How to Vote Absentee in the Military

As a Service member, you can vote absentee while living away from your voting residence.

Here's how:

1. Register to vote and request your ballot in one easy step.

Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and send it to your election office.

Check your voter registration deadline for the next election based on your state. For the General Election, it's best to send in the FPCA by August 1.

Your voting residence (the U.S. state or territory where you are registering to vote) is likely your legal residence. Here's how to determine your voting residence.

Using the FPCA ensures that your state will send your ballot to you at least 45 days before the election — a protection not guaranteed when using other forms. It's a good idea to send in a new FPCA every January and each time you move.

 
Active Duty Military Training Video
 
 

 

 

Register and Request

 

2. Fill out and send in your ballot when it arrives.

For the General Election, you should receive your ballot by early October.

Vote and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Check the deadline for your ballot based on your state. MPS also has recommended mailing dates. The recommended vote-by days for the 2020 General Election are:

How to Submit FPCA by State
How to Submit FPCA by State
How to Submit FPCA by State
How to Submit FPCA by State

 

If you requested your ballot but haven't received it, contact your election office to ask about the status of your ballot request.

If there isn't enough time to receive and send back your ballot before the election, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).

It works like a backup ballot. If your official absentee ballot arrives after sending in the FWAB, fill out and send in the official ballot too. Only one will be counted.

After you send in your ballot, you can check if it was received by your election office.

 

Don't miss a deadline!

Subscribe to Voter Alerts
Subscribe to Voter Alerts
Subscribe to Voter Alerts
Subscribe to Voter Alerts

 

 

Looking for more? 

Get in-person voting assistance from your Service and Voting Assistance Officers.

Find voting information specific to military spouses and families

Determine your voting residence for registering to vote absentee. 

Browse outreach and informational materials.

Make sure you're ready to vote when separating from active duty and transitioning back to civilian life.

Get tools for sending forms by mail, email or fax — like postage-paid envelopes and cover sheets.

Other Resources: State/Territory Election WebsitesState Voter Registration Verification WebsitesOverseas Citizen Groups WebsitesFederal Government Websites,Other Election-related Websites