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Military and overseas voters

Military family embracing

The right to vote

The right to vote is the basis for our democracy. People in the military and U.S. citizens living overseas have the right to cast a ballot and have their vote counted. This section provides information about voting while away from home for members of the armed forces and individuals living overseas.

Registering to vote and voting (Choose tab)

Eligible Michigan voters who live overseas can register to vote by filling out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). If voters submit another type of registration form, such as the State of Michigan Voter Registration Application, it will also be accepted and processed.

Requirements: The following information is required when completing the FPCA:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Registration address and current address
  • Driver’s license or state ID or the last 4 digits of Social Security number. If you do not have any of these numbers you must enter in Section 6: "I do not have a Social Security number or Michigan-issued ID number."

More information on requirements and completing the FPCA for Michigan voter registration is available in the FPCA Michigan guidance. For a general overview of voter eligibility and the Michigan voter registration process, visit Michigan.gov/Vote.

Deadline: Signed and completed FPCA must be received by a voter’s local clerk by 2 p.m. on the Saturday before Election Day. Options for returning an FPCA, including email, fax, or regular mail, are listed in the FPCA Michigan Guidance.

 

Michigan.gov/Vote

Find your local clerk 

Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) Michigan 

Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

 

Absentee ballots for overseas voters may be requested up to 75 days before an election and are generally mailed within 45 days of an election.

Absentee ballot applications for military and overseas voters may be submitted using a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), a regular absentee ballot application, or the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) Voter Information page.

Requirements:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Jurisdiction (Michigan city or township and county)
  • Classification [reason for requesting a Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) ballot]
  • Registration address and current address
  • Driver’s license number or state ID number or the last 4 digits of Social Security number

    Registered voters in Michigan using a Michigan Absent Voter Ballot Application have the option to join the permanent absentee ballot list, and will receive an absentee ballot in every election going forward. . However, MOVE voters must complete a FCPA each year to ensure that they are sent a ballot early enough to allow for overseas mail. Applications that are received after the November election will apply to all of the next year’s elections.

    Absentee ballots requested using the FPCA (post card) are sent by the delivery method chosen in the application, either by mail, fax, or email. If voters do not select a delivery method, their ballot will be mailed.

Deadline: Voters must have their completed absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day and received by their local clerk within 6 days after the election in order to be counted.

Voters can find their local clerk's office and track their absentee ballot at Michigan.gov/Vote.

Michigan.gov/Vote

Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) Michigan

Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)/Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

Military and overseas voters that do not receive their absentee ballot in time have the option to use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a backup ballot. The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and request an absentee ballot for future elections.

 Voters qualify to use the FWAB if they are overseas and:

  • A member of the uniformed service on active duty
  • A member of the Merchant Marine on active duty
  • A spouse or dependent of the Uniformed Services or the Merchant Marine on active duty
  • A civilian voter who is living outside the United States

Emergency ballot information: The FWAB can also serve as an emergency backup ballot to a voter’s regular absentee ballot if their absentee ballot has not arrived in time. To qualify for using an FWAB as an emergency ballot, voters must have applied for their initial absentee ballot by 2 p.m. the Saturday prior to Election Day.

Deadline: For voters using the FWAB as an emergency ballot because their initial absentee ballot was not received in time, the FWAB must be postmarked on or by Election Day and received at the local clerk’s office within 6 days after Election Day to be counted.


Federal Voting Assistance Program

Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) Michigan

Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)/Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)