INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE BACKUP BALLOT (FEDERAL WRITE-IN BALLOT or FWAB)
Wisconsin Supreme Court GENERAL ELECTION
TIP: Your responses MUST MATCH the information on the BALLOT REQUEST FORM (FEDERAL POST CARD APPLICATION or FPCA).
If you have a copy of your FPCA form, keep it handy for reference.
If you submitted your FPCA using www.votefromabroad.org, the confirmation email includes a copy of your FPCA as an attachment.
1. GO TO: FVAP.GOV/FWAB-privacy-notice
- Scroll down to click "I Accept" for the Privacy Notice
- Select "Wisconsin" on the map
- Choose your Jurisdiction (your city, town, or village in your county in Wisconsin)
2. FILL IN THE FORM AS DIRECTED WITH YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION.
YOUR RESPONSES MUST MATCH THOSE ON YOUR BALLOT REQUEST FORM (the "FPCA")
Absentee Ballot Classification - this must be the SAME as you selected on your FPCA form
If you are non-military, you must have chosen "intend to return" to vote in this election.
- Click the box that "I have already registered and requested an absentee ballot."
If you are non-military, then to use a Backup Ballot, you should have sent in your form (the "FPCA") to request an absentee ballot.
- If you haven't sent in your ballot request form yet, go to www.votefromabroad.org to fill out and submit your form.
Then come back here to submit your Backup Ballot.
- You can skip the question about applying for ballots for future elections. It isn't necessary as your ballot request form already addressed that.
3. PERSONAL INFORMATION
Fill in your Personal Information as directed. Remember:
- "Voting address" is the street address of your last residence in Wisconsin.
- It's your choice whether to declare a Political Party. This is a general election, so you will receive your ballot without filling that in.
- "Mailing Address" is your current address outside the US.
You don't need to provide a "Forwarding Address."
4. REMINDER ABOUT REQUIRED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
This page provides a reminder that you MUST have a witness sign the Voter Identification page. You don't do that here -- you'll print out that page when your you download your completed Backup Ballot at the end of the process.
The witness doesn't have to be a US citizen (the rule changed in 2020), but they must be 18 years or older.
They'll also need to write out their full address, which can be outside the US.
This page also includes a reminder that IF you're also using the Backup Ballot to request your ballot, you'll need to include a copy of your ID. However, we don't recommend this; we highly recommend that you use the FPCA form to request your ballot.
When you send in the FPCA form, you can submit the form and your ID by email -- VoteFromAbroad.org will walk you through this. If you use the Backup Ballot, you must send it in by mail AND it must be receive in Wisconsin by March 30 -- 5 days before the regular ballot return deadline.
If you've already submitted your FPCA form with a copy of your ID, you don't need to provide another copy when you mail in your Backup Ballot. Of course, it's your option if you wish to include the copy as well.
5. AFTER PROVIDING YOUR INFORMATION, TYPE IN YOUR CANDIDATE
You'll need to write-in your choice for Wisconsin Supreme Court election:
- Scroll down to the “Write In Candidates” section and type in the office: "Supreme Court Justice"
- This is no party designation in this election, so you cannot just list "Democrat."
- Under "Candidate's Name," type in the liberal candidate: Janet Protasiewicz
Please be careful with the spelling. We suggest you copy and paste the name to get the spelling correct!
- You may also have other state and local elections on your ballot - check HERE to see. You can fill these in on the "Write In Candidates" section of the Backup Ballot as well.
Here's an example of how to fill out the Backup Ballot for the Wisconsin Supreme Court election:
6. AFTER YOU CONFIRM YOUR CANDIDATE SELECTION AND YOUR INFORMATION, DOWNLOAD YOUR "FWAB PDF PACKAGE"
- Click the red button: "Download PDF Package"
- The PDF Package provides these materials for you to download and print out:
- Your Official Backup Ballot (FWAB) with your choice listed
- Your Voter Information sheet
- Wisconsin-specific instructions for signing and submitting your Backup Ballot (FWAB) materials
- Mailing instructions
- If you wish, you may also download templates for your envelopes ("Step 2: Get Your Envelopes to Return Your FWAB Package by Mail.") You can choose either US or European envelope templates.
However, these templates aren't required and most people find it easier to prepare their envelopes by hand.
(Detailed instructions are below.)
You can also download a "US Mail postage paid " template. But it only provides paid postage in the US Mail, US Military Mail, or the US Embassy's diplomatic pouch.
The template will not cover postage in your country's postal system. You must add your own postage.
7. PRINTING AND MAILING YOUR BACKUP BALLOT (FWAB):
You'll need 2 envelopes to return your ballot: (1) a smaller Security Envelope, and (2) a larger Outer Mailing Envelope.
Print out the materials that you downloaded in the PDF package. You may use any size paper and you may reduce the printing size to fit your paper. You should have:
Your Official Backup Ballot (FWAB)
- A Voter Information sheet
- Instructions to Election Officials
1. Official Backup Ballot - Place in the smaller privacy envelope:
- Review your printed Backup Ballot for accuracy. Do NOT sign the ballot.
- Then seal it in the smaller security envelope. If not using the template, just use a plain, unmarked envelope.
To ensure the secrecy of your vote, only your Backup Ballot should be placed in the security envelope.
2. Voter Information Sheet:
- Review your Voter Information sheet for accuracy.
- In Box 6, have your ballot witness sign and provide their current address.
- Add your signature and date the form at the bottom.
3. Outer Mailing Envelope:
All of your materials should be sealed in the larger outer mailing envelope:
- Sealed security envelope (containing your Backup Ballot)
- Signed & dated Voter Information sheet
- Instructions to Election Officials
- Optional: A copy of your photo ID
If you're not using the template, write on the outside of the Mailing Envelope:
- “Official Absentee Ballot"
Include the full address of your Election Office, including "USA."
The address will be on the Instructions that downloaded with your PDF package.
- In the upper left side, provide your return (non-US) address.
Under the return address information, write: "Ballot Enclosed for 04/23 Election"
- ADD sufficient postage to return your ballot to Wisconsin from your country.
The instructions will provide the mailing address for your Municipal Clerk (City, Town, or Village Clerk).
*Your ballot must be received by Election Day (April 4) or it will not be counted.
If you are also using your Backup Ballot to request a ballot (which we don't recommend), then it must be received in Wisconsin by March 30 or it will not be counted.
If you need any help, please write to [email protected]