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Law Allows Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot for U.S.-based GIs, Families

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2004 – The fiscal 2005 National Defense Authorization Act has made two changes available for some stateside voters, effective, where applicable, for the Nov. 2 election.

Changes are:

  • First, if you are on active duty, in the Merchant Marine or a family member living in the United States, but not at your voting residence, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot as a backup ballot in the same manner overseas voters have been able to do.

  • Secondly, states can now set a deadline for accepting a voter's absentee ballot application that is less than 30 days before the general election. Before, voters had to request that absentee ballot from their state at least 30 days before the election.

Officials said voters should check with voting assistance officers or their local election officials to be sure they qualify.

FWABs are available from installation or unit voting assistance officers, a U.S. Embassy or consulate, overseas citizens groups or online at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Web site.

Voters must return the completed FWAB through the U.S. mail, or by electronic transmission if their state accepts ballots that way.

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Related Sites:
Online Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot
Federal Voting Assistance Program

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