The Director, Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), administers the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) on behalf of the Secretary of Defense. The UOCAVA requires that the states and territories allow certain U.S. citizens, as defined below, to register and vote absentee in elections for Federal office. These groups include:
- Members of the Uniformed Services (including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine)
- Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, and Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Eligible family members of the above
- U.S. citizens employed by the Federal Government residing outside the U.S., and
- All other private U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.
The FVAP provides U.S. citizens worldwide a broad range of non-partisan information and assistance to facilitate their participation in the democratic process - regardless of where they work or live. The FVAP also administers the Federal responsibilities of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which designates armed forces recruiting offices nationwide as voter registration agencies allowing eligible U.S. citizens to apply for voter registration, or apply to change voter registration data.