Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago


Langdon D. Neal, Chairman
Richard A. Cowen, Secretary/Commissioner
Marisel A. Hernandez, Commissioner

Lance Gough, Executive Director
Kelly Bateman, Asst. Executive Director

Home > For Voters > Military/Overseas Voters

Military/Overseas Voters

Military/Overseas Voter Information - March 18, 2014 Primary

Starting in early February 2014, this section of the web site will offer the online ballot access and marking system for qualified military/overseas voters who are eligible to participate in the March 18, 2014 Primary Election.

With this system, any eligible military/overseas voter with a valid Federal Post Card Application on file with the Chicago Board of Elections will be able to log in to access and mark his or her ballot.  After completing this process, the voter then may print out the ballot and the supporting documents to mail the ballot and documents to the Chicago Board of Elections.

This newer system is possible through a grant from the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the U.S. Department of Defense. 

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Notice to Voters in the Military and Citizens Temporarily or Permanently Residing Outside the United States Who Use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) To Register and Vote by Absentee Ballot

Under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, each State must permit absent uniformed service voters and overseas civilian voters to use absentee registration procedures and to vote by absentee ballot in all elections that include one or more federal offices.  This notice is intended to inform military and overseas voters of the procedures used to apply for, mark and return absentee ballots.

No later than Jan. 31, 2014, the Absentee Ballot Department will send the Special Write-in Absentee Voter's Blank Ballot ("Special Absentee Ballot") to all eligible FPCA applicants. Special Absentee Ballots will be sent by email, fax and mail.  In addition to the Special Absentee Ballot, the Board also will mail an official ballot to you when the ballots become available. You may cast your absentee ballot by using either the Special Absentee Ballot or the official ballot. Or, you may mark and return both ballot forms; however, in the event multiple ballots are returned from the same voter, the Board will count only one of such ballots, as explained below.

SAMPLE BALLOTS: Click here and then enter address and last name to access the sample ballot for that voter registration

Deadlines for Military/Overseas Voters

For unregistered civilians temporarily residing outside the United States to receive a full ballot, the deadline for the FPCA registration/application to be received by our office is Tue., Feb. 18.

For registered civilians temporarily residing outside the United States and Military persons (including spouse and voting age dependants) to receive a full ballot, the deadline for the FPCA registration/application to be received by our office is Mon., March 10.

For civilians permanently residing outside the United States to receive a Federal Offices only ballot (U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative in Congress), the deadline for the FPCA registration/application to be received by our office is Mon., March 10.

Registering To Vote / Applying for Absentee Ballot

All applicants may submit the completed and signed Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to the Board:

 - by email at or

 - by fax to 312-269-0626 or 312-263-3649

If you do not have access to a fax machine or the ability to scan documents, you may mail your completed and signed form to:

                        Board of Election Commissioners
                        Absentee Ballot Department
                        69 W Washington St - Suite 600
                        Chicago, Illinois 60602-3012

Returning Your Voted Ballot and Certification

Place your voted Special Absentee Ballot inside a small envelope and mark the envelope, "BALLOT ENVELOPE."  Next, place your Ballot Envelope and the completed Certification inside a larger envelope. Use this label for the larger mailing return envelope. Voted ballots must be returned: by mail; in person; by the spouse, parent, child, brother or sister of the voter; by a licensed motor carrier such as FedEx, UPS or DHL; or submitted to a U.S. consulate or a U.S. embassy for return to the United States.  (You must include postage to return your ballot and supporting documents.  You may avoid postage only if the ballots are returned from a location inside the United States or through a U.S. consulate or a U.S. embassy, and so long as you adhere the printed sample envelope to the face of your mailing envelope.)

Ballots will be accepted if they are postmarked or certified or have a certification on or before Mon., March 17, 2014, and if they are received no later than 5 p.m. on April 1, 2014.

If multiple ballots are received from one military/overseas voter

If only one ballot (whether the Special Absentee Ballot or the official ballot) is received by the Board within the time allowed, the Board will count that ballot.  If the Board receives both the Special Absentee Ballot and the official ballot before the absentee ballot counting commences, the Special Absentee Ballot will be voided and the official ballot will be counted.  If a second ballot is received after the Board has counted the first ballot, the second ballot will be voided, regardless of whether it is the Special Absentee Ballot or the official ballot.

The central counting of absentee ballots for the Primary Election will commence on Election Day after 7 p.m. and will conclude at 5 p.m. on April 1, 2014.



News: Apr. 17, 2012 - New Systems Contribute to Improved Military/Overseas Ballot-Return Rate in 2012 Primary

News: Jan. 17, 2012 - Chicago Election Board receives Pentagon grant to automate and streamline military/overseas voting systems 

News: Jan. 8, 2011 - Military/overseas voters first to receive Municipal Election ballots

News: Oct. 21, 2010 - Chicago Election Board Completes Mailing of Ballots to Troops, Civilians Overseas Two Weeks Before Federal Deadline