Voter Help Desk
Is there a deadline to submit the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)?

The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is an alternative, downloadable ballot which, depending on your voter status, you can use to vote in federal, state and local elections, including ballot measures. It is accepted by all states and territories.

If you are indefinitely overseas, with no plans to return, we recommend you vote only at the Federal level, that is, President/Vice President; US House of Representatives and Senate, and forego voting for State and Local offices.

The FWAB is used by registered overseas and active duty uniformed services voters who have not received their official absentee ballot in a timely manner.

In most states, to qualify to use the FWAB, you must first have completed and sent in your Voter Registration/Ballot Request form so that it will arrive either thirty (30) days prior to the election you wish to vote in, OR on or before the deadline established by your state. Note that it is the longest deadline that applies. You can check your state deadlines list by visiting the Election Dates & Deadlines page on our website. 

Some states will accept the FWAB as a simultaneous voter registration + ballot - but only if it is received before the registration and ballot request deadline. The following states require you to register and request an Absentee Ballot before filling out the FWAB form: AL, AS, AR, CT, FL, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, PR, RI, SD, TX, WI, WV, and WY.*

If it is early to mid-October (depending on the country you live and what the mail service is like from there to the U.S.), we suggest that you download, complete, print, and mail the FWAB which you can do from our website. If you saved your registration information in a Voter Account, you can login and access the FWAB with a click of a button. If you do not have a Voter Account, you can find the FWAB form here on our website. You can also visit our website’s homepage and click “View Details” under “Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot”. 

*Please note the source of this information is The Federal Voting Assistance Program ( and that it is subject to change. The U.S. Vote Foundation and Overseas Vote cannot be held responsible for this information.

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