Military and Overseas Voting & Registration
This office places tremendous importance on making sure our men and women in uniform, and other Americans living overseas, are afforded the opportunity to register and vote. In fact, the struggle to protect the right to vote for our citizen soldiers is nothing new. In a letter to Congress in 1952 during the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman wrote:
- “About 2,500,000 men and women in the Armed Forces are of voting age at the present time. Many of those in uniform are serving overseas, or in parts of the country distant from their homes. They are unable to return to their states either to register or to vote. Yet these men and women, who are serving their country and in many cases risking their lives, deserve above all others to exercise the right to vote in this election year. At a time when these young people are defending our country and its free institutions, the least we at home can do is to make sure that they are able to enjoy the rights they are being asked to fight to preserve.”
President Truman’s words are as true today as then. Significant progress has been made at the federal, state and local level over the past few years in military and overseas voting. We will continue to do everything in our power in the Escambia County Elections Office to make sure those serving across the globe have the ability to excercise one of the most fundamental liberties they are fighting to protect — the right to vote.
How to Register and Vote
Members of the United States Uniformed Services on active duty and the merchant marine, their spouses and dependents, and United States citizens residing outside of the United States (known as UOCAVA voters) may apply for voter registration or request a vote by mail ballot with a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which may be obtained from a Voting Assistance Officer or online at http://www.fvap.gov/. If the FPCA is not available, call or send a written request by mail, fax, or e-mail to the Supervisor of Elections and a voter registration application or vote by mail ballot will be sent to you. Military and overseas voters may also use the Florida Voter Registration Application, making sure to indicate military status on it.
If you are already registered to vote in Escambia County, you can simply request a Vote by Mail ballot using our online form. Florida law allows a voter to request absentee ballots through the next two regularly scheduled general elections.
If you are a military or overseas voter and will be absent from Escambia County on election day, you may have your ballot mailed, faxed or e-mailed to you. It is important that you notify the elections office of your preference — the default method of delivery is mail. As a service to voters, you can track the status of your ballot.
A new feature available to UOCAVA voters registered in Escambia County is our online ballot delivery system, which allows you to access and complete your ballot online. You must still print the completed ballot and return it by mail (or fax if you are overseas), as online or e-mail return of your voted ballot is not yet permitted in Florida. To take advantage of this new system or to learn more about it, click here.
If you are an overseas voter, you also have the option of returning your ballot by fax. By law, we cannot accept voted ballots returned by e-mail. Carefully follow the instructions sent to you with your ballot to ensure that it is counted. It is very important that you sign and date the absentee ballot envelope to ensure that your ballot is counted.
What are the Deadlines to Vote By Mail?
- 5 p.m. on the 6th day (the Wednesday) before Election Day is the deadline for a request for a ballot to be mailed.
- All ballots must be received in the Supervisor of Elections’ office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.
- For overseas voters only, in any presidential primary or general election, a vote by mail ballot which is postmarked or dated no later than election day can be counted if received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 10 days after election day.
For more information on Vote by Mail voting, visit our vote by mail page.
We encourage all military and overseas voters to include their e-mail addresses on any forms or correspondence, and to update them along with mailing addresses whenever they move. The most important thing to remember is to notify the Elections Office of address changes so you don’t jeopardize your active voter registration status, and e-mail is the best way. Additional information for military and overseas voters is available from the Federal Voting Assistance Program, toll-free (800) 438-8683, fax (800) 368-8683, and e-mail email@example.com.
(see Section 101.6952, Florida Statutes)
An individual, or accompanying family member, who has been discharged or separated from the uniformed services or Merchant Marine, has returned from a military deployment or activation, or has separated from employment outside the territorial limits of the United States, after the book-closing date for an election, and who is otherwise qualified, may register to vote in such election at the Supervisor of Elections office until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the election. Such persons must produce sufficient documentation showing evidence of qualifying for the late registration pursuant to Section 97.0555 Florida Statutes.