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Military & Overseas Voting

Military & Overseas Voting

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act is commonly referred to as UOCAVA.  UOCAVA citizens are U.S. citizens who are active members of the Uniformed Services, the Merchant Marines, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, their family members, and U.S. citizens residing outside the United States,  This Act provides the legal basis for absentee voting requirements for these citizens.

Requesting & Receiving an Absentee UOCAVA Ballot

Process to apply for a uniformed services absentee ballot

Qualified electors who are members of the uniformed services or residing overseas may apply for an absentee ballot in any of the following ways:

  1. You may use the current Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), available online at www.fvap.gov. The FPCA may be used both to register to vote and to request absentee ballots.
  2. You also may request an absentee ballot using a form prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State (Form 11-A, if you will be in Ohio during the absentee period; otherwise use the FPCA).
  3. If you already are a registered Ohio voter, you may designate an elegible relative to request an absentee ballot on your behalf, like using the Secretary of State prescribed Form 11-E or the FPCA.

How to receive an absentee ballot

If you are an individual eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), you may ask to receive your ballot in any on the following ways:

  1. By mail:  Beginning January 1 or 90 days before an election, whichever is earlier, you may mail your properly completed absentee ballot application, bearing your signature, to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located.  The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election,  However, you should submit your request as far in advance of the election as possible to ensure there is sufficient time for the board to mail, fax, or e-mail you a ballot.  Your marked ballot must be returned by mail and be postmarked by election day.
  2. By fax:  You may fax your absentee ballot request to the board of election of the county in which your voting residence is located.  the board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election.  You may request that the board fax, mail. or e-mail your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail and be postmarked by election day.
  3. By e-mail:  your completed and signed absentee ballot request form may be e-mailed to the board of elections office in the county in which you are registered to vote.  The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election.  You may request that the board fax, mail, or e-mail your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail and it must be postmarked by election day.
  4. In person:  Once absentee ballots are available, you may go to your county board of elections to cast your ballot in person.  If you are a UOCAVA voter voting in person on the day before an election or on Election Day, you may vote in person at the office of your county board of elections only.  An application delivered in person to the board of elections office must be received by the close of polls on Election Day.

When the board of elections issues your ballot, it will provide you with information on how to track the status of your ballot in the Centralized Ballot Tracking System.

Note:  Voted ballots may be returned by mail only.  If a voted ballot is returned by fax or e-mail, it may not be accepted, processed, or counted.

If you have requested an absentee ballot by noon on the Saturday before the election, but have not received it, you may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.  If you receive your absentee ballot after submitting the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, you may vote it and return it via mail or in person.  If both the absentee ballot and the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot are received by the 10th day after Election Day, the board of elections will only county the absentee ballot.

View Your Sample Ballot

A sample ballot for each voter is available through the Ballot Lookup Tool.

Federal Voting Assistance Program

Forms and additional information on absentee voting for military and overseas voters are available through this program at fvap.gov.