Information for Military and Overseas Voters
If you are a member of the military or an overseas civilian voter, you have options for how you register and vote in Pennsylvania.
To register to vote you can:
Can I vote in person on Election Day?
If you registered to vote and did not vote by absentee ballot, then you may vote at your election district polling place.
Members of the military who are not registered to vote, may apply in person and vote at the County Election Office.
How do I apply for an absentee ballot?
If you cannot vote at your polling place in person on Election Day, you may be able to vote with an absentee ballot that you get by mail.
Your absentee ballot request form must arrive at the County Board of Elections before Election Day. This means you must postmark your application early enough so it arrives on time.
You may request an absentee ballot in several ways:
- Use any official absentee ballot application form to request an absentee ballot.
- Request that the state e-mail an absentee ballot application to your e-mail. Send an e-mail from the account where you want to receive the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Request that the state mail you a paper absentee ballot application. Send an e-mail to ST-UOCAVAQues@pa.gov.
- Complete and send a Federal Post Card Application form to your County Election Office. The United States Department of Defense distributes this form as Federal Form Number 76.
- Members of the military may send in a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot form to your County Election Office. The United States Department of Defense distributes this form as Federal Form 186.
Only you or an adult member of your immediate family may submit your application for an absentee ballot.
How can I get my absentee ballot by email?
You can get an absentee ballot by email if you request to do so. To request that your ballot gets sent to you by email, you have several options. You can:
Look for an e-mail telling you that your ballot is ready. Then you can download your ballot from www.pavoterservices.pa.gov.
If you do not choose to receive an absentee ballot electronically, you will get your ballot in the mail.
What are the deadlines to vote by absentee ballot?
There are two requirements about when to submit your absentee ballot.
- You must affirm that you mailed your ballot no later than 11:59 pm on the day before Election Day.
- The County Election Office must receive your ballot no later than 7 days after Election Day by 5 pm.
Learn more about voting by absentee ballot.
Special Write-In Absentee Ballots
You may receive a special write-in absentee ballot if you are a member of the military or an overseas citizen outside the United States on Election Day.
Sometimes members of the military or overseas citizens need their ballot before printed absentee ballots are ready. When this happens, Election Officials provide voters with write-in absentee ballots.
What’s on the special write-in absentee ballot?
The special write-in absentee ballots include all offices and questions on your election district's official ballot. These ballots do not include the names of the candidates for the offices.
Election Officials also provide a separate list of the candidates who filed to appear on the official ballot. The list does not include any candidate who withdrew or had their names removed from the ballot by a court.
A special write-in absentee ballot returned to the County Election Office counts the same way as any absentee ballot.
Using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)
Members of the military and overseas citizens may use the FWAB to vote for all federal, state and local offices. Your county election office must post a notice on its website with information about the offices and questions on the official ballot for the next election. This must be on the website at least 90 days before the election.
Please contact your county election office for information about the next election.
Members of the military and overseas citizens can use the FWAB to both apply for an official absentee ballot and to vote. You may do both at the same time. Your FWAB counts even if your completed official absentee ballot is not received by the seventh day after Election Day.
What is the Federal Voting Assistance Program?
The Federal Voting Assistance Program guides you through the process to vote if you will be out of the country.
If you have questions about registering or voting in Pennsylvania as a member of the military or overseas citizen, email ST-UOCAVAQues@pa.gov.