This web page provides information to US citizens covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).Those covered by UOCAVA include members of the Uniformed Services and U.S. citizens who reside outside the United States.
In Massachusetts, UOCAVA citizens are considered “specially qualified voters” and voter registration is waived. UOCAVA citizens are eligible to vote in all elections in Massachusetts by requesting absentee ballots.
The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is the primary form for requesting registration and/or an absentee ballot from your local election official. To request an absentee ballot, the local election official must receive your FPCA or any other form of written communication with your name, date of birth, former residence and present residence not later than noon the day before the election.
Read all instructions printed below and on the FPCA before completing and signing your application.
Only the following blocks are required:
Block 1: Select the category that describes you.
Block 2: To vote in primary elections, you must enter your political party affiliation. If you want to change your political party affiliation, submit a completed FPCA indicating your new party preference to the local election official. For a listing of valid political parties in Massachusetts, please visit http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepar/paridx.htm. Political party affiliation is not required if only requesting absentee ballots for general elections.
Block 3: Name (Last, First, Middle)
Block 4: Date of Birth
Block 5: Recommended but not required. Provide your contact information to allow your local election official to follow up if more information is required.
Block 6: Massachusetts allows you to receive the blank ballot by mail, email or fax. Please rank your preference of how you would like to receive your absentee ballot. Provide your email address or fax number in Block 5. If you do not make a selection, then your local election official will mail your ballot to you.
Block 7: Complete street address of your Massachusetts voting residence. A post office box is not sufficient. If your address includes a rural route, describe its location in Block 9. This address must be within the city or town where you claim legal voting residence.
Block 8: Complete address where you want your ballot sent, usually where you live now.
Block 9: Provide any information that may assist the local election official in accepting this application. This space can be used to designate particular elections or the period for which you wish to receive ballots.
Affirmation: Sign and date. No witness or notary required
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 visit our website at:
Optional: You may be able to use the Postage-Paid Envelope Template which is available on the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website at:
The postage paid envelope may be used if mailed in the U.S. Postal System, which includes all U.S. Military post offices (APO/FPO) overseas or through the diplomatic pouch available at U.S. embassies/consulates. Affix appropriate postage if using international mail. Template must be printed on a number 10 or larger envelope.
If you choose to fax, it is recommended that you fax the form directly to your local election official. For fax numbers of local election officials, please visit our website at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleclk/clkidx.htm.
You may also use the toll-free fax services of the Federal Voting Assistance Program:
Inside the U.S.? Fax to:
Outside the U.S.? http://www.fvap.gov/contact/tollfreefax.html
The Federal Voting Assistance Program also has a Fax Cover Sheet you can use:
Deadline to Apply for An Absentee Ballot: 12 noon (EST) on Monday, November 5, 2012
ELECTION DAY: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Availability of Ballots: Ballots for the state election should be available at least 45 days before the general election.
Ballot Return Deadline:
If mailed from within the United States or sent electronically (either e-mail or fax): 8pm EST November 6, 2012
If mailed from outside the United States: Must be postmarked on or before November 6, 2012 and received by 5pm EST on Friday, November 16, 2012
If you reside within the U.S., return your voted ballot to the local election official so that it arrives by the close of polls (8:00 p.m.) on election day.
If you reside outside the U.S., your voted ballot must be returned to your local election official so that it arrives by the close of polls (8:00 p.m.) on election day to be counted for local and primary elections.
U.S. citizens who have never resided in the U.S. but have a parent who is eligible to vote in Massachusetts are eligible to vote at the same voting residence claimed by their parent (for local, state and Federal office ballots).
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.
If you have not received your absentee ballot in a timely manner, you can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, which can be found at: http://www.fvap.gov/FWAB/fwab-ma.html
On this blank ballot, you can write-in the candidates of your choice for each office that will appear on the ballot. Once you’ve completed the ballot, you can mail, fax or e-mail it back to your local election official.
Massachusetts allows you to use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) for voting in all elections. You can use the FWAB to vote anytime before an election, even if you have not applied for a State absentee ballot. Please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program at www.fvap.gov for further information.
To find out the offices, candidates and questions for which you can vote for state primaries and state elections, go to www.sec.state.ma.us/ele. For information regarding offices, candidates and questions for which you can vote for local elections, please contact your city or town election official.
Massachusetts allows you to submit the FWAB by mail, email or fax.
If you choose to mail your FWAB, insert the sealed security envelope and the Voter’s Declaration/Affirmation into the mailing envelope and mail the ballot directly to your local election office.
By emailing or faxing the voted FWAB, you are waiving the right to secrecy of the ballot. You must sign and date a statement on the Electronic Transmission Sheet available at www.fvap.gov indicating, “I understand that by faxing or emailing my voted ballot I am voluntarily waiving my right to secret ballot.”
If emailing, email the voted FWAB along with your voter affirmation, and Electronic Transmission Sheet as a scanned attachment directly to your local election official.
If faxing, fax the voted FWAB along with your voter affirmation, and Electronic Transmission Sheet directly to your local election official.
Contact information for local election officials can be found at www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleclk/clkidx.htm.