• Veteran Saluting American Flag

    Military and Overseas Voters

Uniformed and Overseas Citizens

Overview

This Information Is For Voters Who Are:

  • U.S. citizens living abroad with an intent to return
  • or  U.S. citizens living abroad with no intent to return
  • or  Members of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine on active duty
  • or  Spouses or dependents of a member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine on active duty
  • or Activated National Guard member on State orders

    Any voter who qualifies based on one of the above conditions shall have the right to register for, and vote by a Vote by Mail ballot in, any election within the state or county including any general, special, or primary election held in the precinct in which he or she was a resident when he or she was last living within Sonoma County, California. 

    A U.S. citizen who has never resided in the U.S. and has a parent or legal guardian that was last domiciled in Sonoma County, California is eligible to vote in California as long as he or she has not registered or voted in another State.

    Voters Living Overseas

    Registering to Vote

    If you are one of the following:

    • A U.S. citizen living outside the country, and intend to return
    • or A U.S. citizen living outside the country, and your return is uncertain
    • or A U.S. citizen living outside the country who has never lived in the United States

    You should register to vote using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form  and select the appropriate box to indicate your eligibility. The FPCA forms are available at any Registrar of Voters office, with the Voting Assistance Officer of any military base or at any American Consulate office. The form must be received by the Registrar of Voters office no later than 15 days prior to an election. 

    The Federal Post Card Application form is for citizens living outside the United States, absent Uniformed Service members and their families. It is used to register to vote, request a Vote by Mail ballot, and update your contact information.

    In Section 5 of the Federal Post Card Application form, please indicate how you would like to receive your ballot. You may choose to receive your ballot by mail, email or online, or fax. If you do not make a selection, your ballot will be mailed to you. If you are requesting your ballot be delivered by email or fax, please be sure you include an accurate email address or fax number in section 4.

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    Deadlines for Registration and/or Requesting an Overseas Ballot

    The last day to register and/or request an overseas ballot by mail is 15 days prior to an election, after which Vote by Mail ballots are available by applying in person at the Registrar of Voters Office. 

    Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

    If you do not receive your Vote by Mail ballot in enough time to meet California deadlines, the FWAB serves as a backup ballot. FVAP.gov offers a FWAB Online Assistant that guides users through the form-completion process, as well as, a fillable PDF form of the FWAB for download.

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    Voting While Living Overseas

    If you live overseas you will be sent the following materials approximately 60-45 days before an election:

    This information will be delivered to you based on the preferred method for ballot receipt (email, fax, or mail) indicated in Section 5 of your Federal Post Card Application.

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    Returning a Voted Overseas Ballot

    Overseas voters may return ballots by fax or mail; they may not be returned by email.

    Important InformationNote: Voted overseas ballots postmarked before or on Election Day must be received in the Registrar of Voters office via USPS or bona fide private mail delivery company no later than three days after election day.

    Alternatively, voted overseas ballots can be hand-delivered by 8:00 PM on Election Day at either of the following:

    • The Registrar of Voters Office
    • Any polling place in Sonoma County.

    Overseas voters can fax their voted ballots to (707) 565-6862 or mail them to Sonoma County Registrar of Voters, P.O. Box 11485, Santa Rosa, CA 95406-1485. Voted ballots may not be returned by email.

    Important InformationImportant: Do not forget to sign and date the identification envelope for your ballot to count.

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    Vote by Mail Status Lookup

    If you would like to verify that your ballot has been received and processed, you can visit the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Vote by Mail Ballot Status Lookup tool or you may visit the California Secretary of State Status lookup. The Secretary of State now maintains a statewide data base that is update in near real time. 

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    Update Your Information

    If you are still residing outside of the United States and need to update or change your ballot delivery method, provide a new mailing address, or update your email address, submit a new Federal Post Card Application.

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    Returning to the U.S.

    Important InformationImportant: Overseas voters returning to the U.S. must immediately re-register to vote using a regular voter registration form (available on the California Secretary of State’s web site). Registration deadline is 15 days prior to the election, after that, you will have to visit the Registrar of Voters office to re-register.

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    Voters in the Military

    Registering to Vote

    If you are one of the following:

    • Members of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine on active duty
    • or  Spouses or dependents of a member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine on active duty
    • or Activated National Guard member on State orders

    You should register to vote using the  Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form  and select the appropriate box to indicate your eligibility. The FPCA forms are available at any Registrar of Voters office, with the Voting Assistance Officer of any military base or at any American Consulate office. The form must be received by the Registrar of Voters office no later than 15 days prior to an election. 

    The Federal Post Card Application form is for citizens living outside the United States, absent Uniformed Service members and their families. It is used to register to vote, request a Vote by Mail ballot, and update your contact information.

    In Section 5 of the Federal Post Card Application form, please indicate how you would like to receive your ballot. You may choose to receive your ballot by mail, email or online, or fax. If you do not make a selection, your ballot will be mailed to you. If you are requesting your ballot be delivered by email or fax, please be sure you include an accurate email address or fax number in section 4. 

    Deadlines for Registration and/or Requesting an Military Ballot

    The last day to register and/or request an military ballot by mail is 15 days prior to an election, after which Vote by Mail ballots are available by applying in person at the Registrar of Voters Office. 

    Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)

    If you do not receive your Vote by Mail ballot in enough time to meet California deadlines, the FWAB serves as a backup ballot. FVAP.gov offers a  FWAB Online Assistant that guides users through the form-completion process, as well as, a  fillable PDF form of the FWAB for download.

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    Voting While in the Military

    While you are on active duty (or you are an eligible spouse or dependent), you will be sent the following materials approximately 60-45 days before an election:

    This information will be delivered to you based on the preferred method for ballot receipt (email, fax, or mail) indicated in Section 5 of your Federal Post Card Application.

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    Returning a Voted Military Ballot

    Military voters may return ballots by fax or mail; they may not be returned by email.

    Important InformationNote: Voted military ballots postmarked before or on Election Day must be received in the Registrar of Voters office via USPS or bona fide private mail delivery company no later than three days after election day.

    Alternatively, voted military ballots can be hand-delivered by 8:00 PM on Election Day at either of the following:

    Military voters can fax their voted ballots to (707) 565-6862 or mail them to Sonoma County Registrar of Voters, P.O. Box 11485, Santa Rosa, CA 95406-1485. Voted ballots may not be returned by email.

    Important InformationImportant: Do not forget to sign and date the identification envelope for your ballot to count.

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    Vote by Mail Status Lookup

    If you would like to verify that your ballot has been received and processed, you can visit the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Vote by Mail Ballot Status Lookup tool or you may visit the California Secretary of State Status lookup. The Secretary of State now maintains a statewide data base that is update in near real time. 

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    Update Your Information

    If you are still serving in the military and need to update or change your ballot delivery method, provide a new mailing address, or update your email address, submit a new  Federal Post Card Application.

    Leaving the Military

    Important Information Important: If you leave the military (or lose your status as an eligible spouse or dependent), you must immediately re-register to vote using a regular voter registration form (available on the California Secretary of State’s web site). Registration deadline is 15 days prior to the election, after that, you will have to visit the Registrar of Voters office to re-register.

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    Contact Information

    Deva Marie Proto

    County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters

    Business Hours
    Monday – Friday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Addresses

    Registrar of Voters

    435 Fiscal Drive

    Santa Rosa, CA 95403
    38.4657357, -122.7251823
    Mailing Address
    PO Box 11485
    Santa Rosa, CA 95406-1485
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