The Federal Voting Assistance Program

According to their website, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) works to ensure that service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so from anywhere in the world.

Voting Barriers Identified

FVAP has researched potential barriers to voting that affect citizens living overseas, in partnership with Metropolitan Group, Ethnographies, Inc., Pew Research Center, and League of Women Voters, in order to improve the process. They identified 15 key barriers to participation in voting among military and other groups of overseas citizens, and have put into place programs to assist in overcoming these barriers.

Many of these barriers involve communication issues, such as potential voters not knowing when to request a ballot, the need for significant advanced planning to vote rather than simply going to the polls on voting day, lack of feedback or confirmation to let voters know that their vote was received and misinformation about things such as registration deadlines.

Online Resources

The FVAP website provides many outreach materials to help overseas voters get the information they need in order to be able to vote from anywhere in the world. It has sections for various types of voters and situations and information about laws that govern military and overseas voting. The site also provides online voter registration for residents of states that accept the procedure. Citizens of participating states can register online and receive a ballot.