Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not Too Late For Overseas Absentee Ballots

The GNB has readers all over the world and as you know we have kept all our readers up on the news from Americans living overseas and our participation in this election cycle. We have registered tens of thousands of voters-- but many of them have not yet recieved their ballots from their local election officials. It is not too late to vote though!

If you live overseas, and requested your ballot and haven't gotten it yet you can vote a emergency federal write in ballot, the famous FWAB.

Here's how;

The FWAB is a back-up ballot that you can vote TODAY. If you subsequently receive your state ballot, vote that, too. The FWAB is only counted if your state ballot is not received by your state by the ballot return deadline. Click here for deadlines.

Get the FWAB: Go to Simply answer the six screens of questions and download and print the nine page document. You will receive (1) Instructions (where you will find the address to send the FWAB), (2) Electronic Transmission Sheet and Federal Postcard Application which you do NOT need; (3) The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot which includes a Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation, the Ballot and Instructions.

Sign and Date the Voter's Declaration/Affirmation: When you use, the Voter's Declaration/Affirmation will be filled in based upon your voting state's requirements and the information you provided. You just need to review the information, sign and date it. Check the following list to see if you need a witness or additional documentation.

*Alabama: 2 witnesses OR Notary (must be over the age of 18)
*Alaska: 1 witness (dated and signed)
*Arizona: Proof of Citizenship (copy of passport or birth certificate)
*Louisiana: 2 witnesses (sign on voter’s declaration form)
*Minnesota: Self Certification by putting passport number or last 4 digits of SSN on ballot return envelope
*North Carolina: 2 witnesses (must be over 18 sign and include address)
*South Carolina: 1 witness – (sign on the voter’s declaration form)
*Virginia: 1 witness – (sign on the voter’s declaration form)
*Wisconsin: 1 witness (both voter and witness must sign security envelope – witness must be a U.S. Citizen, over 18)
*Texas please make sure you use a black ink pen on your FWAB.

Vote the FWAB: You can either write in the candidate's name or the word Democrat. (It is unlikely that you will need the second page of the ballot).
To find out who the Democratic candidates are for House and Senate, please click here. To find your Congressional District, click here, enter your voting zip code and then click on "current election."

Seal the Ballot Envelope: Put your voted FWAB ONLY in a plain white envelope and seal it. Write on the outside of the envelope “Security Envelope.”

In the Mailing Envelope: Put the sealed “Security Envelope” and the Signed and Dated Voter's Declaration/Affirmation in a mailing envelope.

Enter Return Address: Write your name and current mailing address in the upper left hand corner of the mailing envelope.

Address the Envelope: Write the address of your Local Election Office on the mailing envelope. The address of your Local Election Office is provided on your customized information sheet.

Double Check: Double check that you have completed everything.

Ensure evidence of mailing from outside the US:

*Foreign Postmark: Affix the appropriate postage. All states will accept a foreign postmark as evidence of submission from outside the U.S.

*Consular Stamp: All states have been informed by the U.S. State Department that they should accept a consular stamp as evidence of submission from outside the U.S. Using the consular service results in your mailing envelope being placed in the US postal system. Affix a $.42 U.S. Postage Stamp.

*Commercial Courier: Some states will also accept a commercial courier service waybill as evidence of submission from outside the U.S. Using a courier service should be a last resort. Alabama explicitly refuses to accept materials sent to them by commercial couriers, such as Federal Express and DHL. If using a courier, please staple a copy of the air waybill to the ballot envelope prior to sealing the courier envelope.

Seal the addressed envelope – and Mail your FWAB Today!
For Questions: