Military & Overseas Voting

WHO QUALIFIES FOR MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTING

Illinois law requires that uniformed and overseas voters must have had a previous address in Illinois and not be registered to vote in any other state. Illinois law also allows uniformed and overseas voters to register to vote and to apply for a vote by mail ballot at the same time. A request for a vote by mail ballot shall entitle the applicant to a vote by mail ballot for every election in that one calendar year.

Spouses and dependents of uniformed voters who have never resided in Illinois are also qualified to vote in Illinois elections. Spouses and dependents of “Non-Resident Civilian Citizens” who have never resided in Illinois are not qualified to vote in Illinois Elections.

A military voter is one who is a member of the United States Uniformed Service currently on active duty (10 ILCS 5/20-1). It also includes the following:

  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Merchant Marine, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration; or
  • U.S. Government employees serving outside the U.S.
  • A family member or dependent of voting age accompanying them:
    • A family member of a military voter is a spouse or dependent who, by reason of active duty or service of the member, is absent from the place of residence where the spouse or dependent is otherwise qualified and registered to vote.
    • Children born to military members who have reached the age of 18 but have never resided in Illinois to be eligible to vote in Illinois.
    • A family member (mother, father, sister, brother, husband, or wife) of the said elector may apply for vote by mail ballots for such military voter if they are a registered voter in the election precinct for which this application is made. (10 ILCS 5/20-3)

Overseas Voters are divided into two categories.

  • Citizens of the US temporarily residing outside the territorial limits of the US: These are civilian citizens of the United States, and their spouses and dependents of voting age when residing with or accompanying them, who maintain a precinct residence in a county in this State and who intend to return to that residence. (10 ILCS 5/20-1)
  • Non-resident civilian citizens: These are civilian citizens of the United States (a) who reside outside the territorial limits of the United States, (b) who had maintained a precinct residence in a county in this State immediately prior to their departure from the United States, (c) who do not maintain a residence and are not registered to vote in any other State, and (d) whose intent to return to this State may be uncertain. (10 ILCS 5/20-1)

HOW TO VOTE AS A MILITARY OR OVERSEAS INDIVIDUAL

The most secure option is to utilize the Illinois MOVE site. After making an account, voters can register, request a vote by mail ballot, and update their contact info as needed. This site was designed to help ease the burden of members of the Uniformed Services (and their eligible dependents) and overseas voters in requesting a voter registration and a vote by mail ballot application. This site will give you the ability to keep in contact with your local election official and to track the status of your application and ballot. Go to https://move.elections.il.gov to create your account.

You may also visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s website at www.fvap.gov for information on voting by mail registration and voting process. Ensure that you have applied for your vote by mail ballot using the hard copy or on-line versions of FPCA.

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