Citizens Residing Overseas and the Military

Alabama citizens who are members of the Uniformed Services or their family members, Merchant Marines, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Alabama overseas citizens (also known as UOCAVA voters) can receive their blank absentee ballots by electronic transmission or by U.S. Mail.

Military and other overseas citizens are welcome to use the standard procedure for absentee voting by mail. However, there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Merchant Marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States. Check the Federal Voting Assistance Program Website for full details.

Voter Qualifications

To register to vote in the State of Alabama, an individual must meet the following qualifications:

When to Register to Vote  

You may apply for voter registration on the same day you move into Alabama, if you decide to make this your legal residence. If you are an Alabama resident stationed away from home, you should begin the voter registration process as soon as possible in the election year in order for the application to go through the mail and processing system with extra time for correcting any errors or omissions.

Citizens may register to vote all year, except during the ten days prior to an election and on election day. Voter registration is closed during the ten days prior to any election and on election day so that the voter list can be compiled for the election.

UOCAVA voters also have expanded options for returning the voted absentee ballot. The ballot may be returned by U.S. Mail or by a commercial air or ground carrier. Please note that if returning the ballot by commercial air or ground carrier, the date the ballot is tendered to the carrier is considered the postmark date. UOCAVA voters should ensure that their ballot is postmarked or tendered to the commercial carrier no later than the day of the election in which they are casting a ballot.

UOCAVA voters are no longer required to have the affidavit envelope accompanying their ballot notarized. However, the affidavit on the envelope must be witnessed by two persons 18 years of age or older.

Where and How to Register

A citizen may register to vote:

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is the primary form to use, either to register to vote or to request an absentee ballot. Request the FPCA at any of the above locations. Servicemen and women and their families may download the FPCA below or from the Downloads page from this Website. You may also request the FPCA by calling toll-free 1-800-274-VOTE (8683). The Federal Website is and the toll-free number is DSN 425-1584. You may also contact your county board of registrars.

Request the FPCA as early as possible from any of the sources listed above. One FPCA will suffice for both primary and general election ballots in federal elections. When you receive your absentee ballot, cast your vote(s) and return the ballot without delay.

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by Uniformed Services members on active duty, members of the Merchant Marine, and their spouses or dependents under the Uniform and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), which applies to general elections for Federal offices. You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities. You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least five days before the election. Then if you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB. Your FWAB must be received by your local voting officials in Alabama no later than noon on Election Day.

Your Unit Voting Assistance Officer can assist you with this and other voting procedures or problems.

Making Sure Your Ballot Counts  

Applications submitted by military personnel and U.S. citizens residing overseas are valid for a period of two election cycles. However, these voters should ensure that they keep their mailing addresses updated with their counties’ Boards of Registrars and with the Absentee Election Managers.

Political Party Registration

Alabama does not have a party registration law. Therefore, a citizen does not have to declare a political party preference when registering to vote.

Restoration of Voting Rights

An individual who is barred from registering and voting by reason of a disqualifying felony conviction  may request to have his or her voting rights restored by applying for a Certificate of Eligibility. An individual may qualify for a “Certificate of Eligibility” to vote if he or she has fulfilled all terms of the sentence for the disqualifying felony conviction. For further information, contact the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles at 334-242-8700.

Keep Your Voter Registration Record up to Date

A voter should immediately notify voter registration officials (board of registrars) of any changes, such as a change in name or address. The law requires that any voter whose name or address is not correct on the voter list must provide current information before being allowed to vote. The form to update registration information will be available at all polling places on election day. If a voter moves to another county within the state, he or she must re-register in the new county of residence.

If you have questions about voter registration in Alabama, you may contact the following officials by phone or by mail:

Voter Registration

State Capitol

600 Dexter Avenue, Room E-210

Montgomery Alabama 36130

Phone: 334-242-7210

FAX: 334-242-2444


The UOCAVA Application for Absentee Ballot, Federal Post Card Application, On-line Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, and the FVAP Voting Assistance Guide can be downloaded below. These election items as well as other voter-related forms can be downloaded from the Downloads page on this Website.

UOCAVA Absentee Ballot Application

(Adobe Acrobat Format)

Please fill in all information completely and accurately.

Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)

(Adobe Acrobat Format)

Please fill in all information completely and accurately.

On-line Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

(Adobe Acrobat Format)

Please fill in all information completely and accurately.

2012-2013 FVAP Voting Assistance Guide

(Adobe Acrobat Format)

Note: The Adobe Reader is required for viewing the above files. If you do not have the Adobe Reader already, you may download it by clicking the Adobe Reader link below. Adobe’s site will open in a new window.

Download Adobe Reader

Military and Overseas Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get help if I have questions about the voting process?

Contact your Unit Voting Assistance Officer. If you have access to a computer, e-mail the Elections Division of the Alabama Secretary of State. You may also log on to the Website of the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), which provides information for servicemen and women overseas. The FVAP also helps all military personnel with access to a DSN phone. Dial toll-free DSN 425-1584.

Most of the instructions refer to my legal voting residence and my county of residence. As a member of the armed forces who has been transferred, what is my official residence?

For voting purposes, your residence can be either the place you last resided before entering service, or it can be your new legal residence. Military and family members may change their legal residence each time they change permanent duty stations, or they may choose to retain their original residence. Consult a legal officer before changing residence, because other factors besides voting must be considered.

I know the city that is considered my residence, but what if I don’t know the name of the county?

The Alabama Secretary of State Website has a City / County Inquiry page which allows citizens to find their county by choosing their city name. You may also call the office of the Alabama Secretary of State toll-free at 1-800-274-8683.

Must I have my ballot notarized or witnessed?

The absentee ballot’s outside return envelope has an affidavit that must be sworn to before a commissioned officer, notary (or other person authorized to administer oaths) or by two witnesses (at least 18 years old).

Do I have to pay postage to vote?

In general, all election-related materials for servicemen and women can be mailed postage-free from any APO or FPO mail facility, from all U.S. embassies and consulates, and from any post office in the United States. You must pay postage if the materials are mailed from a non-U.S. postal facility. If you download the absentee application form, you must put it in an envelope and pay postage.

What are the instructions for members of my family who are stationed with me?

Family members follow the same procedures as military personnel.

Do I need to register to vote in Alabama prior to each election?

Applications submitted by military personnel and U.S. citizens residing overseas are valid for a period of two election cycles. However, these voters should ensure that they keep their mailing addresses updated with their counties’ Boards of Registrars and with the Absentee Election Managers.