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Military and overseas voting

  • Yes, U.S. citizens who have never lived in the U.S. may register to vote in Michigan if they:

    • Have a parent, legal guardian, or spouse whose last permanent residence (home) was located in Michigan, and
    • Have not registered to vote in another state
  • Yes. Military and other voters overseas can complete the online absentee ballot application at Michigan.gov/Vote. They can also download an absentee ballot application from Michigan.gov/Vote to complete and return to their local clerk's office. Alternatively, Michiganders abroad may request an absentee ballot be sent to them overseas by downloading and completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website and return it to their local clerk's office in Michigan.

    Overseas Michigan voters who return their absentee ballot application online at Michigan.gov/Vote or submit an absentee ballot application instead of a FPCA application by mail must contact their local clerk’s office after submitting their application to clarify they are a military or overseas voter.

    Please note, absentee ballot applications must be received no later than 2 p.m. the Saturday before Election Day, in order to receive an absentee ballot to vote on Election Day.

    Michigan.gov/Vote

  • While Michigan voters serving overseas or living abroad can elect to receive their absentee ballot electronically by email, online, or by fax, all completed absentee ballots must be returned by mail under current Michigan law. Guidance on mailing a completed absentee ballot from an overseas address is available at fvap.gov.

  • Michiganders who are overseas can register to vote by downloading and completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or by registering online at Michigan.gov/Vote. After returning this postcard to their local clerk by email, fax, or mail, they will be registered to vote and will receive an absentee ballot by email, fax, or mail.

    Contact information for all local Michigan clerks can be found at:

    Michigan.gov/Vote

  • Pursuant to state law, registered Michigan voters abroad must return their absentee ballots by mail. So long as their ballots are valid, have a matching signature, are postmarked no later than Election Day, and are received within 6 days after Election Day, they will be tabulated. The Michigan Department of State advises Michigan voters overseas to request and return their absentee ballot as early as possible. To securely track an absentee ballot and ensure it is received, voters should visit:

    Michigan.gov/Vote

  • Any registered Michigan voter serving or living abroad who has registered and requested to vote by absentee ballot any time after November of the previous year, will be mailed an absentee ballot for all of the current year’s elections. Those who have not yet requested an absentee ballot may do so by downloading and completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website and return it to their local clerk’s office via email, mail, or fax.

    Overseas voters can verify their Michigan voter registration information and confirm whether they are registered to receive an absentee ballot by visiting Michigan.gov/Vote. Once there, voters can track the status of their absentee ballot application and the mailing of their absentee ballot, as well as view contact information for their local clerk’s office in the event follow-up is required.

    Michigan.gov/Vote

  • Registered Michigan voters serving or living abroad can request an absentee ballot be sent to them by email, fax, or postal mail by downloading and completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, fvap.gov. Once completed, voters should mail, fax, or scan and email their FPCA application to their local clerk’s office.

    To avoid possible postal delays, the Michigan Department of State advises that Michigan voters overseas return their FPCA application to their local clerk’s office by email or fax, rather than by mail, in order to receive their absentee ballot in time.

    Once an absentee ballot application has been submitted, voters can securely track the status of their absentee ballot application and mailing of their absentee ballot online at Michigan.gov/Vote.

    Please note, absentee ballot applications must be received no later than 2 p.m. on the Saturday before Election Day in order to vote on Election Day.

    Michigan.gov/Vote

  • Registered Michigan voters serving overseas and living abroad are subject to the same signature verification requirements as Michigan voters in the United States. A voter’s signature must match their recorded signature in the Qualified Voter File in order to be issued an absentee ballot.

    Additionally, as is the case for all Michigan voters, only one ballot may be tabulated for a military or overseas voter. Michigan’s election system has a robust structure of checks and procedures to ensure no Michigan voter can cast a ballot twice. Michigan has implemented several measures to strengthen election security and integrity which have since consistently resulted in accurate and secure election results. More information about election security measures in Michigan is available on our website.

  • Military servicemembers, their families, and civilians overseas who are registered Michigan voters and are concerned they may not receive their absentee ballot in time may complete a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) and return it to their local clerk’s office by mail. The FWAB is available online at fvap.gov and serves as a backup ballot in case the regular absentee ballot does not reach the local clerk’s office in time. The FWAB will also serve as voter registration for Michiganders abroad who are eligible to register to vote and request an absentee ballot for future elections.

    If both the FWAB emergency ballot and the requested absentee ballot are returned to the clerk in time, only the requested ballot will be tabulated.

    Overseas voters can download a FWAB and view instructions on completing and returning the write-in absentee ballot by visiting the Federal Voting Assistance Program website. Write-in absentee ballots must be returned by mail to the voter’s local clerk.

    Please note, all valid absentee ballots with a matching signature that are postmarked by Election Day and received within 6 days after Election Day will be tabulated.