Federal law requires states to provide military and overseas citizens with special procedures to help facilitate voter registration and absentee voting by these citizens.  The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) covers:

  • members of the United States Uniformed Services and merchant marine;
  • their family members; and
  • United States citizens residing outside the United States.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) South Carolina-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP’s South Carolina-specific FPCA page.

Federal law requires absentee ballots to be sent to military and overseas citizens at least 45 days prior to an election.

  • Ballots for the June 2010 Primaries will be sent by April 24. Military and overseas voters will receive Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) ballots with their Primary ballots.  IRV allows a voter to rank the candidates for each office in a Primary.  If a Primary Runoff is necessary for a particular office (no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote), the IRV ballot rankings are used to determine the voter’s choice in the Runoff.
  • Ballots for the November 2010 General Election will be sent by September 18.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 7:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used  to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s South Carolina-specific FWAB page.

For general information on voter registration and absentee voting by military & overseas citizens visit the Federal Voting Assistance program’s main page.