Message to U.S. Citizens: Using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot

It’s Time to Vote!

Haven’t received your official ballot yet? Use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a backup. 

Here are a few tips on using the backup ballot:

  1. Check your state’s guidelines for sending your FWAB. You may be able to mail, fax or email your backup ballot.
  2. If your state allows you to fax or email your FWAB, use the Transmission Cover Sheet to protect the privacy of your materials.
  3. If you’re mailing your FWAB, use a security envelope to seal your backup ballot. Print directly on a blank envelope, or print and tape to an envelope.
    • If you’re facing mail delays, check with your nearby embassy or consulate to see if you can mail it back via diplomatic pouch, or use private couriers.
  4. If you receive your official ballot after you’ve sent your FWAB, vote, sign and send that as well. Only one ballot will be counted.

Once you’ve voted using either your official ballot or the FWAB, you can check the status of your ballot. Select your state at and click “Check the status of your voted ballot.” Note that you will be directed off of the FVAP website and to your state’s page.

Fill out the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)