If you successfully submitted a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), your state is required to send out your ballot 45 days before the election. For the November General Elections, ballots are typically sent out by the third week of September. (To verify your FPCA was received and approved, see FAQ #19 (“How Do I Check If I Am Registered To Vote And My Ballot Request Form Was Received So That I’ll Receive An Overseas Ballot?”)
If you’re concerned you may not receive your blank ballot in time to return it by the deadline for voted ballots, you can vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)–also known as the “back-up ballot”. For detailed instructions how to use a FWAB, please go here: www.votefromabroad.org/fwab
The FWAB is a ballot–please be sure to follow the instructions carefully! And be aware of the deadline to submit your ballot. The deadline information for your state will be in the Instructions that print out with your completed FWAB.
Finally, If you receive your official ballot after submitting your FWAB, you should complete and return your official ballot as well. It’s okay–only one ballot per person will be counted. If both your FWAB and your official ballot arrive before the deadline, your FWAB will be discarded and only your official ballot will be counted.