Military Voter Registration
Voting Assistance for Military Voters
If you are on active duty and stationed away from home you can still vote. Members of the military and their eligible family members are able to vote in the election via absentee ballot. It is recommended that request for an absentee ballot is made 3 months before an election. Most units have a VTO (Voting Assistance Officer). They can guide you through the process and necessary paperwork and forms.
The privilege of voting by mail has been extended to service members since the Civil War. It continues to this day. However, as a member of the armed forces, both you and your family members (if stationed with you), must follow a series of steps in order to get your ballot in time to make your vote count.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program was developed to assist service members and their eligible family members to vote in elections. Each branch of the armed forces provides an Installation Voter Assistance (IVA) Office. You may obtain the necessary request forms at this office. One such necessary form is the National Mail Voter Registration Form (NVRF). In addition, you need to be aware of your state's absentee voting deadlines so your ballot has sufficient time to arrive. If you do not receive your absentee ballot in time, you may complete a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.
Each branch of the military has their own resources available. Access more information on your branch from the following:
Note that under the MOVE act, your absentee ballot must be sent to you at least 45 days ahead of an election. Your request must be received by your jurisdiction prior to August 15th for the General Election in November. The Voting Assistance Guide recommends you return your ballot sometime in late September or early October in order for them to be counted in the November election. Do not wait until November to mail your ballot as it will be too late.
Step 2: Print
Step 3: Fill out the form
Step 4: Sign Forms
Step 5: Mail, e-mail or Fax federal post card application to your state and county local election office
Deadlines for submitting your absentee ballot request vary by state.