My Coast Guard
Commentary | Jan. 17, 2022

Prepare to vote, from anywhere

By MyCG Staff

2022 is a federal voting year and all eligible voters are encouraged to vote. If active duty or reserve members, or their dependents do not expect to be present in their state of legal residence to vote, they have the opportunity to vote using an absentee ballot.

The right of U.S. citizens to vote is protected by the U.S. Constitution. Every voter must have the opportunity to register and vote, in person or by absentee, in any election for which he or she is eligible. To vote in U.S. elections, Coast Guard members and their eligible dependents must be registered to vote in their state of legal residence.

Eligible voters who wish to register and vote absentee should do so by completing the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Please note that each state has their own deadlines for the receipt of absentee ballot requests. 

The FPCA (SF-76) can be completed easily online at the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website. The website has an automated assistant to help members complete, save, and print the FPCA. Additionally, you can print a pre-paid envelope template for submission by mail. The FPCA is postage-paid within the U.S. Postal Service system, including APO and FPO addresses. Many states and territories allow return of FPCAs by fax. Each state or territory has specific instructions for completing and submitting to local election offices.

Commands should provide the FPCA by Jan. 15, 2022 and again by July 15, 2022 to all assigned military personnel and their eligible family members by:

  • Communicating the FPCA availability on the FVAP website to all members.
  • Having Unit Voting Assistance Officers (UVAO) registered and trained with FVAP. 
  • Providing FPCAs in hardcopy or electronic means all unit members.

All necessary documents can be downloaded at:  http://www.fvap.gov.

Voting Assistance Officers should document when each unit member has received a FPCA in FVAP’s database for reporting to Congress. 

For questions please contact the Coast Guard's Service Voting Action Officer, Ms. Keirsten Current at keirsten.e.current2@uscg.mil.

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