August 03, 2022

Using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot



If you requested an absentee ballot but have not yet received it, please submit a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), also known as a "backup" or "emergency" ballot.

What is the FWAB, and why should I use it?

The FWAB is a ballot specifically for overseas voters to preserve their vote in uncertain circumstances. Mailing in your FWAB as soon as possible will protect your vote in case mail is curtailed in the coming weeks.

There's no downside to submitting a FWAB. But you should also mail your official ballot as soon as you receive it. (Federal law required all states to send ballots to overseas voters by September 24.) If both the FWAB and your official ballot reach your voting jurisdiction by the deadline, only the official ballot will be counted, and the FWAB will be discarded.

How do I submit a FWAB?

If you haven't already submitted a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) — the absentee ballot request form for overseas voters — this is your first step. You can do this at If you're unsure, please fill it out again. Multiple submissions are okay, and your local election office must honor the most recent submission. Please note that information from your FPCA must match your information on your FWAB

To fill out the FWAB, go to Remember that a FWAB is a ballot, so read the instructions carefully!


Here's some additional information/help filling out a FWAB:

If you can't figure it out, don't give up. Contact us at [email protected].