Member of the Military
If you are a member of the military and want to register to vote, you may request that the state send an official Pennsylvania voter registration application to your e-mail account. To receive the form, simply send an e-mail from that account to ST-UOCAVAApp@pa.gov. You may also register to vote using the Federal Post Card Application form (FPCA) or the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB).
Absentee Ballot Applications
If you are a member of the military and unable to attend your polling place in person on Election Day, you may be eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Absentee electors in military service may obtain an absentee ballot several ways:
- Request that the state e-mail an absentee ballot application to your e-mail account. To do this, send an e-mail from your account to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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; or, complete and send a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)
- Submit any other official absentee ballot application form to request an absentee ballot.
If you have questions regarding registering or voting in Pennsylvania as a member of the military or if you would like the state to mail you a paper voter registration or absentee ballot application, contact the Department of State by e-mailing ST-UOCAVAQues@pa.gov.
There are also several important things to keep in mind:
- Only you or an adult member of your immediate family may submit your application for an absentee ballot.
- If you are home on Election Day and have not voted by absentee ballot, you may, if registered, appear at your election district polling place and vote.
- If you are not registered, you may apply in person and vote at the office of the County Board of Elections.
- The County Board of Elections must receive original completed absentee ballot applications prior to Election Day.
Official Election Notice to Military and Overseas Voters
An election notice will be prepared by each county board of elections by the 90th day prior to a regularly scheduled primary or election, and as soon as possible prior to a special election. The notice includes a list of all ballot measures and all federal, state and local offices on the ballot. Any county that maintains a publicly accessible website must post the notice on that website. You may also request a copy of the election notice from your county board of elections.
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 (FPCA) or 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.
An absentee ballot from a military voter must be received by the county board of elections no later than the close of polls on Election Day, or it must be submitted for mailing or delivery by 11:59 PM on the day before Election Day.
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.
Learn more about voting by absentee ballot.
Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots
You may request an official absentee ballot at any time prior to a primary or election. However, if time does not permit you to receive and return an official absentee ballot, you are entitled to vote using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB).
You may use the FWAB to register, apply for an absentee ballot and vote at the same time.
You may use the FWAB to write in the name of a candidate for U.S. Representative (Representative in Congress). To write in the names of candidates for all state and local offices, you may use the Addendum section of the FWAB.
To vote, refer to page 2 of the FWAB. Under the Office/Ballot Initiative heading, please enter the office the candidate is running for or the title of the Ballot Initiative (referendum). Under the Candidate Name, Party Affiliation or Initiative Vote heading, please list the name of the candidate you wish to vote for. If you are voting on a Referendum questions you would write “yes” or “no.”
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.