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Military and Overseas Voters

Military and Overseas Voters have several options to exercise their right to vote.  They are eligible to vote in Wisconsin by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and Wisconsin state law.

The State of Wisconsin is in complance with the Militiary and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which  took effect in November 2010. More information about Wisconsin's efforts to comply with the MOVE Act are available here.

Who is a “Military Voter”?

  • Any member of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Federal Public Health Service or the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Members of the merchant marine of the United States.

  • Civilian employees of the United States and civilians officially attached to a uniformed service who are serving outside the United States.

  • Peace Corps volunteers.

  • Spouses and dependents of those listed in the above categories residing with or accompanying them.

*Note: Military electors who are on active duty away from their primary residence (“active-away”) are subject to special procedures including later absentee ballot request deadlines and voted ballot receipt deadlines.  See below for details.*

Who is an “Overseas Voter”?

There are two kinds of overseas voters.

  • A Permanent Overseas Voter is a U.S. citizen who is not disqualified from voting under Wis. Stat. s. 6.03, who has attained or will attain the age of 18 by the date of an election at which the citizen proposes to vote, who was last domiciled in this state or whose parent was last domiciled in this state immediately prior to the parent's departure from the United States, and who is not registered to vote or voting in any other state, territory or possession.
  • A Temporary Overseas Voter is a U.S. citizen who is not disqualified from voting under Wis. Stat. s. 6.03, who has attained or will attain the age of 18 by the date of an election at which the citizen proposes to vote, and who qualifies as a resident of Wisconsin. For more information about Temporary Overseas Voters, click here.

How do Military and Overseas Voters Register?

Military electors are exempt from registration. Wisconsin voters who are overseas temporarily and intend to return to Wisconsin must register to vote and provide proof of residence. Wisconsin voters who are overseas permanently and do not intend to return to Wisconsin also must register to vote, but are not required to provide proof of residence.  Please note that the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) serves as both a voter registration form and absentee ballot request.

How do they request absentee ballots?

Military and Overseas electors may request a ballot through the MyVote Wisconsin website (https://myvote.wi.gov), or by mail, fax or email to the municipal clerk's office.  Overseas voters have until 5 p.m. on the 5th day before the election to make a request.  Military voters have until 5 p.m. on the 4th day before the election to make a request.  However, military active-away electors have until 5 p.m. on Election Day to request an absentee ballot for an election for national office.  

How do Military and Overseas Voters get their ballots?

Military electors and temporarily overseas electors who intend to return to Wisconsin are eligible to receive a full ballot at any election. Permanent overseas electors with no intent to return to Wisconsin may vote for federal offices only. In either case, the ballot is mailed, faxed or emailed per the voter’s request. In addition, military electors and permanent overseas electors may download their ballot from MyVote Wisconsin. If the voter does not specify the means of transmission, the clerk may send the ballot via whatever means are practical to expedite receipt of the ballot by the voter.  

What if the absentee ballot doesn't arrive in time?

Military or overseas voters who do not receive their ballots in time may use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which is available online and at U.S. embassies.  Please consult the directory of U.S. Embassy web sites.

How do they return their ballots?

All voted absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.  All voted absentee ballots must be returned by mail to the clerk's office and cannot be returned electronically.