Voting Assistance for U.S. Citizens


#1

Sent: Friday, February 08, 2002 8:34 AM
[aittaipeiacs] Voting Assistance Bulletin

The following announcement is from the Federal Voting Assistance Program. Please see below for details on receiving their bulletins regularly.

Completing a Federal Post Card Application

Citizens voting under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) are eligible to participate in all elections for Federal offices. Many of these citizens are also eligible to vote in state and local elections.

Because election laws vary from state to state, please consult the current Voting Assistance Guide or your Voting Assistance Officer (VAO). The Guide contains state-by-state procedures for UOCAVA citizens to register and/or request an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or SF-76). All shaded areas for your state or territory as indicated in the Guide must be completed. The Guide is available in hard copy format or on-line at the FVAP website, http://www.fvap.ncr.gov. The FPCA is the first step in the absentee voting process. The following are general item-by-item instructions for completing the FPCA.

It is important to realize that state laws determine the information required on the FPCA as well as the deadline for submitting the form. As a result, accurate completion and timely submission of the FPCA are critical. Follow the instructions below carefully when completing the FPCA. After completing the form, send it to your jurisdiction of voting residence. The Guide contains addresses for sending the completed form to your Local Election Official (LEO). Alternative means of transmitting election
materials (faxing) are also outlined in the Guide.

As a general rule, the FPCA is only valid for one calendar year. You should submit a new FPCA every year to ensure that your absentee ballots will the sent to you in a timely manner. Here is an item-by-item breakdown:

  • Top of the form: Fill in the blanks with your state/territory, county or parish, and city/township of voting residence and the items required in accordance with the instructions for your state or territory.

  • Item 1 - Applicant Information: Type or print full name, sex, date of birth, social security number, and other identification (passport, ID card). Insert only one character per box.

  • Item 2 - I Last Voted or Place of Last Registration: Do not leave this blank. If unknown, write, “Unknown”, or “N/A” if you have never registered to vote previously.

  • Item 3 - Voting Residence: A complete street address of where you actually lived in the state is necessary for the LEO to place you in the proper voting precinct. A post office box is not sufficient. If your address includes a Rural Route, use Item 7 (remarks) to indicate the specific location of the residence (for example, 2 miles south of the intersection of Route 9 and I-34.) This address should be different from the one provided in Item 4 and must be within the county or township whereyou claim legal voting residence.

  • Item 4 - Mail Absentee Ballot to: Enter the complete mailing address where you wish to receive your absentee ballot. This address should be different form the address you provided in Item 3. If you will have a new mailing address by the time election materials will be sent to you, please be sure to indicate this address here.

  • Item 5 - Your Fax Number: Provide a complete fax number where the LEO may reach you. Some States and Territories allow you to request, receive, and/or return your ballot by fax. Refer to page 3 of this VIN or and your state pages in the Guide for more details on electronic transmission.

  • Item 6 - Political Party Affiliation: In many states and territories, you must specify your party affiliation for vote in primary elections. Please refer to the Guide for specific information regarding your state’s primary elections.

  • Item 7 - Remarks: Provide information that may assist LEOs in determining your eligibility to vote. For example, a maiden name (or other name used), an e-mail address, or a phone number of a relative in your home county. If you are requesting your state’s special write-in ballot, apply the gummed label provided in Chapter 3 of the Guide.

  • Item 8 - Affirmation by applicant: Place an “X” in only one block. You much sign at 8(i) and put a date in 8(j).

  • Item 9 Oath: Not all states and territories require a witness. See page 4 or check the Guide. Absentee voting materials may be obtained through your VAO, Embassy, or Consulate. Many US citizens’ organizations and corporations overseas maintain a stock of absentee voting materials as well. An on-line (PDF) version of the FPCA is also available for many states at http://www.fvap.ncr.gov, and needs to be printed, completed, and sealed in an envelope affixed with proper postage. You may also contact the FVAP directly to request voting materials.R

Stateside Election laws regarding the completion of the FPCA vary from state to state. The following is a quick guide to refer to when you are completing and mailing your FPCA. Please refer to the Guide to check if any restrictions apply.

The following 31 states and territories allow the FPCA to be transmitted by fax for both registration and absentee ballot request.

Alaska (must apply separately for each election)
American Samoa
Arizona
California
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Hawaii
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Michigan
Montana (only a few counties have the faxing capabilities, see VAG)
North Carolina
Nebraska
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee (for temporary registration)
Texas
Utah (some counties in emergency situations
Vermont
Virgin Islands
Virginia
Washington

The following states and territories accept one FPCA as a request for ballots for all elections for which the voter is eligible for the calendar year.

Alaska
Arkansas
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Guam
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Mississippi
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon (except when requesting write-in ballot)
Rhode Island (can choose single or separate FPCA)
South Carolina
South Dakota (separate FPCA for school or municipal elections)
Tennessee
Virgin Islands
Virginia
Washington (except when requesting write-in ballot)
West Virginia
Wisconsin (military personnel only)

The following 49 states and territories have eliminated their notary requirements.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois (unregistered non-military, outside the U.S., to vote a full ballot, state registration form may be required to be sworn to before person or officer authorized to administer oaths)
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota (as long as voter provides military ID or passport #)
Missouri (state registration card must be witnessed by a notary public or other authorized officer to register permanently and for OS non-US Government to vote full ballot)
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire (if unregistered non-military, state registration form must be witnessed)
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island (state form must be notarized for certain OS civilians only)
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Virgin Islands
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Voting Assistance Officers “To Do” This Month:

P Remind the voters you serve to complete a new FPCA. FPCAs should be sent in every January to ensure timely receipt of absentee ballots and voting materials. Remind your voters that even if they haven’t changed mailing addresses, it is important to complete the FPCA every year.

P Ensure widest possible distribution of this newsletter by posting copies on electronic and physical bulletin boards. Keep a copy for your voting continuity folder.

P Would you like to receive the VIN by e-mail? Has your address changed? E-mail vote@fvap.ncr.gov to let us know.


#2

You won’t believe that this is a serious comment, but it is. In the last two USA national elections, the local voting registration office in my “home state” still couldn’t figure out how to correctly mail out my ballot, because they stated that (1) I failed to indicate a (minimum) 5-digit zip-code number, (2) I failed to indicate a “valid” contact telephone number, (3) it was not possible to determine in which State “Taiwan” was located, etc.

I finally received a seamail ballot form about six weeks after the polls closed.

Has anyone had similar experiences?


#3

That’s the modern US education system for you! I thought everybody knows the state of Taiwan can be found in Bangkok.


#4

Several times I have tried to register for stuff online and there has been a required field for postcode. Back in NZ we didn’t have postcodes and if there postcodes in Taiwan I never use them. So I would register and the form would come back saying I had to entera postcode. I’d make up a number and it would say that it wasn’t valid. Probably only US postcodes programmed.

Bri


#5

Taiwan does have 3-digit post codes, but I can never remember what they are either.
As far as online forms go, if they won’t accept the 3-digit Taiwan one (I normally use 100, 103 or 113) you can try entering n/a (not applicable), which sometimes works.