The Essex County
BOARD OF ELECTIONS
Federal Overseas Voting
To begin, here are the definitions of the voters entitled to use these options:
- A military voter is a voter who is absent from his or her New Jersey residence on election day; and is entitled to vote whether he or she is living elsewhere in New Jersey (i.e. a military installation), outside of New Jersey or outside the United States.
- A “military voter” includes New Jersey citizens who are members of the Uniformed Services, Merchant Marine, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- A spouse or dependent of a member of the military or other uniformed services is also considered to be a “military voter”.
- An “overseas voter” is a voter who is living outside of the United States and who was residing in New Jersey immediately prior to departure.
Note: The overseas voter need not have been registered to vote in New Jersey prior to going outside of the United States, but must have been domiciled in New Jersey and have possessed the qualifications to register and vote in New Jersey.
All military voters and overseas voters must be registered to vote in order to obtain a ballot for the November election.
You can register to vote using the English Version of the Voter Registration Form -OR-
A Federal Postcard Application (“FPCA”):
Request a Federal Overseas Ballot
Or a Federal Postcard Application (“FPCA”):
Note: ONLY the federal postcard application can be used for both voter registration and ballot request. If you use the New Jersey forms, you must separately submit a New Jersey voter registration form and a New Jersey mail-in ballot application
Delivery Options for Receiving A Ballot:
You can request you receive a ballot by air-mail, fax or email.
- If you request you receive a ballot by fax, you must provide a telephone number on the application.
- If you request you receive a ballot by email, you must provide and email address on the application.
Delivery of Ballot Application:
You can mail, fax or email the application.
Delivery Requirements for Voted Ballot:
A completed ballot must be sent back to the appropriate county board of election, by 8:00 p.m. election night, which is the time for the close of the polls.
If you mail your ballot it must be postmarked on or before Election Day.
If you fax or email your ballot it must be received by 8:00 p.m. election night.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BALLOTS RETURNED BY FAX OR EMAIL:
The voter who faxes or emails his or her voted ballot, must also air mail the original ballot materials to the county board of election.
Federal Write-In Absentee Ballots (FWAB):
Federal law also provides for the use of a federal write-in ballot for federal elections for use by an overseas voter who makes a timely application for, but does not receive, his or her state mail-in ballot.
To get a federal mail-in ballot, go to https://www.fvap.gov/. You can email or fax your FWAB to your county board of election. If you fax or email the ballot, you must also sign and send the FWAB cover sheet. This cover sheet must be sent for faxed and emailed ballots because it constitutes a waiver of secrecy for such ballot because the ballot is not being sent in an enclosed envelope, as air-mailed ballots. Be assured however, that election officials are legally obligated to never disclose any one’s vote.
The federal write-in ballot will NOT BE COUNTED if:
- The ballot is submitted from any location within the United States; or
- The application of the overseas voter is received by the appropriate state election official less than 30 days before the election; or
- The state ballot is received by the appropriate state election official by the close of the polls on election night.
Note: If the voter submits a federal write-in ballot for the federal primary election and later receives the state ballot, he or she may also send in the state ballot (presumably if the voter thinks that the state ballot can be received by the close of the polls) and should indicate that he or she had previously sent in the federal write-in ballot.