The Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act
(UOCAVA) and West Virginia state law provide extended absentee voting opportunities to military and overseas voters. Voters covered by UOCAVA include members of uniformed services and merchant marines on active duty, along with their spouses and dependents, and United States citizens temporarily or permanently residing outside of the United States.
Important forms for military and overseas voters:
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Submit forms to your County Clerk.
Register to Vote/Request a Ballot
If you are a military or overseas voter wishing to vote absentee, first check here to see if you are registered to vote in West Virginia. You may simultaneously register to vote and request an absentee ballot by submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You may also register to vote online or by mail using the West Virginia Voter Registration Application and apply for an absentee ballot using the West Virginia UOCAVA Absentee Ballot Application. If you are registering to vote, you must mail the original FPCA or voter registration form to your County Clerk, and it must be postmarked at least 21 days before the election. For more information on registering to vote in West Virginia visit our Voter Registration Page.
If you are already registered to vote and you are using the FPCA or absentee ballot application to request a ballot, you may mail, fax, or e-mail your application to your County Clerk. You may apply for an absentee ballot beginning the first day of January each year or 84 days before the election (whichever is sooner), and one application may be used for all elections in the calendar year for which you apply. Your application for an absentee ballot must be received by the County Clerk no later than 6 days before the election in order to be processed.
Note: Military and Overseas voters do NOT receive their ballots automatically and must reapply for absentee status every election year.
Receiving and Sending Your Ballot
Your County Clerk begins mailing absentee ballots forty-six days before the election, and depending on your preference, you may receive your ballot by mail, fax, e-mail, or online. Regardless of how you choose to receive your ballot, you may submit your voted ballot to your County Clerk by mail, fax, or e-mail. Be sure to read the instructions for returning your ballot carefully and contact your County Clerk if you have any questions.
Important: If you choose to email your ballot, you will need access to a scanner.
Deadlines for Submitting Your Ballot
If you fax or email your ballot, your County Clerk must receive it by the close of polls Election Day. If you mail your ballot, your County Clerk must receive it before the start of canvass, which is 5 days after the election excluding Sundays.
Track Your Absentee Ballot
You can track the status of your ballot by contacting this office at 866-767-8683 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting your County Clerk’s office. You can also track the status of your absentee ballot here.
Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB)
You may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as a back-up ballot if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You are registered to vote in West Virginia
- You are located outside the United States (an APO/FPO address is considered outside the United States)
- You submitted your absentee ballot request in time for your County Clerk to receive it at least 30 days before the election
- You have not received your state absentee ballot
The deadline for submitting the FWAB is at the close of polls on Election Day, and you may submit it by mail, fax, or e-mail to your County Clerk. If you receive your state absentee ballot, vote and return it. If your County Clerk receives your state absentee ballot before canvass (five days after the election, not counting Sundays), your state absentee ballot will be counted, not your FWAB.
- The Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website, www.fvap.gov, offers an online tool with instructions to complete the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) as well as many answers to your UOCAVA questions.
- The Overseas Vote Foundation’s website, www.overseasvotefoundation.org, also offers an online tool to complete the FPCA and valuable UOCAVA information.
- Your United States Consulate or Embassy will provide the FPCA and instructions for filling out the form.
- Military Voters: each Military Service and State Department has a Voting Assistance Officer who is the contact for your inquiries. They provide the FPCA and FWAB and instructions for filling out the forms. You can reach your Voting Assistance Officer through the Voting Information Center, or you may visit FVAP's VAO contact page to find information for an Installation Voter Assistance Office near you.