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April 4, 2014

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

First June Ballots Heading Out to
California's Military and Overseas Voters

SACRAMENTO - As early as today, county elections officials may begin mailing June 3 primary election ballots to California voters serving in the armed forces or living abroad.

The federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act requires military and overseas ballots be sent no later than 45 days before a federal election day. However, recognizing the extra time needed to get ballots to and from faraway locations, California county elections officials often start mailing ballots to military and overseas voters as much as 60 days ahead of Election Day under California Elections Code section 3105.

California military and overseas voters may use a Federal Post Card Application to simultaneously register to vote and request a ballot. The application and other essential election information are at

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen also offers a dedicated email address at to connect military and overseas voters to staff who can offer additional assistance.

"Distance presents a unique challenge that requires more advanced planning for Californians living abroad or stationed overseas," said Secretary Bowen, the state"s chief elections officer. "To reach these voters around the world, I offer military and overseas voters a one-stop shop of nonpartisan online tools so they can ensure their ballots are in California elections officials' hands by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day."

To qualify as a military or overseas voter in California elections, a person must be:

  • An active member of the United States armed forces or an auxiliary branch;
  • A U.S. citizen temporarily living outside U.S. territorial limits or the District of Columbia;
  • A person living on a merchant vessel documented under U.S. law; or
  • A spouse or dependent of a member of the U.S. military or an auxiliary branch.

The last day to register to vote in the June 3 Statewide Direct Primary Election is May 19.

Keep up with the latest California election news and trivia by following @CASOSvote on Twitter.