Military and Overseas Voters
Voters who are registered in Fort Bend County but are residing overseas as well as members of the military and their dependents may always use the state registration and ballot by mail application. In addition, a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) may be used by the following persons:
- Active duty military, spouses and dependents voting from outside Fort Bend County
- U.S. Citizens (nonmilitary) temporarily overseas and away from Fort Bend County
- U.S. Citizens (nonmilitary) permanently overseas who used to reside in Fort Bend County
Fill out and submit your FPCA (Federal Postcard Application) as soon as possible but not later than 11 days before Election Day. FPCA forms are available from U.S. embassies, consulates, and from the voting assistance officer at each military installation. An online version of the FPCA form is available from the website of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, http://www.fvap.gov/
Receive your ballot or use the FWAB (Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot). You must have submitted an FPCA application before you vote using a FWAB.
- Cast your Ballot
Cast your vote by returning your marked ballot by Election Day, or the 6th day after, if voting from overseas.
Completing the FPCA
- The last 4 digits of your Social Security number OR your Texas driver’s license number is required for voter registration in Texas.
- You must provide your political party preference in Item 6 of the FPCA form if you wish to vote in Primary elections. Party preference is not required if you are requesting by-mail ballots only for general elections.
- It is strongly recommended that FPCA applicants provide an e-mail address and fax number (if available) in the “Remarks” section of the FPCA so that we can quickly contact you if your application is missing required information.
Submitting the completed FPCA Form
You may send the completed and signed FPCA to our office by:
- Mail: (common or contract carrier)
Fort Bend County Elections
4520 Reading Road
Rosenberg, TX 77471-2133
The Federal Voting Assistance Program also provides assistance in faxing or emailing FPCA forms from locations outside the United States.
Dates for submitting the completed FPCA
In order to receive a full ballot, the FPCA application must be received by the Elections Administration Department or be postmarked no later than the 20th day before election day. Also, the applicant will receive only a federal ballot if the FPCA is submitted after the 20th day before election day and before the 6th day before election day AND the applicant is already registered to vote in Fort Bend County.
An FPCA applicant will receive a federal ballot ONLY if the FPCA is submitted after the 30th day before election day and the person is NOT already registered to vote in Fort Bend County.
Receiving your ballot
If your completed FPCA is timely received, your ballot may be sent to you by one of the following methods.
- Common or contract carrier (if paid for by the voter)
Returning your ballot
Your voted ballot must be returned by mail or by common or contract carrier (certain exceptions apply – see “Faxing your ballot” below).
Your voted ballot must be received no later than 7:00 PM on election day, except that a ballot cast from outside the United States may be counted if it was mailed before the polls closed and it is received not later than the fifth day after election day, unless it is a FPCA not later than the sixth day. The envelope in which the ballot is returned must be properly addressed with postage, and bear a cancellation mark from a postal service or a receipt mark from a common or contract carrier before 7:00 PM on election day. It will be presumed timely received if there is no postmark or receipt mark but all other requirements are met. Voted ballots should be mailed or sent by common or contract carrier to the Fort Bend County central mail center in Richmond:
Fort Bend County Elections
301 Jackson Street
Richmond, TX 77469-2133
Faxing your ballot
In certain circumstances, military voters are eligible to return their voted ballots by fax. Texas law provides for the electronic transmission of a mail ballot by a military voter and his or her spouse and dependents IF the ballot is cast from an area in which the voter is eligible to receive hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay or a location that has been designated by the President of the United States as a combat zone. Please note that an electronically transmitted ballot submitted under these circumstances supersedes any other ballot transmitted to the Elections Administration Department.
If you are eligible to take advantage of this procedure, it is recommended that you review the federal Fax & Email Guidelines at: http://www.fvap.gov/eo/overview/sending-ballots/fax-email.
Federal write-in ballot (FWAB)
A special write-in ballot is available under very specific circumstances for U.S. citizens residing outside the United States and members of the Uniformed Services and their family members. The Federal write-in ballot (FWAB) may be used in any general, special, primary, or runoff election for Federal office ONLY if ALL of the following circumstances apply:
You must be casting the ballot from outside the United States,
You must have applied for a regular ballot using the FPCA form so that the request is received by Fort Bend County at least 30 days before the election, AND
You have not yet received the regular ballot.
In summary, the FWAB is valid only when a regular ballot has already been requested in a timely manner, and it has not yet been received.
The FWAB is generally available where FPCA forms are available (see above) with the exception that there is currently no online version of the FWAB. The FWAB is also available from the Federal Voting Assistance Program, http://www.fvap.gov.
Still have questions?
Please contact us if you need further information on voting by mail.
Links to other resources