Submitting a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) – which VoteFromAbroad (VFA) helps you complete - provides several benefits over using the in-state absentee ballot request form:
- An FPCA form, sent in the calendar year of an election, protects your ballot at the federal level in case of a recount. (A ballot that doesn’t have a corresponding FPCA form may be subject to challenge in a close election);
- You will receive a ballot for every election in that calendar year, including primaries, special elections and runoff elections (many states require a new form be submitted for each election);
- Your overseas ballot will be sent directly to you (an in-state ballot will be sent to your in-state address and you will need someone to forward it to you)
- You can request your state send your blank ballot to you by Email/Online or Fax instead of Mail (many states will only send blank absentee ballots by Mail);
- Your state must send your blank ballot at least 45 days before the scheduled election (the deadline for sending out in-state absentee ballots tend to be much closer to the election);
- If you don’t receive your blank ballot in time to send it back by the deadline, you can vote using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)–the FWAB is only available to voters who have submitted an FPCA;
- Many states allow overseas voters additional time to submit their voted ballots and/or allow overseas voters to submit voted ballots electronically.