Voting for Military and Overseas US Citizens

This page provides information to United States citizens covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). Those covered by UOCAVA include:

  • Active-duty members of the Uniformed Services;
  • Dependent family members of active-duty members of the Uniformed Services;
  • United States citizens residing outside the country.

If you are not a UOCAVA citizen, and wish to vote absentee as a registered voter, please visit our page on Absentee Voting.

In Massachusetts, UOCAVA citizens are considered "specially qualified voters" and voter registration requirements are waived. UOCAVA citizens are eligible to vote in all elections in Massachusetts by requesting absentee ballots.

Applying for an Absentee Ballot

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is the primary form for requesting an absentee ballot from your local election official, though any form of written communication requesting a ballot is acceptable. Please be sure that any request for an absentee ballot includes your name, address for voting purposes, date of birth, signature, UOCAVA voting status, and where you would like the ballot sent.

Read all instructions printed on the FPCA before completing and signing your application.

You may complete the Federal Post Card Application online at the website of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, www.FVAP.gov.

You may mail, e-mail or fax the Federal Post Card Application to your local election official.  For contact information for each local election official, please consult the list of local election officials.

Application by a Family Member

Additionally, your spouse, or person residing in the same household, parent, in-laws, brother, sister, son, daughter, stepparent, stepchild, half-sister, half-brother, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or grandchild may request that a ballot be sent to you, using the form below:  
Absentee Ballot Application by a Family Member (PDF)

Deadlines

Applications
Absentee ballot applications must be received no later than 12 p.m. on the day prior to the date of the election. If you are unable to submit your application by the deadline, you may submit a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). More information on the FWAB is available at www.FVAP.gov.

State Election Ballots
Ballots submitted electronically (by e-mail or fax) must be received by the local election official no later than 8 p.m. local time on the day of the election. Ballots submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than the date of the election and received by the local election official no later than 5 p.m. on the tenth date following the election.

Primary Election Ballots
All primary ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on the day of the primary.

Local Election Ballots
For town elections and city preliminary elections, all ballots must be received by close of polls on the day of the election. For city elections, ballots must be postmarked by the date of the election and received by the clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the tenth day following the date of the election.

Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot

If you do not receive your ballot in a timely manner, you may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, which can be found at www.FVAP.gov.  

On this blank ballot, you may write-in the candidates of your choice for each office that will appear on the ballot. If you are voting on ballot questions, you may write-in those votes as well. Once you have completed the ballot, you may mail, fax, or e-mail it to your local election official. 

Massachusetts allows you to use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) for voting in all elections. You may use the FWAB to vote any time before an election, even if you have not applied for a State absentee ballot.