Minnesota Secretary Of State - Vote from military or abroad
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Vote from military or abroad

Serving in the military or living abroad? Have an absentee ballot sent to you wherever you are in the world!

Who can apply?

  • Military members serving outside their home precinct.
  • Citizens living abroad temporarily or indefinitely.
  • Spouses and dependents of military members are also eligible.

A spouse, parent, sibling or child age 18 and over can apply on your behalf.

Military members include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, Commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Minnesotans enrolled as students at a U.S. Service Academy.

If you are abroad indefinitely with no plans to return to Minnesota, you can only vote for federal offices.

Apply for your ballot

You will automatically receive a ballot for any elections you can vote in through December 31 of the year you apply, or through the next election held in November of an even-number year, whichever is later.

Re-apply annually and after a change of mailing address to ensure your information is up-to-date. 

Your ballot application also serves as a voter registration application.

Application deadline

You can apply for a ballot any time during the year. You are encouraged to apply for your ballot as soon as you are able so that you have enough time to mail it back by Election Day.

Deadline to return your ballot

Your ballot will not count if it is received after Election Day. Return your materials early enough to account for delivery time via mail, a package delivery service (such as FedEx or UPS) or the diplomatic pouch at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You cannot return your ballot by email or fax.

2024 Dates

 Key Dates for Military and Overseas Voters Presidential Primary Primary Election General Election
Recommended you apply before Friday, December 29 Friday, June 7 Friday, August 30
Ballots sent starting Friday, January 19 Friday, June 28 Friday, September 20
Recommended you mail ballot back before Friday, February 2 Friday, July 12 Friday, October 4
To be counted, ballot must be received by Election Day
Tuesday, March 5
Election Day
Tuesday, August 13
Election Day
Tuesday, November 5


Track your ballot

You can track the status of your ballot and confirm that it was received and counted.

Emergency Write-in Ballot 

If you have not received voting materials in time, download and print an emergency ballot called the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, or FWAB. The ballot will have blanks for you to write your choices. Your write-in ballot must be received by Election Day.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a witness to certify my ballot?

No. Minnesota allows military voters and voters living abroad to self-certify their absentee ballot.

Can I receive my ballot by email?

Yes. You can choose to have voting materials sent by email, mail or fax. If you receive materials by email, you must print them. You cannot return your ballot by email or fax.

When will I get my ballot?

Ballots are ready at least 46 days before the election. Election officials will send your ballot as quickly as possible after receiving your application.

Election officials will airmail your ballot if you are outside the continental United States. If you provide a prepaid envelope, your county election office can send your ballot by express mail service.

Do I have to register to vote separately?

No. Your ballot application also serves as a voter registration application.