Absentee Voting by Military and Citizens Overseas
Military and overseas voters may now choose to receive their ballots for Federal offices either electronically or by regular U.S. mail. Please click here for more information.
Please visit our online Military & Overseas Voting Services website, http://alabama.overseasvotefoundation.org, where you can register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot, and get answers to frequently asked voting questions.
Military and other
overseas citizens are welcome to use the standard procedure for absentee voting
by mail. However, there are also special provisions for members of the U.S.
Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health
Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family
members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United
States. Check the Federal Voting Assistance Program,
elections, absentee ballot applications and completed absentee ballots should be
hand delivered or mailed to the Absentee Election Manager for your county. You may find the
address for your county's Absentee Election Manager here.
In order to vote in Alabama, you must meet
the following qualifications:
- You must be a United States Citizen
- You must reside in Alabama (or you must have maintained Alabama as your
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must not have been convicted of a felony (unless your voting rights
have been restored)
- You must not have been legally declared "mentally incompetent" by a
court (unless your rights have been restored)
WHEN: You may apply for voter registration on the same day you move
into Alabama, if you decide to make this your legal residence. If you are an
Alabama resident stationed away from home, you should begin the voter
registration process as soon as possible in the election year in order for the
application to go through the mail and processing system with extra time for
correcting any errors or omissions.
Card Application (FPCA) is the primary form to use, either to register to
vote or to request an absentee ballot. Servicemen and women and their families
may obtain the FPCA from the Alabama Secretary of State website
or by calling toll-free 1-800-274-VOTE (8683). The Federal website is
www.fvap.gov and the toll-free
number is DSN 425-1584. You may also contact your County Board of Registrars.
WHERE: In addition of the Secretary of State"s office, the following
locations provide voter registration services:
- Armed forces recruiting stations
- Department of Human Resources
- State and local government offices when applying for Rehabilitation
Services, Aid to Dependent Children, WIC, Medicaid, or Food Stamps
- Offices of Probate Judges and License Commissioners
- Public libraries, colleges, and universities
The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is
the primary form for obtaining an absentee
ballot. Request the FPCA as early as possible
from any of the sources listed above. One FPCA
will suffice for both primary and general
election ballots in federal elections. When you
receive your absentee ballot, cast your vote(s)
and return the ballot without delay.
The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be
used by Uniformed Services members on active duty, members of the merchant
marine, and their spouses or dependents under the Uniform and Overseas Citizens
Absentee Voting Act, which applies to general elections for Federal offices. You
can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States
(including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting
residence for service-related activities. You must apply for a regular ballot
early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least
5 DAYS before the election. Then if you do not receive your regular ballot in
time, you may use the FWAB. Your FWAB must be received by your local voting
officials in Alabama no later than noon on Election Day.
Your Unit Voting Assistance Officer can assist you with this and other voting
procedures or problems.
- Request your absentee ballot as EARLY as
possible, no later than the first week of
September. However, election officials must receive your
FPCA at least 5 days before Election Day.
- Make sure your local election officials have your current mailing
- Fill in all the information completely and take care to assure that it
will be easy to read.
- Sign and date all election materials.
- Have the proper witnesses sign the affidavit on the outside of the
absentee ballot return envelope.
Q. How can I get help if I have questions
about the voting process?
A. Contact your Unit Voting Assistance Officer. If you have access to a
the Elections Division of the Alabama Secretary of State. You may also log
on to the website of the Federal Voting Assistance Program (at
www.fvap.gov), which provides
information for servicemen and women overseas. The FVAP also helps all military
personnel with access to a DSN phone. Dial toll-free DSN 425-1584.
Q. Most of the instructions refer to my legal voting residence and my
county of residence. As a member of the armed forces who has been transferred,
what is my official residence?
A. For voting purposes, your residence can be either the place you last
resided before entering service, or it can be your new legal residence. Military
and family members may change their legal residence each time they change
permanent duty stations, or they may choose to retain their original residence.
Consult a legal officer before changing residence, because other factors besides
voting must be considered.
Q. I know the city that is considered my residence, but what if I don't
know the name of the county?
A. The Alabama Secretary of State website has a
City/County Inquiry page which allows citizens to find their county by
choosing their city name. You may also call the office of the Alabama Secretary
of State toll-free at 1-800-274-8683.
Q. Must I have my ballot notarized or witnessed?
A. The absentee ballot's outside return envelope has an affidavit that must
be sworn to before a commissioned officer, notary (or other person authorized to
administer oaths) or by two witnesses (at least 18 years old).
Q. Do I have to pay postage to vote?
A. In general, all election-related materials for servicemen and women can
be mailed postage-free from any APO or FPO mail facility, from all U.S.
embassies and consulates, and from any post office in the United States. You
must pay postage if the materials are mailed from a non-U.S. postal facility. If
you download the absentee application form, you must put it in an envelope and
Q. What are the instructions for members of my family who are stationed
A. Family members follow the same procedures as military personnel.