Military FAQ - Federal Voting Assistance Program

Overseas Citizens | Military

Where is my “legal voting residence?” For voting purposes, your “legal voting residence” can be the state or territory where you last resided prior to entering military service, or the state or territory that you have since claimed as your legal residence. To claim a new legal residence you must have simultaneous physical presence and the intent to return to that location as your primary residence. Military and family members may change their legal residence every time they change permanent duty stations or they may retain their legal residence without change. Family members may have a different legal voting residence from the Uniformed Service member. A legal officer should be consulted before legal residence is changed because there are usually other factors that should be considered besides voting. Be sure to enter the complete address of your legal voting residence, including street or rural route and number, when completing the residence section of the FPCA. Even though you may no longer maintain formal ties such as property ownership to that residence, the address is needed to place you in a proper voting district, ward, precinct or parish.

Can I vote in person where I am stationed? Military members may vote in the state or territory where stationed if they change their legal residence to that state or territory, even if they live on a military installation. Be advised that there are legal obligations that may be incurred, such as taxation, if you change your state or territory of residence. Therefore, consult a legal officer before making such a decision. At present, there are no provisions for personnel stationed outside the United States to vote, in person, where stationed.

My family members are not in the military. May they also vote absentee? The law entitles eligible family members (U.S. citizens and 18 years of age)of military personnel to vote absentee. Family members are considered to be in the same category of absentee voter as military members and generally should follow the same procedures. Some states allow children of military personnel residing overseas, who are U.S. citizens but who have never resided in the United States, to claim a U.S. citizen parent’s legal state or territory of residence as their own.