Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Ballot Request

Frequently asked questions and information about Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Ballot Request

I am a military (uniformed) or overseas voter. When must I renew my absentee ballot request?

Absentee ballot requests in letter form are typically renewed for every election, unless the voter has established themselves as a uniformed or overseas voter and the voter has made a clear request to be sent ballots for more than one election. This is typically done on a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). Military (uniformed) and overseas voters are urged to update their Federal Post Card Application requests early in each calendar year that they intend to vote, because information on these forms might be outdated or incomplete. Starting on January 1, 2019, FPCAs will be honored through the end of the calendar year that they are received, except that in each year before a Presidential Election requests on a FPCA form will be honored through the Presidential Primary in the following year, subject to the voter’s request.

A new FPCA must be submitted requesting absentee ballots for the 2022 State Primary and General Elections.

Can I check if my absentee ballot envelope has been received by my town or city clerk?

Yes. Voters who go on to the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Look-up and enter their first name, last name, town or city and date-of-birth can check to see whether the clerk has received such an envelope.

What should a military (uniformed) or overseas voter do if they do not receive their ballot from their town or city clerk in time to vote?

If the military (uniformed) or overseas voter does not receive an absentee ballot in time to return a ballot within normal mailing time frames, the voter should attempt to return the ballot anyway, since the military and other overseas locations often provide express or expedited services to assist voters prior to federal elections. The voter is advised to download a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) from the FVAP site (www.fvap.gov) and mail the FWAB using the military’s express mail services.

How does a military (uniformed) or overseas voter determine whether there is time to vote?

There are many ways to determine whether there is time to vote. The location of the voter and his or her proximity to a mail facility affects how much time there will be to return a ballot. In general, the voter should request the write-in absentee ballot in time to obtain a ballot and mail it back. After the voter has requested an absentee ballot, the voter should regularly check the Secretary of State’s absentee ballot tracking web link at Voter Information Look-up to determine whether (a) the clerk received the request, and (b) whether the clerk mailed it out. As soon as ballots have been printed, clerks generally send out absentee ballots within one business day of receipt of the request. Therefore, if the system shows your request being received but not sent out after one business day, call or e-mail the clerk.