Military voters often don’t live in the place they call home — so where do you vote?

You can only have one voting residence at a time, and it may not be where you are currently stationed.

For example, if you’re now at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, but the last place you registered to vote was Atlanta, you have two options: register to vote in North Carolina or request an absentee ballot from Georgia. If you’re married, your spouse’s voting residence may be different from yours, depending on where he or she was last registered.

How do you decide where your voting residence is? Check out the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) voting residence guidelines.

My Ballot Hasn’t Come! Now What?

You’re stationed away from the residence where you are registered to vote. You’ve requested an absentee ballot. You’ve been checking your mail every day, and your ballot hasn’t arrived. What can you do?

Fill out and send in a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)! Here are some pointers:

  • You can use the FWAB if you requested an absentee ballot and did not receive it 30 or more days before the election. (In a few states, you can also use it for voter registration — but if used for that purpose, it must be received by your state elections office before your state’s registration deadline.
  • Use this tool to see your state’s requirements, including whether it accepts the FWAB for registration.)
  • Ready to cast your ballot? Use the FWAB Automated Assistant, or download and fill out this PDF.
    You can fill out the form online and print it for mailing. If you prefer to download and print the PDF and then write your choices on your ballot, make sure your handwriting is legible.
  • If you’re stationed overseas, mail your ballot (APO/FPO) before these recommended mailing dates to ensure that it arrives on time to be counted.
  • Looking for in-person help on your installation? Check here for the closest FVAP Installation Voter Assistance Office near you. They even have offices overseas.
  • If your state ballot arrives after you have sent in the FWAB, return your state ballot as well. If both are received before Election Day, only the state ballot will be counted.

For more information, check out these resources:

Federal Voting Assistance Project (FVAP) – military voters

FVAP materials for uniformed service members

State voter hotlines

Registration deadlines and polling place hours (by state) registration information for service members and eligible family members