Military and Overseas Voting

Are you serving in the military or will be abroad during the election?

You may qualify for a faster way to register and vote by absentee ballot under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

Graphic illustration of a plane leaving its destination with a track behind it.

How to register and vote under the UOCAVA:

  • 1

    Check if you’re covered.

    Explore the tabs for information on the two voter types covered by the UOCAVA: Military members and citizens outside the country.

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    You are a military member if you are:

    • A member of the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard who is on active duty.
    • A member of the Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    • A member of the National Guard or state militia units on activated status.
    • The spouse or dependent of someone listed above if you live with or accompany them.

    You are an overseas citizen if you are a U.S. citizen, and you are:

    • Temporarily living outside the United States, and you intend to return to your state.
    • A college student traveling abroad during an election.
    • Traveling outside of the United States during an election.
    • Outside of the United States permanently, and you have no intent to return.
    • Someone born outside of the United States with a U.S. citizen parent who last resided in North Carolina.
  • 2

    Register to vote and request your absentee ballot with the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).

    The deadline is 5 p.m. ET the day before Election Day. Click the tabs to compare how to apply: Online or on paper.

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    Complete the FPCA online via the NC Military/Overseas Voter Services Portal:

    • Easiest, most convenient method.
    • No pen, paper, or printer required.
    • Fill out the form with a keyboard, sign it using your mouse or finger, and return it with the click of a button.

    Fill out the FPCA online

    Complete the FPCA on paper:

    • Method requires pen, paper, and printer.
    • Fill out and return your completed and signed application via mail, email, or fax to your county board of elections.
    • Alternatively, send it to the State Board of Elections, and we will forward it to your county board of elections for you:
      • Mail: NC State Board of Elections, PO Box 27255, Raleigh, NC 27611-7255
      • Email: absentee@ncsbe.gov
      • Fax: (919) 715-0351

    Download the FPCA (PDF)

  • 3

    Receive, vote, and return your absentee ballot.

    The ballot and voting instructions will arrive where you specified on the FPCA. Make sure to sign the Military-Overseas Voter Affirmation that comes with the ballot materials. You can sign with your mouse or finger if you receive them online. The ballot return deadline via online/email or fax is 7:30 p.m. ET on Election Day.

    The ballot return deadline via mail is 12:01 a.m. on Election Day (your local time). It must be put in the mail by this deadline and then reach your county board of elections by 5 p.m. ET on the last business day before the county canvass, which occurs 10 days after each election — except for September and October odd-year municipal elections when it’s seven days after the election. A postmark is not required.

When to use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB):

If you have followed the first two steps above but have yet to receive your ballot in time to participate in the election, download and print the FWAB (PDF), also known as the backup ballot. It will have blanks for you to write in your choices. See above for ballot return deadlines.

Tips:

Questions?

Visit FAQ: Military and Overseas Voting.