our story page. We’ll send your stories in to Senate Dems in Washington.