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Everything you need to know to register and vote with the Federal Postcard Application for military and overseas voters.


Federal Voter Assistance Program:

Request Postcard Ballot:


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[music] So maybe you're from the US, but you're not living there right now.

Whether you're a member of the military or you're living or studying abroad, you are still entitled to vote, and I really hope you do. To get started, you should fill out the Federal Post Card Application.

It's a form that lets citizens who don't live in the US, or military voters whether they're stationed in the US or abroad, register to vote and request an absentee ballot all at once. There's a link to the form in the description, and the directions are a little different from state to state, so there's also a link where you can click on your state and it'll give you specific instructions. Once you fill out your application, you'll mail it to your local election official- there's a link to find their address in the description.

Again, the official deadlines are different depending on what state you live, so make so make sure that you check the link for your state's information. You'll want to make sure you factor in enough time for your application to get to your home election official by mail, which can take awhile when you're overseas. The Federal Voter Assistance Program recommends sending your application at least 90 days before election day.

There's also a link in the description that lets you print out an envelope so that you don't even have to pay postage. Once you've applied, you'll get your ballot in the mail, or in some states, by email. Fill it out at your own pace and mail it or email it back by the recommended deadline on your state's instruction page.

If it's after October 3rd and you haven't gotten your ballot yet, there's a chance you won't be able to fill it out and mail it back in time to get counted on November 3rd. In that case, you can fill out a back-up write-in ballot- there's a PDF version in the links below- and send it to your local election official so it can be counted in time. Keep in mind that the Federal Post Card Application and the write-in absentee ballot are only for federal elections.

If you want to vote in your local elections, which are pretty important so I hope you do, you'll need to get a separate absentee ballot from your state. To find out how to do that, go back and watch the video for how to vote in your home state- all of them have directions for how to vote absentee. There will be links for everything you need to fill out the Federal Post Card Application in the description.

Thanks for being a voter. How To Vote in Every State is produced by Complexly in partnership with The MediaWise Voter Project, which is led by The Poynter Institute and supported by Facebook.