Military/Overseas

Background Information

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act "UOCAVA" was enacted by Congress in 1986. The UOCAVA requires that the states and territories allow certain groups of citizens to register and vote absentee in elections for Federal offices. In addition, most states and territories have their own laws allowing citizens covered by the UOCAVA to register and vote absentee in state and local elections as well.

United States citizens covered by the UOCAVA include:

  • Members of the United States Uniformed Services and merchant marine; their family members; and
  • United States citizens residing outside the United States.

The UOCAVA provides for a "back-up" ballot, called the Federal Write-In Absence Ballot (FWAB), which can be used by citizens covered by the Act in federal general elections. The FWAB may be cast by voters who have made a timely application for but have not received their regular ballot from the state or territory, subject to certain conditions. A federal write-in ballot will not be counted if:

  • In the case of an overseas voter who is not an absent uniformed services voter, if it is submitted from any location within the United States;
  • if the application for a regular ballot is received by the local election official after 30 days before the general election, or after the state deadline for receipt of the ballot, whichever is later; or
  • if a State absentee ballot is received by the local election official by the State's deadline for receipt of the regular ballot.

Registering & Requesting a Mail Ballot

Federal Post Card Application (FPCA):

The Federal Post Card Application is the form that permits UOCAVA citizens to simultaneously register and request absentee ballots in the state or territory where they last resided immediately prior to departing the United States, even if they no longer maintain a residence in that state.

To register and request an absentee ballot in the State of Florida send a completed FPCA to the Supervisor of Elections office so that it arrives not later than 29 days before the election.

  • If you maintain a Florida residence, you will receive a ballot containing all local, state, and Federal races for which you are eligible to vote.
  • If you are or were a registered voter and no longer maintain a Florida residence but you intend to return, you will receive a ballot with all state and Federal races.
  • If you were never registered in Florida and no longer maintain a Florida residence but this is the last place you lived, you will receive a ballot for Federal races only.
  • If you are already registered in Wakulla County and you wish to request absentee ballots, send the completed FPCA to the Supervisor of Elections office so that it arrives not later than the Friday before the election. Alternatively, you may use any of the regular means of requesting mail ballots.
  • An FPCA application for an absentee ballot is effective for all elections through the next two regularly scheduled general elections.
  • The FPCA does not require postage if mailed in the U.S. postal system, including all U.S. military post offices (APO/FPO) overseas as well as diplomatic pouches.

Please be advised that ballots are not forwardable - Make sure you are providing your current mailing address.

Late Registration

If you or a family member have been discharged or separated from the Uniformed Services, Merchant Marine, or from employment outside the territorial limits of the United States, you may register after the registration deadline for an election until 5 p.m. on the Friday before that election.

Mailed Ballots

If you reside outside the U.S., your ballot will be mailed at least 45 days before a Primary or General election.

Electronic Transmission of Ballots

If you are an overseas voter, you may request your ballots by fax or e-mail. Your request must include:

  • Your Name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your county of residence
  • One of the following:
    • a return fax number if the ballot is to be faxed
    • an APO/FPO or other deliverable overseas address if the ballot is to be mailed
    • an e-mail address if the ballot is to be electronically mailed
    • Your signature faxed requests only

If you want your ballot to be faxed, your request is valid only for the upcoming election cycle or the one election you specify.

State Write-In Ballot

Overseas voters who cannot be reached to deliver an absentee ballot in time for the general election may request a state write-in ballot not earlier than 180 days before an election. Your request must state that due to military or other contingencies that preclude normal mail delivery, you cannot vote an absentee ballot during the normal absentee period.

State write-in ballots will be mailed between 90 and 180 days prior to the general election.

Federal Write-In Ballot

The Federal Write-In Absence Ballot is a back-up ballot that may be used for Federal races only if all of these conditions apply:

  • You are located outside the United States, including APO and FPO addresses.
  • You have applied for a regular absentee ballot early enough so that we have received your request at least 30 days before the election. The FPCA may be used to request your regular Florida absentee ballot.
  • You have not received the requested regular Florida absentee ballot.

Absentee Ballots for Overseas Voters

§ 101.6952 (1) If an overseas voter's request for an absentee ballot includes an e-mail address, the supervisor of elections shall inform the voter of the names of candidates who will be on the ballots via electronic transmission. The supervisor of elections shall e-mail to the voter the list of candidates for the primary and general election not later than 30 days before each election.

(2) For absentee ballots received from overseas voters, there is a presumption that the envelope was mailed on the date stated on the outside of the return envelope, regardless of the absence of a postmark on the mailed envelope or the existence of a postmark date that is later than the date of the election.

Electronic Transmission of Election Materials

§ 101.697 The Department of State shall determine whether secure electronic means can be established for receiving ballots from overseas voters. If such security can be established, the department shall adopt rules to authorize a supervisor of elections to accept from an overseas voter a request for an absentee ballot or a voted absentee ballot by secure facsimile machine transmission or other secure electronic means. The rules must provide that in order to accept a voted ballot, the verification of the voter must be established, the security of the transmission must be established, and each ballot received must be recorded.