SOTS: Military and Overseas Citizens Ballot Information

Absentee Voting by Military and Citizens Overseas

Useful Information

Absentee Voting Eligibility

The absentee ballot is an important way that registered voters may cast their vote if they are unable to appear at the polling place on the day of a primary, election or referendum due to one or more of the following reasons:

  1. active service in the U.S. armed forces;
  2. absence from town during all the hours of voting;
  3. illness;
  4. physical disability;
  5. his or her religion forbids secular activity on that day;
  6. his or her required performance of duties as a primary, referendum, or election official at a polling place other than his or her own during all the hours on that day.

Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Military and Overseas voters can request an absentee ballot by using:

(1) The State of Connecticut’s Absentee Ballot Application

(2) The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). One FPCA will suffice for both primary and general election ballots for the year. When you receive your absentee ballot, cast your vote(s) and return the ballot without delay.

Please be sure to note on either application your preferred method of ballot delivery (electronic or by standard mail). If you request a ballot to be sent electronically, please be sure to provide a valid e-mail address on your application.

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 which applies to general elections for Federal offices. If you have applied for a regular ballot form your local election officials and do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB. Your FWAB must be received by your local voting officials in Connecticut no later than the close of polls on Election Day.

You should return your completed absentee ballot application to the municipal clerk in the town in which you are a registered voter in Connecticut. You can return your completed application by fax or e-mail as long as you return the original completed and signed application with your voted ballot by the close of the polls on Election or Primary day. Contact information for your municipal clerk can be located here.

If you have returned your completed absentee ballot to your municipal clerk you can check the status of the ballot here.

Registering To Vote

You may submit a voter registration application on the same day you move into Connecticut. Once registered, you should receive a letter of acceptance within three weeks from your local registrar of voters. If you do not receive this letter you should contact the registrar of voters at the same address that you sent your voter registration card. Contact information for your registrar of voters can be located here.

The deadlines to register to vote for an Election are: (1) An application for voter registration must be postmarked at least 14 days before the election if the application is submitted by mail or (2) An application for voter registration must be submitted to the local registrar of voters not later than the 7th day before the election if the application is submitted in person.

The deadlines to register to vote for a Primary are: (1) An application for voter registration must be postmarked at least 5 days before the primary if the application is submitted by mail or (2) An application for voter registration must be submitted to the local registrar of voters not later than 12 noon on the day before the primary if the application is submitted in person.

In addition to the above stated voter registration deadlines, the State of Connecticut provides for extended voter registration deadlines for members of the military and overseas voters. An application for voter registration may be submitted to the local registrar of voters not later than 5 pm on the day before an election or primary.

Members of the military or citizens residing overseas can submit an application for voter registration by using:

(1) The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). This form can be used to either register to vote or to request an absentee ballot. Servicemen and women and their families may obtain the FPCA from the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website at www.fvap.gov

(2) The State of Connecticut’s voter registration application. If an individual registers to vote using this application, they must also submit a separate application for absentee ballot if they intended to vote absentee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be registered to vote absentee?

Connecticut requires an individual to be registered to vote in order to vote absentee. Voter registration and absentee ballot request can be done at the same time by submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). If you are already registered to vote and only wish to request a ballot, you should submit your FPCA as soon as possible.

Where do I send my Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request?

Your Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot request form must be completed, printed, signed, dated and mailed directly to your local election official. These officials will handle the processing and distribution of your absentee ballots and may need to contact you for further information or clarification. To facilitate this process, please provide a current email address, phone and fax number on your application.

When mailing election materials to my state, do I have to pay postage?

When mailed from any U.S. post office, U.S. embassy or consulate, or APO/FPO mail facility, the hardcopy voter registration/absentee ballot form is postage-paid. In order to receive free postage, the online version of the form must be mailed in an envelope printed with the FVAP postage-paid envelope template. You may mail the completed form in an envelope with proper postage affixed. Ensure that your form is postmarked (see postmarking instructions below) and sent to arrive before the close of the polls on election or primary day. You must pay postage if the materials are mailed from a non-U.S. postal facility.

What is a postmark and how do I make sure I get one?

A postmark is a postal marking made on a piece of mail indicating the date and time that the item was accepted by the postal service. Postmarks are used to determine if voting materials have been mailed by state deadlines. Due to varying mail pick up times, the day you 'mail' your election mail may not be the day the postal facility postmarks it. You may ask the mail clerk to hand stamp the election material so that a date is clearly visible.

Must I submit a separate application for each election?

You do not need to submit a separate application for each election in a single year since Connecticut accepts the Federal Post Card Application as a request for all Federal office elections for the calendar year in which it was submitted.

What happens if I do not receive a ballot from my local election office?

If you requested an absentee ballot but have not received one close to election day, you can still vote by using the back-up Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB).

In order to be eligible to use this back-up ballot, you must:

Be absent from your voting residence;

Have applied for a regular ballot early enough so the request is received by the appropriate local election official not later than the State deadline; or the date that is 30 days before the general election; AND

Have not received the requested regular absentee ballot from the state.

Where can I get a back-up Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot?

Hardcopies of the back-up Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) are available through Voting Assistance Officers at military installations or at U.S. embassies/consulates.

An online version is also available, which must be completed, printed, signed, dated, and mailed to your local election official.

Questions for Uniformed Services/family members

Can I vote absentee?

You can vote absentee in local, state and Federal elections if you are a U.S. citizen 18 years or older and are an active duty member of the Armed Forces, Merchant Marine, Public Health Service, NOAA, a family member of the above, or a U.S. citizen residing outside the United States.

Where is my "legal voting residence"?

For voting purposes, "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.

Even though you may no longer maintain formal ties to that residence, the address determines your proper voting jurisdiction. To claim a new legal residence, you must have simultaneous physical presence and the intent to return to that location as your primary residence.

Am I required to have election materials notarized?

No, the State of Connecticut does not require that any election materials be notarized.

How do I register to vote or request an absentee ballot?

You may register and request an absentee ballot with a single form: The Federal Post Card Application. Hard copies of the form can be obtained from your installation's Voting Assistance Officer or requested directly from the Federal Voting Assistance Program

An online version of the Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form is also available. The online version of the form must be mailed in an envelope with proper postage, or mailed using FVAP’s prepaid return envelope

Your Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form must be completed, printed, signed, dated and mailed directly to your local election official.

Questions for Overseas Citizens

Can I vote absentee?

You can vote absentee in any election for Federal office if you are a U.S. citizen 18 years or older and are a U.S. citizen residing outside the United States.

If I do not maintain a legal residence in the U.S., what is my "legal state of residence"?

Your "legal state of residence" for voting purposes is the state or territory where you last resided immediately prior to your departure from the United States. This applies to overseas citizens even though you may not have property or other ties in Connecticut and your intent to return may be uncertain.

How do I register to vote, or apply for an absentee ballot?

You may register and request an absentee ballot with a single form: The Federal Post Card Application. Hard copies of the form can be obtained from a U.S. embassy or consulate or requested directly from the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

An online version of the Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form is also available. The online version of the form must be mailed in an envelope with proper postage, or mailed using FVAP’s prepaid return envelope.

Your Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Request form must be completed, printed, signed, dated and mailed directly to your local election official.

Am I required to have election materials notarized?

No, the State of Connecticut does not require that any election materials be notarized.

Military Contingency Ballots

Ballots will be mailed as early as 90 days before the election for those servicemen who are absent from home due to a military contingency.

The Official Blank Absentee Ballot is printed by the Secretary of the State and is made available 90 days before the election to members of the armed forces, and spouses or dependents living where such members are stationed, who state on their absentee ballot application that due to military contingencies they request an early ballot. This includes Federal Post Card Applications bearing a sticker referring to military contingencies, as follows:

"CONNECTICUT

" 'Due to military contingencies, I am unable to follow the regular absentee ballot application process. I request a special write-in absentee ballot.' "

For additional questions, contact the Secretary of the State at (860) 509-6100 or 1-800-540-3764, Email: LEAD@ct.gov





Content Last Modified on 12/2/2011 2:50:40 PM