Tips for California's Military and Overseas Voters

Taking part in elections is more convenient than ever for Californians serving in the military or living outside the United States. It begins when you register to vote as a military or overseas voter and receive election materials by mail, fax, or email.

  • Start early. California's county elections officials begin sending ballots to military and overseas voters 60 days before Election Day. Fill out a voter registration application early at to ensure that you receive your voting materials in time.
  • Know your options. When registering to vote as a military or overseas voter, you can choose to have your ballot mailed, faxed, or emailed to you. You may return your voted ballot to your county elections official by mail or, in certain circumstances, by fax. If you meet the requirements to return your ballot by fax, you must also fax the Oath of Voter form (available from your county elections official) waiving your right to a confidential ballot.
  • Stay in touch. Once you register as a military or overseas voter, you will continue to receive a ballot and election materials from your county elections official before each election. We encourage you to update your registration each year, if needed; however, you must re-register to vote if you change your address, your name, or your political party preference, or if you do not participate in four consecutive statewide general elections. Visit for more election resources designed especially for you.

Dates to remember:

February 18: last day to register to vote and request your ballot.

February 25: last day to update or change how you want to receive your ballot.

March 3: Election Day. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than March 6. Faxed ballots must be delivered to your county elections office by close of polls, no later than 8:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, on Election Day.

For more information contact:

California Secretary of State

Federal Voting Assistance Program

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