Serving UOCAVA Voters

How Election Officials Serve UOCAVA Voters

Election offices, leaders, and staff at the state and local levels play a central role in the absentee voting process for U.S. citizens protected by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA):

  • Members of the Uniformed Services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps)
  • Members of the Merchant Marines
  • Eligible family members of the above
  • U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.

You make the UOCAVA voting possible for military and overseas voters, managing voter registration and ballot request status, transmitting and tabulating absentee ballots, and assisting these special voters with the information and tools they need.

FVAP supports UOCAVA citizens and election officials by providing absentee voting forms, materials, training, and guidance. FVAP is here to make your job easier.

Here's how the UOCAVA voting process works behind the scenes:

A citizen registers to vote and requests an absentee ballot by submitting the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to the election office.

The election office verifies the voter's eligibility and either accepts or rejects the FPCA.

If the voter is eligible, the election office sends an absentee ballot at least 45 days before a federal election.


The voter completes the ballot and sends it back to the election office by the deadline.

If the ballot doesn't arrive in time to send it back before the deadline, the voter can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a back-up ballot.

The election office received and counts the ballot.

The voter can check that the ballot was received by contacting their election office.


 Here's how to explain the process to your voters.

 As an election official, you fulfill key steps in the UOCAVA absentee voting process (and FVAP can help with each):


Don't let your voters miss a deadline!

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Here's everything we have to offer:

Access training online for election officials interested in learning more about the UOCAVA absentee voting process.

Refer to the Voting Assistance Guide for everything you need to know about military and overseas absentee voting.

Find election forms — like the FPCA and FWAB — and tools for sending.


Communicate effectively with your UOCAVA voters using FVAP's voter outreach and education resources.

Check out FVAP's grant program and results from previously awarded grants to state and local election administrators.

Find policy briefs about the potential impacts of changes to military and overseas voting policies nationwide.