Other Available Absentee Voting Alternatives
Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)
A FWAB is a completely blank write-in ballot that does not contain any offices or candidates' names. FWABs can only be used for federal elections.
You must be outside the U.S. or on active duty outside your county of residence to use a FWAB.
Returning Your FWAB by Email or Fax
As a military/UOCAVA voter, you may be eligible to return your voted ballot by fax or email if you are an active member of the army, navy, marine corps, merchant marine, coast guard, air force, or Iowa National Guard and are outside the U.S. or any of its territories.
You may also be eligible to return your voted ballot by fax or email if you are located in an area designated as “imminent danger pay area” by the U.S. Department of Defense.
A list of imminent danger pay areas can be found on the U.S. Department of Defense’s website.
If you are eligible to return a voted ballot by email or fax, the FWAB must be received by the time the polls close on election day. For federal elections, the polls close at 9 p.m. (CST).
Returning Your FWAB by Mail
If you are located inside the United States, you must return your voted FWAB by mail. The FWAB must be postmarked by the Monday before election day or earlier and received in the county auditor’s office no later than noon on the Monday following election day.
Postmarks are not guaranteed, so mail your absentee ballot early enough that it arrives before election day.
FWABs are available on FVAP's website and are also distributed at U.S. embassies, consulates and military bases.
Proxy Absentee Ballot Request
A proxy request is an absentee ballot request submitted on behalf of a military/UOCAVA voter by a family member for the general election only. Only certain family members of the voter may submit a request. They include:
- Adult sibling, or
- Adult child.
The family member must live in the county of the voter’s residence.
Proxy requests can only be used for the general election. The request must be sent to the voter’s county auditor. They cannot be made until 70 days before the election and must be received by the ballot request deadline.
Special Write-In Absentee Ballot
Military/UOCAVA voters who are or will be outside the continental U.S. when regular ballots are available may request this type of ballot.
This type of ballot can be used for the general election only.
Requests for these ballots cannot be made until 120 days before the election and must be made before regular ballots are available. The request must include the following statement:
“To the best of my belief I will be outside the continental United States and unable to vote and return a regular absentee ballot by normal mail delivery within the period provided for regular absentee ballots. I request a special write-in absentee ballot.”
Contact the county auditor's office for more information about these ballots.