The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) is a federal law that makes it easier for members of the armed forces and certain overseas U.S. citizens to register to vote and cast absentee ballots.
UOCAVA voters include:
- Members of the armed forces on active duty and their spouses and dependents
- Members of the merchant marine and their spouses and dependents
- Civilian employees of the U.S. serving outside the territorial limits of the U.S. and their spouses and dependents who live with them
- Members of religious or welfare agencies assisting members of the armed forces who are officially attached to and serving with the armed forces and their spouses and dependents
- U.S. citizens who live outside the territorial limits of the U.S.
Registering to Vote
The first step to voting in Iowa is to register to vote. The best way to register to vote for military members and overseas citizens is by completing a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA is a form you can use to register to vote and request absentee ballots for the year.
Military and overseas voters are eligible to register and vote in Poweshiek County if they currently have a permanent address in the county or if the last address they had in the United States was in Poweshiek County. If you are a U.S. citizens who has never resided in the U.S. you are still eligible to vote in Iowa if your parent or legal guardian’s last residence in the States was in Iowa.
Requesting a Ballot
The easiest way to request a ballot for UOCAVA voters is by submitting an FPCA form. The FPCA form, in addition to registering you to vote, will allow you to request a ballot for each election in that calendar year. We recommend you submit this for each year and every time you move. You may mail, fax, email or drop-off the completed FPCA form.
As an overseas citizen or member of the military, you may have your ballot mailed, faxed or e-mailed to you. It is important that you mark your delivery preference on the FPCA form.
Most UOCAVA voters must return their voted ballot by mail. In order to submit your ballot electronically you must either be an active member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Merchant Marine, Coast Guard, Air Force, or Iowa National Guard and be outside the U.S. or any of its territories or be located in an area designated as a “imminent danger pay area” by the U.S. Department of Defense.