Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot
The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) may used by all absent Uniformed Service voters both inside and outside the continental United States, as well as U.S. citizens residing overseas.
The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot is basically a back-up or emergency ballot used for any federal, state, or local election in the event that the voter does not receive a requested vote-by-mail ballot in time for it to be voted and returned to the local election official to be counted. If the voter does not have access to the hard copy, it is available online at the FVAP website http://www.fvap.gov/.
Previously, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) voter had to request a vote-by-mail ballot at least 30 days prior to the election. Now, however, the request must be received at least 30 days before the general election or before the deadline established by the state, whichever is later. Florida’s deadline is 5 p.m. on the 12th day before the election.
It is vitally important to request an absentee ballot as early as possible — the beginning of each year is advisable. Equally important is to keep the local election official’s office apprised of any address changes once a request is made. A vote-by-mail ballot that is returned undeliverable to the elections office because of a bad address automatically cancels the voter’s request, and the voter must make a new request providing the correct address.
State Write-in Ballots
Pursuant to Section 101.6951, Florida Statutes, no earlier than 180 days before a general election, an overseas voter may request a state write-in absentee ballot. In the request the voter must indicate that due to military or other contingencies that preclude normal mail delivery, the voter cannot vote a regular vote-by-mail ballot during the normal voting period. A State Write-In Ballot will contain only the races, and the voter must fill in the names of candidates OR write in the name of a political party, in which case all candidates of that party will be counted if they are in fact on the ballot.