Absentee Voting Information
Voting is a constitutional right that American citizens 18 years and older can freely exercise. The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) covers all active-duty members of the Uniformed Services and their families, members of the merchant marine and their families, and US citizens who reside overseas, and assists them in exercising their right to vote.
Elections are managed individually by all the 55 States and territories. This means there are 55 sets of rules for absentee voting by UOCAVA citizens, but the basic steps are:
- Citizens register to vote and request an absentee ballot by filling out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), and mailing it to their local election official in the State in which they are eligible to vote.
- The election official approves/disapproves the FPCA or requests additional information.
- If the FPCA is approved, the election official sends an absentee ballot to the citizen.
- The citizen votes and returns their ballot to their election official by their State's deadline.
Voting Tips for UOCAVA Citizens:
- Allow plenty of time to request, receive, and return their ballot.
- Notify their local election official each time their mailing address changes.
- Become familiar with their state's absentee voting laws, procedures, and deadlines to make sure their ballot is properly executed and will be counted.
FVAP.gov provides UOCAVA citizens with the state-specific information they need to register to vote and request and return their ballot, or to complete an emergency back-up write-in absentee ballot. Visit FVAP.gov to get started.