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Military Families Can Vote from Anywhere. Here’s How.

The last thing you want is another addition to your to-do list. We get that.

But as the General Election approaches, it’s clear that this one is going to be important-- especially for military families who will undoubtedly be influenced by the next Commander-in-Chief.

Most folks realize they can’t sit this one out, but what do you do if you’re PCSing? How do your family members vote if deployed?

Absentee voting. If you are in the military, a military spouse living away from your voting residence, or a U.S. citizen living overseas, you have a legal right to vote absentee in this, and every, election.

The process is actually quite simple. Here’s what to know about voting absentee:

1. It’s a two-step process.

First, register and request your ballot with one form called the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Go to FVAP.gov and select the State or territory that is your voting residence.

If you want to participate in the General Election on November 8, fill out and send in your FPCA as soon as possible.

Second, when your absentee ballot arrives, fill it out and send it to your election office. Make sure you sign the enclosed affidavit or envelope as required by your State.

Send your ballot back by the recommended mailing date:

  • October 10, 2016 if you’re on a ship at sea (give your spouse a heads up if this applies)
  • October 15, 2016 if you’re outside the U.S.
  • November 1, 2016 if you’re stateside

2. You can get help filling out your FPCA.

FVAP’s online assistant guides you while filling out the FPCA. When you’re done, just download and print the populated form, then sign and send it in. Click here for the form.

The instructions on where and how to send in your form by mail, email or fax-- whatever your State allows-- are included.

Hard copies of the FPCA are also available at the Voting Assistance Office on your base or installation, and your Voting Assistance Officer (VAO) can help with anything you need.

3. There’s a backup plan if your ballot doesn’t come in time.

If you don’t get your ballot in time to vote before the deadline, that’s OK. Get a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) from FVAP.gov. Fill it out and send it like a regular ballot.

4. You can check your ballot status.

Want to make sure your election office received your ballot? Check the status of your ballot at FVAP.gov. Show Full Article

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