Late Mailing of Absentee Ballots Affects Texas Primary Deadline
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2006 A delay in the mailing of absentee ballots means ballots sent in by some servicemembers and their families overseas for the March 7 primary election in Texas will be counted until March 20, Federal Voting Assistance Program officials here said.
Uniformed servicemembers, their family members and overseas citizens who have not yet received their requested state absentee ballot may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, Standard Form 186 to vote for candidates for federal, state, and local offices.
All ballots must be placed in delivery by 7 p.m. Central Standard Time on March 7 and must be received no later than March 20. The FWAB is available from unit voting assistance officers, at embassies or consulates, and is also available from the FVAP Web site at www.fvap.gov/pubs/ofwab.pdf.
Armed forces voters receiving hostile fire pay, imminent danger pay or in a combat zone may vote by fax or e-mail, officials said. Texas voters on active duty overseas, or the spouse or dependent of a member, and casting the ballot from an area in which members of the armed forces are eligible to receive hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay, or that has been designated by the president as a combat zone, are authorized to submit the voted ballot, including the FWAB, by fax or e-mail.
Voters should be aware that by faxing the ballot they are waiving the right to secrecy of their vote for this election and must sign a waiver that will be included in the faxed ballot materials, officials said. A voter faxing a voted ballot that was either received by mail or by fax should refer to Appendix B of the 2006-2007 Voting Assistance Guide at www.fvap.gov/pubs/vag/pdfvag/appendix_b.pdf for instructions and a cover sheet, which includes a secrecy waiver, for use when transmitting the voted ballot by fax. Voters should be sure to fax the entire ballot, including any oath or signature required on the ballot-mailing envelope, officials said.
Voters may fax voted ballots directly to the local election official in their county of residence. Fax numbers are located at www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/county.shtml. Voters must provide a return transmission fax number, including international prefixes, on all documents sent via fax. Additionally, eligible voters may scan the voted state ballot or the voted FWAB with the completed Voter Declaration/Affirmation, and e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. All faxed or e-mailed ballots must be placed in delivery by 7 p.m. Central Standard Time March 7.
Full details are available at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Web site.