HOW TO VOTE USING THE EMERGENCY BACK-UP BALLOT (FWAB)
Is there a possibility your Official ballot won’t get to you in time to meet the ballot return deadlines?
VOTE NOW using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). This emergency Backup Ballot is specifically for overseas voters!
STEP I. Send in Your Ballot Request form (the Federal Post Card Application or FPCA):
Overseas voters need to submit a Ballot Request form every calendar year.
To fill out and submit your Ballot Request form, click here.
After you send it in, please be sure to verify with your Local Election Official (LEO) that they received your Ballot Request form and will send out your official ballot. You can find the contact information on the State Voting Guide: www.votefromabroad.org/states
STEP II. Fill out and Send in Your Emergency Back-up Ballot (the FWAB):
1. Go to this website and follow the prompts to Fill in the FWAB
2. The website may fill in the candidates for you to choose from. But if it does not, you can type in the candidate’s name.
Or, you can just type in "Democrat" for any office where you don't know the candidate's name. (This doesn't work for Primary elections since all of the candidates will be Democrats!)
- To find the candidates and races on your ballot, use the Sample_Ballot_Lookup
3. Follow the instructions to download the PDF Package containing your completed FWAB and Instructions. You can also download templates to paste onto your envelopes if you return your ballot by postal mail.
4. Print out the completed FWAB and the other documents you downloaded. Then read and carefully follow the instructions to SUBMIT the required materials to your LEO.
To Return by Fax or Email: The Instructions will indicate if your state will accept the FWAB by Email or Fax. We recommend you do so to ensure it will be received by the deadline.
If your state only allows return by Fax (not Email) and you don’t have access to a fax machine, there are apps that will convert an email attachment to a fax. Scan in your FWAB and any required materials as an email attachment, then search for “fax app for Android/iPhone.” Follow the instructions to convert your email attachment to a fax transmission.
Or you can use the Fax service through the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP.gov). You will need to email your FWAB and any required supporting materials (see your state’s instructions) to email@example.com using the FVAP "Fax Transmission Coversheet," which you can find here (Scroll down to "Send in your forms...Email or Fax"). FVAP will then fax your election materials to your Local Election Office.
Return by Mail: If you choose–or if your state requires you–to return your FWAB by postal mail, please follow the instructions carefully.
Two envelopes are required:
a “Ballot Security Envelope”–to hold your completed FWAB ballot, and
a “Mailing Envelope”–to send in your sealed Ballot Security Envelope as well as the supporting materials with your identifying information.
When the Mailing Envelope reaches the Election Office, they will separate the Ballot Security Envelope from the supporting materials to maintain ballot secrecy.
If you wish, you can follow the instructions to download envelope templates to affix to blank envelopes. If you have your original signed Ballot Request form, include it in the outer “Mailing Envelope”.
*IMPORTANT: If you receive your official ballot after submitting your FWAB, you should complete and return your official ballot as well.
It’s okay–only one ballot per person will be counted! If both your FWAB and your official ballot arrive before the deadline, your FWAB will be discarded and only your official ballot will be counted.