My Coast Guard
Commentary | July 27, 2022

A step-by-step to cast your absentee ballot 

By Annie Sheehan, MyCG Staff Writer 

Election season is upon us, and Coast Guard members are encouraged to exercise their right to vote by casting a ballot in upcoming local, state, and federal elections.  

If you are a service member and are not residing of your state of legal residence, fear not. Members and their family can vote absentee.  

First, check that you are registered to vote. Next, you’ll need to complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in order to cast your absentee ballot.  

To get started on your FPCA, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website.  

On the FVAP’s main landing page, you will see upcoming election dates. Please note that each state has their own deadline to submit an absentee ballot. To stay in the loop, you can subscribe to receive deadline alerts on your phone.  

When you’re ready to cast your ballot, you will follow a series of prompts via FVAP’s Online Assistant, which includes sharing your voting residence, jurisdiction, ballot classification, and other information, such as name and address.  

Upon completion, save and print your FPA. You can also print a pre-paid envelope template to submit your absentee submission by mail. Each state and territory has specific instructions of completing and submitting to local election offices, so be sure to read the directions carefully.  

On Coast Guard Day (Aug. 4), there will be Voting Assistance tables set up, where Voting Assistance Officers (VAOs) will be able to answer any questions you have about the registration process for you and your dependents. Check your local area for more information. 

If you are interesting in serving as a VAO, check out the FVAP’s VAO page. This site will walk you through how to register to become a VAO as well as detail the responsibilities you will have to ensure that military and oversee voters are able to cast their ballots successfully.  

With further questions or information, reach out to Ms. Keirsten Current at Keirsten.e.current2@uscg.mil

References: 

  • 2022 Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Notification ALCGPSC 09-22