Uniformed and Overseas Voters

Frequently asked questions and information about Uniformed and Overseas Voters

What is a UOCAVA voter?

UOCAVA stands for Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. If you are a United States citizen, you are domiciled in New Hampshire (your primary residence is in NH) and you are serving in the military outside of NH or living overseas, you can vote with an absentee ballot as a UOCAVA voter.

How do I register to vote and/or request a ballot?

If you are a UOCAVA voter, you can request an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) on www.fvap.gov.

Alternatively, your local town/city clerk can send you an FPCA by mail or email. Find your local clerk using the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Lookup site.

When you fill out the FPCA, if you are not already registered to vote, you can use the FPCA to register at the same time.  

How long is an FPCA valid?

An FPCA requesting absentee ballots in a calendar year is valid for all subsequent state and municipal elections in that year and the Presidential Primary, even if it is scheduled for the following year (RSA 657:19-a).

You are urged to update your FPCA requests early in each calendar year you intend to vote and promptly after changing your mailing address because the information on file might be outdated or incomplete.

How do I look up my voter registration information?

You may review your registration info on the Voter Information Lookup site.  Enter your first name, last name, town or city, and date of birth as it appears on the voter checklist. You can also review your registration information by contacting your local supervisors of the checklist or local clerk. Submit an FPCA with the correct information if the information on file is inaccurate.

You can also use the Voter Information Lookup to check the status of your absentee ballot, from when you make the request to when the clerk receives your completed ballot.

What happens after my FPCA is processed by my local clerk?

If your clerk has already received the blank UOCAVA ballots from the state, they will send you an absentee ballot by mail or email depending on what you have requested. If the clerk has not yet received their ballots, they will send you your ballot as soon as they are received.  Once you have completed your absentee ballot, mail it back to your clerk following the instructions included with your ballot. 

What is a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)?

The FWAB may be used to vote for federal offices only in general, special, and primary elections RSA 657:10-b. You can use this ballot to either write-in the candidates of your choice or, for a general election, the political party of your choice for federal offices only.

The FWAB is a limited option for UOCAVA voters who have an FPCA on file but do not have sufficient time to vote using a regular absentee ballot. The FWAB can only be counted if you have an FPCA on file and your marked absentee ballot will not be received by your local clerk by 5 p.m. on election day.

You can download an FWAB from www.fvap.gov or request one from your local clerk.

What is the last day that an FPCA or FWAB can be received by my city or town clerk and be valid for an election?

An FPCA will be processed for an election if it is received by 12 p.m. on the day before the election by mail or as an email attachment to your town/city clerk. However, please mail your completed ballot long enough before the election so there is time for delivery to the clerk. If you wait until close to election day, consider using expedited or overnight delivery.

If you sent a completed FWAB, it can be processed for counting as long as you have also filed an FPCA and received the FWAB through the U.S. mail or commercial carrier by 5:00 p.m. on an election day RSA 657:22.

Completed absentee ballots can only be mailed following your clerk’s instructions. Your ballot will not be counted if it is transmitted electronically to your clerk.

What is a Federal Office Only (FOO) ballot?

A FOO ballot can be used to vote for federal offices only. If you are a U.S. citizen abroad and you note on your FPCA that you are either uncertain if you will return to the U.S. or that you have never lived in the U.S., you will be sent a FOO ballot. FOO ballots must be received by your local clerk (for the last place you lived prior to moving overseas) by 5:00 p.m. on election day through U.S. mail or commercial carrier.

If you are a U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S., but your parent or legal guardian was last domiciled in New Hampshire, you can vote with a FOO ballot in New Hampshire.

Please consider mail delivery times when mailing your ballot.

How do I determine whether there is time to vote as a UOCAVA voter?

Your location and your proximity to a reliable mail facility affects how much time you have to return a ballot before an election. You should request your absentee ballot well ahead of time to avoid delivery delays. You can request that the ballot be sent to you through email, which is the fastest option. 

Once you request an absentee ballot, you should regularly check the Secretary of State’s absentee ballot tracking link using the Voter Information Lookup tool to determine:

(a) whether the clerk has received the request; and

(b) whether the clerk has sent it to you.   

As soon as absentee ballots are printed by the Secretary of State’s Office for state and federal elections, NH clerks generally send out them out within one business day of receiving requests from voters.  

If the Voter Information Lookup site shows your request has been received but your ballot has not been sent out after one business day, contact your clerk and request the ballot be emailed to you if you have email access.


As a member of the military, under what circumstances must I re-register?

You must re-register if you choose to establish a new domicile anywhere other than where you are currently registered. If you wish to remain a New Hampshire voter, you are not obligated to re-register simply because you have been assigned to a different military base unless your name has been removed from the checklist during the 2021 checklist verification or the supervisors of the checklist sent you a 30-day letter and you did not respond. 

You and your dependents can vote at your “home of record”, which is the address you had upon entry into the service, so long as you do not register to vote elsewhere.