Did you know that many U.S. elections for House and Senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?

Go to the Overseas Citizen Voter section of the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website for specific information about voting in your state of residence, including deadlines for registration, requesting and returning ballots.  Some states permit electronic or email submission of a ballot while others request the submission of a written ballot.

For information about how to drop off your completed voting forms and ballots, addressed to your local election officials through the U.S. Embassy and its Consulates, please see the Embassy’s July 4th voting message here.

Receiving Your Ballot: Register and request your ballot by your state’s deadline. You can use FVAP’s easy online assistant at to walk you through each section of the form. After you finish filling out the FPCA, print it, sign it, and send it to your election office. Most states accept the FPCA by email or fax while some require it by mail. Check your state-specific guidelines at If your state requires you to receive paper voting forms or ballots from local election officials by mail, you can do so through private courier service in Honduras.

Returning Your Completed, Signed Ballot: Once you receive your requested absentee ballot, vote and return it as soon as you get it. Remember to carefully follow the instructions, especially if a “security envelope” is required, and sign the package as indicated when returning it.  Submitted ballots must be sealed.

To save time, send voted ballots electronically if allowed by state law. Voters can check if their state accepts completed absentee ballots by email, fax, or via an online portal at

Postage-paid envelopes are available on at Please download the Ballot Return and FWAB postage-paid envelope and place over a physical envelope. Please also fill in the To and From sections on the envelope.  Most states also require the actual ballot to be placed in another envelope, please follow your state specific instructions. Consider using the Ballot Return and FWAB Security Envelope for this purpose.

Never received your ballot?  If you registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot prior to your state’s registration deadline, but have not yet received your ballot, complete and return a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to ensure your vote reaches election officials by your state’s deadline.  Return it by mail, email, or fax depending on what your state allows.  If your regular ballot arrives later, complete and return it as well.  Your Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot will only be counted if your regular ballot does not reach local election officials by your state’s deadline.  Your vote will not be counted twice.

Make sure the voted ballot is received by your state. Go to, click on your state and then the “check the status of your voted ballot” button.

For more information about how to register to vote, request your absentee ballot, and key deadlines for your particular state, please email us at to receive a Power Point with step-by-step instructions.

Timeline of the absentee voting process:

Step What When
1 Register and request an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) – January of each year
2 Receive your absentee ballot from your State election office – 45-30 calendar days before the election
3a & 3b Return your State absentee ballot to your State;
If you do not receive your State absentee ballot, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) –
As soon as you receive it
NOTE: If you are at sea or at other overseas locations without access to the military postal system you should send your voted ballots to your election office – 35 calendar days before the election
NOTE: If you are at an overseas military installation with access to the military postal system you should send your voted ballots to your election office – 30 calendar days before the election
NOTE: If you are a stateside Uniformed Service member or an eligible family member you should send your voted ballots to your election office – 11 calendar days before the election

Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources

Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.

Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the Internet to locate articles and information.

For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts ( FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website,

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact or

Remember, your vote counts!