Member of the Military
If you are a member of the military, you have options for how you register and vote in Pennsylvania.
How to register to vote
To register to vote you can:
How to vote in person on Election Day
If you are home on Election Day and have not voted by absentee ballot, you may, if registered, vote at your election district polling place.
If you are not registered to vote, you may apply in person and vote at the office of the County Board of Elections.
How to apply for an absentee ballot
If you are unable to vote at your polling place in person on Election Day, you may be eligible to vote by absentee ballot.
The County Board of Elections must receive completed absentee ballot applications before Election Day. Post mark is not enough; the county must actually receive the application.
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 account. Send an e-mail from your account 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 (Federal Form Number 76), distributed by the United States Department of Defense and send it to your County Election Office to request an absentee ballot.
- Complete and send a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot Form (Federal Form 186) distributed by the United States Department of Defense and send it to your County Election Office.
Only you or an adult member of your immediate family may submit your application for an absentee ballot.
How to receive your absentee ballot electronically
A military member may receive an absentee ballot electronically. If you want to receive your ballot in this manner:
- Mark the e-mail preference in block 6 on your Federal Post Card Application Form (Federal Form Number 76)
- Personally contact your local County Board of Elections office by e-mail or phone.
You will be notified by e-mail when your ballot is available to download from www.pavoterservices.state.pa.us.
If you do not choose to receive an absentee ballot electronically, your ballot will be mailed to you.
How to vote by absentee ballot
Members of the military voting by absentee ballot must affirm that their ballots were submitted for delivery by 11:59 PM on the day before Election Day, and the County Board of Elections must receive their ballot by 5 p.m. seven days after Election Day.
Learn about voting by absentee ballot.
Special Write-In Absentee Ballots
Members of the military who are outside the United States on Election Day might receive a special write-in absentee ballot. Election Officials use write-in ballots when they are required by law to provide absentee ballots to absentee voters, but official absentee ballots have not yet been printed.
The special write-in ballot includes all of the offices and questions that will appear on the official ballots for the election district, but not the names of the candidates for the offices. Instead, Election Officials will provide a separate list of candidates who have filed to appear on the official ballot and who have not withdrawn or had their names removed from the ballot by a court.
A special write-in absentee ballot returned to the County Board of Elections will be handled and counted the same way as an absentee ballot cast on an official absentee ballot.
Use of the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)
Members of the military may use the FWAB to vote for all federal, state and local offices. No later than 90 days before each election, our county election office must post a notice on its website that contains information about the offices and ballot questions that will appear on official ballots at the upcoming election. Please contact your county election office for information about the next election.
Members of the military can use the FWAB to both apply for an official absentee ballot and to vote. You may do both simultaneously. Your FWAB will be counted if your completed official absentee ballot is not received by the seventh day after Election Day.
Federal Voting Assistance Program
If you will be out of the country and wish to vote, the Federal Voting Assistance Program will guide you through the process.
If you have questions about registering or voting in Pennsylvania as a member of the military, email ST-UOCAVAQues@pa.gov.