Casting your Vote

Military and Overseas Voters (UOCAVA)

Check the Status of Your Voted Ballot (Tracking system active only during elections)

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, or UOCAVA, provides the legal basis for Absentee Voting requirements for United States citizens who are active members of the Uniformed Services, the Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, their eligible family members and other US citizens residing outside the United States.  

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is the primary form for military and overseas voters to use to both register to vote and request an Absentee Ballot. You may use the FPCA if you are:

  • On active duty in the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine
  • An eligible spouse or dependent of someone on active duty in the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine
  • An activated National Guard member on DC orders
  • A US citizen living outside the country

You may complete the FPCA on the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website. Read all instructions printed on the FPCA carefully before completing and signing your application.

If you are using the FPCA to register to vote as well as to request an Absentee Ballot, your FPCA must be received by the Board by no later than the 21st day before an election.

You may also register to vote here.

While we recommend that military and overseas voters use the FPCA to request an Absentee Ballot, any form of written and signed communication requesting a military/overseas ballot is acceptable. If you choose not use the FPCA, please be sure that any written request for an Absentee Ballot includes:

  • Your name
  • The election(s) for which you are requesting a ballot
  • The address at which you are registered
  • Your current residence address, if different from above
  • Your telephone number and email address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your DC Department of Motor Vehicles-issued identification number, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, or the voter registration number issued to you by the Board
  • Your preferred method of ballot delivery (mail, email, or fax)
  • Mailing address, email address, or fax number to which ballot should be delivered
  • Your original signature (an Absentee Ballot request sent electronically will be considered to contain an original signature)

You may submit the FPCA or other written absentee ballot request to the DC Board of Elections:

  • By mail or in-person 
    DC Board of Elections
    1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750
    Washington, DC 20003
  • By email (scanned as an attachment) at
  • By fax at (202) 347-2648

Requests for Absentee Ballots should be received no later than the third day before an election.

You will receive your Absentee Ballot by mail, email, or fax, depending upon the delivery method you indicate on your application. Instructions on how to vote and return your ballot will be included with your ballot.  Emailed or faxed voted ballots must be received by 8:00 pm on Election Day. Mailed voted ballots must be postmarked or otherwise demonstrated to have been sent on or before Election Day, and received by the Board no later than the 10th day after Election Day.

If you are concerned that you may not be able to receive or cast your ballot in time for it to be counted, visit the FVAP website to get a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, which can be used to cast a vote in all federal contests on the ballot.