It's getting close to the election and I haven't received my blank ballot yet. What should I do?


If you successfully submitted a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to request your ballot, your state is required to send out your ballot 45 days before the election (or within a few days of receiving your FPCA form). 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 requested your blank ballot be sent by email, be sure to check your “spam” folder and any secondary inboxes. You’d be surprised how many ballots are found hiding in there.

If your ballot isn’t in your email folders, contact your Local Election Official right away to find out what happened to it. It’s possible it was lost or that they don’t have you on their voter rolls as an overseas voter. You can look up the contact information here

Finally, 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. Please be sure to allow enough time for your FWAB to get back to the US!