Tips for California's Military and Overseas Voters

Participation 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. Be prepared!

  • Start early. County elections officials' last day to send ballots to military and overseas voters is 45 days before Election Day. Complete a voter registration application early at to ensure that you receive your ballot by Election Day.
  • 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. Additionally, you may visit your county elections official's website for information about how to download your ballot and election materials. 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. However, you will need to update your registration 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:

October 24: Last day for military or overseas voters to register to vote and request a ballot.

November 1: Last day for military or overseas voters to update or change how they want to receive their ballot.

November 8: Election Day. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than November 15. Faxed ballots must be delivered to your county elections office 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