Federal Write-In Ballots

With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2005 in October 2004, the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) may now be used by all absent Uniformed Service voters both inside and outside the continental United States, as well as U.S. citizens residing overseas. This broadens the use of the FWAB, as military voters were previously not allowed to use it when residing inside the country but outside their voting jurisdiction.

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot is basically a back-up or emergency ballot used in the event that the voter does not receive their requested regular vote-by-mail ballot in time for it to be voted and returned to the local election official to be counted. If the voter does not have access to the hard copy, it is available online at the FVAP web site

The second change to the FWAB in the recent law concerns the vote-by-mail request deadline. Previously, the UOCAVA voter had to have requested a vote-by-mail ballot at least 30 days prior to the election. Now, the request must be received at least 30 days before the general election or before the deadline established by the state, whichever is later.

It is vitally important for voters to request vote by mail ballots as early as possible; the beginning of each year is advisable. Equally important is to keep the local election official's office notified of any address changes once a request is made. vote by mail ballots that are Returned Undeliverable to the elections office because of a bad address
automatically cancel the voter's vote-by-mail request, and the voter must make a new request providing the correct address.                             

State Write-In Ballots

No earlier than 180 days before a general election, an overseas voter may request a state write-in vote-by-mail ballot. In the request the voter must indicate that due to military or other contingencies that preclude normal mail delivery, the voter cannot vote a regular vote-by-mail ballot during the normal voting period. The ballot will contain only the races, and the voter must fill in the names of candidates OR write in the name of a political party, in which case all candidates of that party will be counted if they are in fact on the ballot.

Tappie A. Villane, Supervisor of Elections, Santa Rosa County
OFFICE: 6495 Caroline St, Ste F, Milton, FL 32570 * PHONE: (850) 983-1900 * FAX: (850) 983-1829 * HOURS: M-F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.