As the election nears, it is increasingly important for all absentee voters, election officials, voting assistance officers, advocacy groups and those who assist voters to familiarize themselves with approximate mailing times for locations around the world, as well as ballot return deadlines.
FVAP.gov provides voting assistance for Service members, their families and overseas citizens.
As previously socialized among Voting Assistance Officers, website visitors and social media followers, the Department of Defense’s Military Postal Service Agency provides a chart of approximate mailing times for different countries sending mail to the United States. It is especially important to be aware of the time it takes to mail to travel as ballot return deadlines approach. The mailing dates chart can be found here: http://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/VAO/2014_mailing_dates.pdf.
These recommended mailing times also highlight the importance for voters to know their State’s requirements for ballot return. States run elections, and they permit different return methods and have different deadlines for return. Some require postmark dates, while others have required return dates for the ballot to be in the hands of the election official. State-specific ballot return requirements and deadlines can be found at www.FVAP.gov under “Voters Start Here.”
Voters should not delay in returning their State-provided absentee ballot. If the requested State ballot has not been received, the voters should use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), or backup ballot. The FWAB can be found at FVAP.gov.
Election officials should be prepared to handle absentee ballot questions from military service members, their families and overseas citizens. Since State rules regarding absentee ballots vary, local election officials should contact their State election office for clarification when necessary.
FVAP works to ensure Service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so – from anywhere in the world. Contact FVAP at 1-800-438-VOTE or Vote@fvap.gov with questions.