Officials Announce Absentee Voting Guidelines 

12/7/2011 

The Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Military Postal Service Agency yesterday announced absentee ballot mailing date guidelines that apply to various overseas locations.

Military members serving overseas and other U.S. citizens living abroad must consider mail transit times when submitting their absentee ballots to vote in upcoming presidential, Senate, House, gubernatorial, state legislature, local and other elections.

The 2012 U.S. presidential election, for example, will be held Nov. 6, 2012.

Officials recommend that absentee voters sending ballots from the following countries mail them out no later than:

-- Iraq: 22 days before the election;

-- Afghanistan (excluding air stop locations), Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Oman and Turkmenistan: 17 days before the election;

-- Germany: 11 days before the election;

-- Afghanistan air stop locations, Bahrain, Cuba, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates: 10 days before the election; and

-- Japan, Korea and the Philippines: seven days before the election.

For a full list of absentee ballot mailing dates for overseas locations, visit www.FVAP.gov.

Military members serving overseas may express mail their absentee ballots free of charge from any APO/FPO/DPO or American embassy and consulate -- ask to use the Express Mail Label 11-DoD. This label allows voters to track their ballots at www.usps.com.

The federal write-in absentee ballot is used as a backup ballot. Thirty days prior to an election, if voters believe they'll not receive their state ballot in time to vote and return it, they can vote using the FWAB. This ballot is accepted by all states from any overseas or military voter who has registered and requested a ballot for 2012.