Getting Started With Absentee Voting
Heres how to make sure you cast your absentee ballot correctly.
- Complete the Federal Post Card Application. The Federal Voting Assistance Program encourages the use of the Federal Post Card Application to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and update any contact information. If you are stationed or relocated outside of your voting jurisdiction, you are encouraged to submit a new FPCA every year and each time you move. You can fill it out online with an assistants help, download a PDF version or pick up a hard copy version from your unit voting assistance officer.
- Sign and send the FPCA to your local election office. Your local election office is in the county where you have established residency. Most states accept the FPCA by email or fax, while other states require the FPCA by mail. You can find the email, mailing address and phone number of your election office. You can also ask for the contact information from your voting assistance officer.
- Receive your absentee ballot. In Section 5 of the FPCA, you can even request to receive your ballot by email.
- Vote, sign and return the ballot. After voting and signing your ballot, return it to your state before the ballot return deadline arrives. Check your states specific deadline for military and military families on FVAP.gov.
We Pick Our Spouses Next Commander In Chief
As military spouses, who becomes the next Commander-in-Chief should matter. Regardless of political affiliation, the person voted into office is our spouses boss, and voting for the best person should be top priority. As military spouses, prior to voting it is important to do our research and determine who we believe is the best candidate as our countrys next president and Commander-in-Chief.
How Do I Know Whether Im Eligible
First, you must qualify as a U.S. voter. Are you a citizen and at least 18 years old? Youre well on your way.
The overseas absentee voting process applies if you are on active duty with a branch of the military , are the spouse or family member of such a person or are a U.S. citizen living outside the country.
Some U.S. citizens who were born abroad but havent lived in the country are still eligible to vote once they turn 18. That eligibility is based on the state that your parent or legal guardian or in some cases, a spouse or civil union partner last domiciled or was registered to vote in.
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Documenting The State Of The Military Voter After Every Election
FVAP conducts post-election surveys and studies voter file data after every federal election. The State of the Military Voter highlights recent statistics on military voting based on the Post-Election Voting Survey of Active Duty Military which is sent out to a sample of active duty members after each general federal election. See the 2020 PEVS-ADM Technical Report, and previous PEVS-ADM reports here:
When Is The Registration Deadline
Deadlines vary based on the state you are registered through. FVAP recommends submitting your Federal Post Card Application at least 90 days before the election, though the earliest state deadlines are in October. OVF provides a chart detailing the deadlines in states and territories for registering, requesting a ballot and returning it. FVAP also has a map with the deadlines. Remember to allow time for mail delivery if the application must be received by your states deadline.
You can contact your election official to check if the form was received and accepted.
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Things To Remember About Voting Absentee Or Early Voting
Voters are not allowed to have more than one legal voting address or residence on file at any one time. Your voting residence is NOT your home of record. You should declare your voting residence as the same address that is listed on your Leave & Earnings Statementyour home of record is where you technically entered military service from , but your voting address is your CURRENT legal address.
There are no automatic updateslike DEERS, you will have to manually correct your voting residence/state of residence when you move. You may or may not be able to change your voting residence remotely depending on circumstances. This is a detail you should definitely explore before you deploy, get reassigned, or PCS to a new duty location.
There are no standardized national laws that address vote-by-mail, voting early, or absentee voting across the board. Individual state laws dictate the procedures, deadlines, and requirements of voting including vote-by-mail, etc. You will need to become familiar with your states requirements before you apply.
U.S. citizens born overseas who have never resided in the U.S. may not be able to vote absentee, according to USA.gov. If you need to know if this applies to you, review the rules of the state where your parent or legal guardian last called home.
If you have become what the government defines as an overseas citizen, your voting residence is the address in the state you last resided in the United States. This is true even when the applicant:
Military And Overseas Civilian Election Information
Special services are provided to assist military and overseas civilian voters participate in elections. If you are a military or overseas civilian voter who is eligible to vote in Michigan, you can find out how to:
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Yes On Prop : Spouses Should Keep Tax Disabled Homeowner Tax Break
Proposition 7 is about consistency.
Its about ensuring disabled homeowners receive the same support as seniors, and their spouses arent hit with a surprise tax bill after their partner dies. Voters should wholeheartedly support Prop 7 on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Texas currently provides an additional homestead exemption to residents who are 65 and older or who have a disability. That exemption lops $10,000 off the value of the home for school property tax purposes. More importantly, that exemption freezes the school property tax bill so senior or disabled homeowners pay the same amount year after year an enormous savings, considering the typical Austin homeowners school tax bill rises hundreds of dollars a year.
When a senior homeowner dies, his or her spouse keeps that extra homestead exemption as long as they stay in that home. But there is no similar protection for the spouse when a disabled homeowner dies. The tax break the family had relied on suddenly vanishes.
Prop 7 would fix that, extending the disabled homeowners property tax exemption to his or her surviving spouse , as long as the spouse stays in that home. The measure, requiring voters approval to amend the Texas Constitution, sailed through both chambers of the Legislature with unanimous support.
Ace Network Facilitator’s Response:
A good starting point for your research might be the PARLINE database of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, where you can find country specific information about parliaments around the world including information about suffrage.
In most of the other democratic countries, the constitution guarantees every eligible citizens right to vote and hence, there are no limitations regarding the voting rights of the military personnel or other civil servants .
In Canada, for example, during federal elections and referendums, Canadian Forces electors can vote, by mail or at polling stations set up in their units, using a special ballot. This method of voting is governed by the Special Voting Rules, Part 11, Division 2 of the Electoral Act.
These electors may also vote at civilian polling stations in the ridings where they are registered, provided they are residing there at the time of an electoral event.
In the case of the United Kingdom, members of the armed forces may register to vote at their home address just as a normal civilian elector or as a Service Voter. Service Voters are entitled to vote in Local, Parliamentary and European Parliamentary Elections in the UK.
Service Voters may either appoint a person to vote on their behalf at the polling station , or vote themselves by post. If a postal vote is chosen, the applicant should bear in mind the length of time taken for post to travel in either direction, because the ballot paper is only issued one to two weeks before Polling Day.
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The Process Is As Easy As Abc:
A Fill out and file your FPCA as soon as possible but no later than the 11th day before Election Day.
Who can use the Federal Postcard Application and why?
- Active duty military, spouses, and dependents
- U. S. Citizens temporarily overseas* away from the home Texas county
- U. S. Citizens permanently overseas* away from the home Texas county
* Federal law defines overseas as anywhere outside the United States. If you are not one of these voters, you need the .
What and where is the FPCA form?Here are two resources for obtaining an automated FPCA form:
What does the FPCA form do?
- Registers you onto the permanent voter rolls 30 days after receipt by the county
- Functions as an application for ballot by mail and gives you temporary registration status for certain offices
- If voter marks indefinitely away / do not intend to return , voter receives federal ballot only
When is the FPCA deadline?
- General rule: deadline is the 11th day before Election Day
- Here are the calculated for upcoming elections.
- First day to file FPCA is January 1.
- Note: An FPCA for a January or February election may be filed earlier, but not earlier than the 60th day before the date of the January or February election.
Where do you send the FPCA?
- General rule: the Early Voting Clerks office
How may you send the FPCA to the clerk?
- Hard copy by mail
Yes On Prop : Nursing Home Residents Deserve A Visitor’s Care
For about 200 days last year, Gov. Greg Abbotts COVID-19 rules strictly prohibited in-person visits to residents in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. The governor was rightly trying to protect the most fragile Texans at a time when few treatments and no vaccines were available. Even with the lockdown, Texas nursing homes saw 40% of the COVID-19 deaths in June 2020, and overall they account for one in five Texas deaths from the pandemic.
The visitor ban inflicted another layer of casualties, though. It deprived more than 120,000 Texans in long-term care facilities of a loved ones care and companionship. A national survey found the isolation accelerated the decline and memory loss of many dementia patients. And for every two long-term care residents who died of COVID-19 across the country, a third resident died prematurely of other causes, according to an analysis conducted for the Associated Press. Often those death certificates recorded the heartbreak-hastened demise as failure to thrive.
Bridging this difficult divide is Proposition 6, a state constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot. It would enshrine the right for residents in long-term care facilities to designate an essential caregiver who could not be turned away for visits.
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Political Advertising: Media Source Matters To Win The Military Vote
Political advertising is all about trust, and some media sources are more trusted by your target audience than others. So what media sources do military personnel trust the most?
Among active duty, reserves, and their spouses, online media and newspapers are the most trusted media source. Post 9/11 voters trust TV and online media the most. And older veterans and military retirees trust TV and newspapers the most.
We Determine The Senate And House Representatives
Beyond the next president, we are also voting for members of Congress: The House and Senate. These people influence what happens in the military and the national laws passed. From pay raises to veterans benefits, national and world aid as well as decisions on war, these are all driven by those in office. By not participating in the voting and election process, we are turning a blind eye to our ability to affect change in those areas that directly impact our spouses lives.
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Dont Think Youll Receive Your Absentee Ballot In Time For The Election Use A Fwab
If you are a service member or an eligible spouse or dependent living overseas, and you dont think you will be able to receive your ballot in time for the election, the good news is that you have a backup.
The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot is an emergency backup ballot for uniformed and overseas citizens who did not receive an absentee ballot from their state in time to participate in the election.
Remember: it is always better to vote via the Federal Post Card Application, but the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot is there to ensure that your vote can be counted.
Be aware: the following states will still require you to register and request an absentee ballot with an FPCA before filling out a FWAB: AL, AS, AR, CT, FL, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, PR, RI, SD, TX, WI, WV, and WY.
If your state or territory is listed here, complete a Federal Post Card Application online at FVAP.gov.
Presidential Election Voting Deadlines
U.S. General Election Voting Deadlines: While the majority of US Citizens on the US Mainland will vote on November 3rd, absentee ballots need to be sent in earlier in order to be processed and to have your vote count.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program recommends mailing your absentee ballot by the following dates:
Remember, you can send in your vote earlier than these dates. So its best to act immediately if you are serving overseas.
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Where Can I Ask For Help
You can get assistance online or face-to-face:
- Get to know your voting assistance officer. Your voting assistance officer at the installation is responsible for helping you register to vote and file an absentee ballot. If youre new to installation living, you can look up their contact information or ask your sponsor for help.
- Become familiar with all the resources available through the Federal Voting Assistance Program. The FVAP helps service members and their eligible family members vote from anywhere in the world. The FVAP website includes helpful fact sheets or.
Your vote matters and no matter where you are, you should cast your ballot in every election. Its your right. Learn more about primary elections. Keep track of your states primary election dates and take these simple steps to ensure your voice is heard on Election Day.
Connection With The Feminist Movement
The Women’s suffrage movement also benefited from the Military Voters Act. The act awarded the vote to women serving in the armed forces as well as nurses in the war. As women in Canada had previously been completely disenfranchised, this law paved the way for future legislation expanding women’s voting rights, such as the 1918 Federal Women’s Franchise Act granting access to the ballot to all female British subjects aged 21 or older. As most people born in Canada were British subjects at the time, this law applied to most Canadian women who were not status Indians or members of a racial minority .
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How To Vote If You’re In The Military Or Living Abroad
Every election, millions of U.S. citizens forgo their right to vote simply because theyre living abroad or are an active-duty military member. It remains to be seen whether the heated face-off between presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will encourage these people to exercise the right this year.
Almost 3.5 million individuals are eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, estimates the Federal Voting Assistance Program, the Defense Department organization that assists these voters. Yet states received only about 680,000 absentee ballots from overseas citizens and active-duty military members and their families in the 2012 elections, according to FVAP.
There are millions and millions of overseas voters who dont take advantage of the franchise, said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, president and CEO of U.S. Vote Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit that assists domestic and overseas voters. They assume its hard. They assume they have to own property. They dont realize how easy it is now.
Voters can find assistance and detailed information on the process via FVAP and the Overseas Vote Foundation, an arm of U.S. Vote that focuses on helping citizens abroad and active-duty military members.
Below, we address some basic questions you might have as you attempt to cast your ballot from afar this year.