March 5, 2014

The Federal Voting Assistance Program

Sometimes on this blog I would like to share important information which can be helpful to those in the military. I know you probably want pretty photos to look at, but don't worry I will have lots more pictures to share soon. - Layla

TheFederal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) administers the Federal responsibilities of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).  FVAP 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 provides U.S. citizens worldwide a broad range of nonpartisan information and assistance to facilitate their participation in voting - regardless of where they work or live.

Unfortunately absentee voters still face unique challenges. FVAP is continuously working to combat those challenges by improving the voter’s experience, providing greater support to election officials, and fostering relationships with stakeholders. provides many tools to support the absentee voting process, including online assistants to quickly and accurately fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). 

The FPCA is a form used by UOCAVA citizens to register to vote and request absentee ballots.

The FWAB is a back-up write-in ballot UOCAVA voters can use if they’ve made a timely application for, but haven’t received, their regular State ballot.  FVAP recommends voters use the FWAB 30 days prior to the election. If after submitting the FWAB the voter receives the State absentee ballot, he/she should vote and return it. If both ballots are received by the deadline, only the State ballot will be counted.

FVAP encourages Americans who are eligible to vote to complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FCPA) annually and with every change of mailing address. The length of time the ballot request is valid varies by State, so submitting a new FPCA in the New Year will ensure that you receive an absentee ballot for each election in which you are eligible to vote.

The information you provide on the FPCA allows your local election official to reach you.  If you have moved, complete a new form to make sure they have the correct address and contact information.

Where can you get an FPCA?

·         A digital PDF can be found online at, and there is an automated tool to walk you through completing it.

·         Hardcopies of the form are available at all military installations and U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide.

When filling out an FCPA, remember the following details so that your form can be processed correctly:

·         Write legibly.

·         Remember to sign and date the form before mailing it to your local election office.

·         Submit your FCPA in a manner in accordance with State law. (You can find your State’s requirements at

·         Submit the form before the registration or request deadline.

Numerous absentee voting failures occurred in the ballot delivery process due to late or no ballot arrival to the overseas voter, late ballot return to the United States or an inaccurate completion. They want to help solve these problems by promoting early registration and absentee ballot requests, and successful completion of voted ballots. Together we will help ensure military and overseas citizen voters who want to vote are able to successfully exercise their most fundamental right - from anywhere in the world.

To learn even more about FVAP, please visit

I am a voluntary member of FVAP’s Blogger Network and am not compensated for my posts.  The thoughts presented here are my own and do not reflect the opinions of FVAP or any of its representatives.

FVAP, a nonpartisan Department of Defense component, helps military and overseas citizens register to vote and request absentee ballots from anywhere in the world.

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