Military and Overseas Citizens Voting
The following information applies if you are a United States uniformed services member on active duty, a Merchant Marine member, spouse or dependent thereof, or a United States citizen residing outside of the United States. In Florida, the term “vote-by-mail ballot” is used in lieu of “absentee ballot.” See Chapter 2016-37, Laws of Florida.
Registration and Vote-by-Mail Ballot Request
You may register to vote and request a vote-by-mail ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA (Online Assistant or PDF form) is made available through the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). You may also call, mail, fax, or email your County Supervisor of Elections to request a voter registration application or a vote-by-mail ballot. Unless you specify otherwise, your request for vote-by-mail ballot is valid for all elections through the end of the calendar year for the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election.
Mailing and Tracking of Vote-by-Mail Ballots
Supervisors of Elections must send vote-by-mail ballots to absent stateside and overseas military, and overseas citizens no later than 45 days before each election. The ballot may be mailed, faxed or emailed to you according to your request. If you provide an email address to the Supervisor, you will be emailed with when your request has been received, estimated date the ballot will be sent, and when your voted ballot is received. To track your vote-by-mail ballot request and ballot online, use your County Supervisor of Elections website or the Division of Elections' Voter Information Lookup.
If Election Day is approaching and you still have not received your requested vote-by-mail ballot, immediately contact your County Supervisor of Elections. If you are an absent stateside or overseas uniformed services personnel or absent spouse or dependent thereof or an overseas U.S. citizen, you may also use the Official Back-up Ballot known as the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). The FWAB (Online Assistant or PDF form) is made available through the Federal Voting Assistance Program. The FWAB can be used to vote in any federal, state or local election. (See section 101.6952, Florida Statutes)
Return of Voted Vote-by-Mail Ballot
A voted vote-by-mail ballot must be returned by mail, in person or through someone else on behalf of the voter so that it is received no later than 7 p.m. in the county in which the voter is registered. An overseas voter has the option to also return by fax his or her voted ballot and signed Voter’s Certificate. If the overseas voter faxes back the ballot and certificate, it must be faxed directly to the fax number provided by the Supervisor of Elections or to a fax number provided by Federal Voting Assistance Program of the Department of Defense. For further information, please contact your local County Supervisor of Elections Office.
A 10-day extension exists for overseas voters. The overseas voter’s vote-by-mail ballot must be postmarked or dated by Election Day and received within 10 days of the election in order to be counted, provided the ballot is otherwise proper. This 10-day extension only applies in presidential preference primary elections, general elections, and special elections and special primary elections (by operation of section 100.191, F.S.)
Further information about the FPCA and the FWAB can be found at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's website at fvap.gov/florida.