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The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)

What is the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)?

In 1986, Congress updated and consolidated the provisions of the 1955 Act and the Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act of 1974 into the UOCAVA. It requires states and territories to allow members of the U.S. Uniformed Services, eligible spouses or dependents and U.S. Overseas Citizens residing abroad to register and vote absentee in elections for federal offices.

  • Uniformed Services are defined as the United States Armed Forces (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy), Merchant Marines, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Overseas Citizens are defined as U.S. citizens who reside outside the United States.
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