Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP)
Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)
Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)
Request a Vote by Mail (Absentee) Ballot
All active duty United States uniformed service members, Merchant Marine members, spouses or dependents thereof, or United States citizens residing outside of the United States can request a Vote by Mail ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You can obtain an FPCA from any Voting Assistance Officer or through the Internet at www.fvap.gov. You can also call or request by mail, fax, or email your Supervisor of Elections that Vote by Mail be sent to you. If you decide to use an FPCA to request your Vote by Mail ballot, your request will be good for all elections through the end of the calendar year for the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election.
Vote by Mail ballots are mailed to military and overseas citizens no later than forty-five (45) days before each election. If you are an active duty uniformed service member, a Merchant Marine member, absent stateside or overseas from your place of residence, including a spouse or dependent thereof (who is also absent due to the member’s absence), or a United States citizen residing overseas, you can ask that your Vote by Mail ballot either be faxed or e-mailed to you, in lieu of receiving it by regular mail. If you choose to include an e-mail address with your Vote by Mail request, the Supervisor will notify you by e-mail that your request has been received. The Supervisor will also provide you with the estimated time the ballot will be sent to you and let you know when your ballot has been received.
As of July 2010, any voter who has requested a Vote by Mail ballot can track online the status of their ballot. You can either link through the Division of Elections’ Voter Information Lookup at www.elections.myflorida.com or through our websites Track Your Ballot feature.
Federal Write-In Ballot
With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2005 in October 2004, the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) may now be used by all absent Uniformed Service voters both inside and outside the United States, as well as United States citizens residing overseas. This broadens the use of FWAB, as military voters were previously not allowed to use it when residing inside the country but outside their voting jurisdiction.
The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot is basically a back-up or emergency ballot used for the general election in the event that the voter does not receive their requested regular absentee ballot in time for it to be voted and returned to the local election official to be counted.
The second change to the FWAB in the recent law concerns the absentee request deadline. Previously, the UOCAVA voter had to have requested an absentee ballot at least thirty (30) days prior to the election. Now, the request must be received at least thirty (30) days before the general election or before the deadline established by the state, whichever is later.
It is vitally important for voters to request absentee ballots as early as possible, the beginning of each year is advisable. Equally important is to keep the local election official's office apprised of any address changes once a request is made. Absentee ballots that are Returned Undeliverable to the elections office because of a bad address automatically cancel the voter's absentee request, and the voter must make a new request providing the correct address.
State Write-In Ballot
No earlier than one hundred eighty (180) days before a general election, an overseas voter may request a state write-in absentee ballot. In the request the voter must indicate that due to military or other contingencies that preclude normal mail delivery, the voter cannot vote a regular absentee ballot during the normal voting period. The ballot will contain only the races, and the voter must fill in the names of candidates or write in the name of a political party, in which case all candidates of that party will be counted if they are in fact on the ballot.
An individual, or accompanying family member, who has been discharged or separated from the uniformed services or merchant marine, or from employment outside the United States after the book closing for an election, and who is otherwise qualified, may register to vote in such election at the Supervisor of Elections office until 5:00 p. m. on the Friday before the election. This also applies to an individual or accompanying family member who has returned from a military deployment or activation. Such persons must produce sufficient documentation showing evidence of qualifying for the late registration pursuant to Section 97.0555 Florida Statutes.