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Problem

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form and the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) are two documents that must be completed in order for an absentee ballot to be cast in local, state or federal elections. The government wanted to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the paper and digital versions of these documents and to identify ways the forms could be improved to increase completion speed and information accuracy.

Process

The project is currently being conducted and will have several distinct phases of evaluation: 

  • Consultation with Key Users
    Users include Voting Assistance Officers (VAOs), Election Officials (EOs), and key stakeholder groups involved in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) voting process.
  • Expert Form Review and Prototype Development
    The forms will undergo expert review for plain language and to ensure that at least one version of the form to be tested contains only items explicitly required by federal guidelines. 
  • Individual Direct Interviews
    FMG will test the usability of the FPCA and FWAB on current and prospective UOCAVA voters.
  • Revisions and Retests
    The forms will be revised after the first test based on results, and then retested on a different set of current and prospective UOCAVA voters.

Impact

The research and evaluation will measure and determine how users interact with the official forms. Research will assess users’ ability to print, assemble, and return an FPCA or completed FWAB, as well as their confidence that they can complete and process the forms correctly. All findings and recommendations will be contained in a comprehensive report for CSG use and distribution.

Partner With FMG

Brian Griepentrog - Fors Marsh Group

Brian Griepentrog

Senior Vice President, Research

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