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Military and Overseas FAQs

In order to register to vote as a military/overseas voter, a person must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be a resident of California;
  • Be at least 18 years of age on the day of the next election;
  • Not be in prison for the conviction of a felony;
  • Not be deemed by an appropriate court to be mentally incompetent;
  • Be in the military or a spouse or dependent of someone in the military or armed services;
  • Be overseas temporarily or by virtue of employment;
  • Be overseas indefinitely. We offer an online military and overseas voter portal to assist you.


To register to vote, you must obtain and complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA can be accessed using our online military and overseas voter portal, or by calling the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ Overseas Specialist at 714-567-7560.

You must be registered to vote at least 15 days prior to any election, and to receive a Voter Information Guide, you must be registered to vote by 29 days prior to any election.

You must use your last known U.S. residential address. You do not need to own the residence, live at the address, or have mail sent to it.

It is acceptable to provide the major cross streets, closest to that address.

No. California does not require either to sign the form.

No. You do not need to re-register to vote every year. Your registration will remain active until you cancel it; however, you need to re-register if you change your address, political party, or name.

When a person changes his/her address; changes his/her political party; or has a name change.

Yes, an ex-felon may register to vote and is eligible to vote in elections if he/she is not currently in prison for a felony conviction.

No. He/she must sign the voter registration affidavit in his/her own handwriting under penalty of perjury. He/she can complete the voter registration affidavit and mail it from wherever he/she is located.

No. In general, a person is registered for as long as he/she lives at the same address. The person should continue to receive election materials.

You will need to complete a registration affidavit. You may use our online voter registration system (which still requires an original signature), or you may pick-up an affidavit at the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ office, 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building C, Santa Ana or at any local post office, library, and city hall; or you can also have one mailed to you by calling the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ Overseas Specialist at 714-567-7560.

If you are in the military or overseas, your ballot will be mailed not earlier than 60 days prior to the election but not later than 45 days prior to the election.

You may vote for all contests on the ballot for which you are eligible to vote as if you were residing at your last known U.S. address.

You may receive your ballot by mail, email, or fax.

All ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day. Your ballot will be counted if it is postmarked on time and received up to 7 days after Election Day. View Vote-by-Mail instructions for Military/Overseas Voters here.