I'm already registered to vote. Do I need to send in the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to request my ballot while I'm studying abroad?

Yes, you should send in an FPCA. It’s only one page and acts like an address update. But it also provides significant advantages that are only available to overseas voters:

  • 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.
  • You can use the form to request your ballot be sent to you via email, fax or online instead of postal mail;
  • Your state must send out your ballot at least 45 days before the election;
  • If you don’t receive your ballot in time to send it in by the deadline, you can use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to vote;
  • Many states allow overseas voters additional time to submit their ballots and/or allow overseas voters to submit ballots via electronic means. (See also FAQ #7Why Should I Submit A Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) Rather Than My State’s In-State Absentee Ballot Request Form?”)