Most-Used Links: • Absentee Ballot Lookup • Minnesota Military and Overseas Voter Service • Election Official Directory
Military personnel and civilians who are temporarily or indefinitely overseas, military personnel who are stationed in the U.S. but away from their hometown, and their spouses and dependents, are eligible to vote in Minnesota by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and Minnesota state law.
Frequently Asked Questions about UOCAVA
How do I apply?The easiest way for eligible UOCAVA voters to apply for an absentee ballot is to use the Minnesota Military and Overseas Voter Service online. This easy-to-use free service helps voters complete the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to apply for an absentee ballot.
Those who choose not to use the Minnesota Military and Overseas Voter Service may instead download and complete the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to apply for an absentee ballot. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill out the form completely. In addition, a voter’s spouse, parent, sibling or child over 18 years old may apply for an absentee ballot on the voter’s behalf and may submit the FPCA by fax or by mail. Military personnel may fax their FPCA toll free to DSN 223-5527.
When can I apply? There is no due date for the FPCA; you may submit it any time during the year. However, you should submit it as far ahead of the election as possible to avoid delays in receiving your ballot.
Can I receive ballots electronically?Yes. You can receive the ballot by mail, fax or email. You will need to indicate on your application how you would like to receive the ballot.
Can I return my voted ballot electronically?No. Regardless of how you received the ballot, you must return your voted ballot by mail to the election official the ballot was received from.
When should I expect to get my ballot? Ballots are sent out by election officials, upon receipt of the FPCA, at least 46 days prior to the election; ballots are sent as quickly as possible for those voters whose applications were received fewer than 46 days before the election. Ballots sent by mail are airmailed to addresses outside the continental U.S. A ballot will be sent to the voter by an express mail service if a prepaid envelope is provided to the county auditor’s office. Note: A voted ballot must arrive back at the county no later than Election Day to be counted. You can check on the status of your ballot (sent, received, accepted, etc) using the Absentee Ballot Lookup.
What if I don't receive my ballot? UOCAVA voters who submit timely absentee ballot applications but never receive their ballots or those concerned that they will not be able to return their ballots in time to be counted may submit the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as an alternative. The Minnesota Military and Overseas Voter Service also has a service to help voters complete the FWAB.
Special conditions apply to voters using this ballot. A FWAB allows a voter to write in choices for all offices. For federal offices you may indicate your choice by writing in a candidate name or political party. When voting for state or local offices on the FWAB, you must write the name of the candidate (not just the party) for your vote to be counted.
How long is my application valid? An application is valid from the time it is received through the end of that calendar year. A ballot will be sent automatically for all elections in which the applicant is eligible to vote during that time. The voter must reapply each calendar year or if their overseas mailing address changes.
Can I self-certify my ballot? Minnesota allows UOCAVA voters to self-certify their FPCA, their ballot return envelope, and the FWAB. This can be accomplished by using the same voter's passport number, MN driver's license or state ID number, or the last 4 digits of the voter's social security number on all forms throughout the process. If the voter does not have access to any of these documents, the voter may attest to the truthfulness of the information under penalty of perjury. For assistance, overseas citizens should contact the U.S. embassy or consulate, and military personnel should contact their Voting Assistance Officer (VAO).
What happens to the information I provide on my absentee materials? Access to the data that you supply on your absentee ballot application (Federal Postcard Application) and your absentee ballot signature envelope or certificate of eligibility is restricted to election officials prior to the close of voting on election day. However the list of who applied for and submitted absentee ballots, as well as the absentee ballot applications and envelopes or certificates themselves, are public information after the close of voting on election day, with the exception of the months and days of birth, and the U.S. passport, driver’s license, state ID or Social Security Numbers, which are needed in order to match the signature envelope to the absentee ballot application, to verify that the absentee ballot is received from the voter who made the application. You may refuse to provide this information, but refusal to provide the information may result in rejection of your ballot under Minnesota Statutes, section 203B.24 and may prevent you from checking on the status of your absentee ballot on-line with the Absentee Ballot Lookup.
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