September 17, 2020

What to do if your FWAB is rejected

Are you worried about your Federal Write in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) getting accepted by your election office in the US? Federal law protects these ballots, and we can help too. If you hear from your local election office that they have turned down your FWAB, please consider sending your election officer the below email, customized to your situation. 

For supporting guidance on FWABs, we recommend reviewing this document from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (


Sample script to email to your local election officer in case of issues with your FWAB 

Dear XX,

I have been told that you will not accept an FWAB (Federal Write in Absentee Ballot), allowing me to cast my vote more reliably from overseas. Please be informed that the voting rights of UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) voters are protected under federal law (52 USC section 20303).

The law allows UOCAVA voters to be able to vote by FWAB if they do not think that their ballot will arrive in time for them to vote otherwise. This year, because of the Covid pandemic, many countries do not have international postal services and others have serious delays. It's very likely that there will not be enough time for me to return my ballot by postal mail in time to be counted, if I have to wait for my original ballot to arrive. This year using a FWAB may be my only choice if I want to vote in our federal elections. Please see supporting guidance on the voting rules for UOCAVA voters from the Federal Voting Assistance Program ( here.

Please reply back to me to confirm receipt of this email and let me know if you require anything else in this regard.