July 14, 2020
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El Paso County Elections Department | Lisa Wise, Elections Administrator

FPCA-Military and Overseas

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marines, their dependents and U.S. Citizens abroad are eligible to vote early by mail once the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is completed and received by the Early Voting Clerk’s office. Military and overseas voters are welcome to use the regular registration and Early Voting by mail process available to all voters away from their home county on Election Day. However, there are also special provisions for you.

Who can use the FPCA?

  1. Active duty, military, spouses, and dependents (voting from outside the home Texas county)
  2. U.S. Citizens (nonmilitary) temporarily overseas* away from the home Texas county
  3. U.S. Citizens (nonmilitary) permanently overseas* away from the (previous) home Texas county

*Federal law defines “overseas” as anywhere outside the United States. If you are not one of these voters, you need a regular ballot by mail.

Where can I get an automated FPCA?

Here are two resources for obtaining an automated FPCA:

Federal Post Card Application (PDF)

Federal Voting Assistance Program with the U.S. Department of Defense

What does the FPCA do?

  1. Registers you onto the permanent voter rolls 30 days after receipt by the county (unless voter marks indefinitely away/do not intend to return).
  2. Functions as an application for a ballot by mail and gives you temporary registration status for certain offices.
  3. If voter marks indefinitely away (older form)/do not intend to return (newer form), voter receives federal ballot only.

One of the benefits of the FPCA is that if you file the FPCA at least 30 days before any election, you are entitled to vote a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot Form (PDF) which is a special ballot that is accepted for counting even if you did not receive the official ballot in time. Additionally, FPCA mailing materials are treated as express mail by the U.S. Postal Service at no additional cost.

Residence is defined in Section 1.015 of the Texas Election Code (the “Code”) as the voter’s permanent home to which he or she intends to return after any temporary absence. This definition also implies that you lived at the location at one time and intend to return, so generally, you cannot list a location where you have never been physically present.

By when must the Early Voting Clerk receive my FPCA?

The Early Voting Clerk must receive your ballot request by the close of regular business in the Early Voting Clerk’s office or 12 noon, whichever is later, on the 11th day before Election Day unless that day is a Saturday, Sunday or legal state or national holiday, in which case the last day is the first preceding regular business day (Texas Election Code 84.007). Please call (915) 546-2154 for assistance.

As per (Senate Bill 100, 82nd Legislature) your application is valid for one calendar year, (January-December). If you move please notify us as soon as possible.

How may you send your FPCA to the Early Voting Clerk?

Send your FPCA via:

  1. Hard copy by regular mail, Attn: Early Voting Clerk, 500 E. San Antonio Ave., Suite 314, El Paso, Texas 79901
  2. Common or contract carrier
  3. Fax (915) 546-2220. NEW LAW: Pursuant to Texas Election Code 84.007, an FPCA submitted via fax only must also be submitted by mail and received at our office no later than the fourth business day after the FPCA is sent via fax only.
  4. E-mail (scanned image of signed form, no electronic signature) to ballotrequests@epcounty.com.

Like any other ballot by mail follow the directions enclosed. After the Early Voting Clerk receives your FPCA with all required information, you will be mailed a ballot.

How and when must I return the ballot?

When you are finished voting, follow the directions enclosed and mail your ballot in the envelope provided by mail or common or contract carrier. A ballot may not be returned to the Early Voting Clerk by any other method.

If military voter (or spouse or dependent) in hostile fire pay/imminent danger pay/combat zone, your voted ballot may be faxed using authorized channels to (915) 546-2220.

The Early Voting Clerk must receive your voted ballot no later than 7:00 p.m. Election Day or by the 6th day after Election Day if your ballot is submitted from outside the United States. Please call (915) 546-2154 for assistance.

Track the progress of your FPCA and ballot?

Texas Secretary of State: FPCA Ballot Tracker

I’m overseas and I don’t think I will receive my ballot on time?

The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is for use by service members, their eligible family members and U.S. Citizens residing overseas. This write-in absentee ballot can be used as a backup when the voter is living outside the voting residence, has applied for a regular ballot through the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA, SF 76) and has not received the requested ballot in time to vote in time by the election deadline.

The FWAB is a back-up ballot that you can use if you requested your ballot thirty days before the election. We encourage voters to contact us at (915) 546-2154 or ballotrequests@epcounty.com to confirm that their FPCA was successfully processed before submitting a FWAB.

The FWAB can only be mailed to:

Early Voting Clerk
500 E. San Antonio Ave., Suite #314
El Paso, Texas 79901

If military voter (or spouse or dependent) in hostile fire pay/imminent danger pay/combat zone, your FWAB may be faxed using authorized channels to (915) 546-2220.

Please click below to download form:
Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot Form (PDF)

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Registered voters as of Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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