County of Sonoma, California
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Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Information

Voters

  • in the Military (including eligible spouses and dependents)
  • temporarily Living Overseas
  • indefinitely Living Overseas

In order to vote a California ballot in a federal election, you must have been a resident in California immediately prior to your departure from the United States. This applies to voters living overseas indefinitely. Military voters (including eligible spouses and dependents,) or voters temporarily living overseas must provide a residence address in California and are entitled to vote in federal, state and local elections.

Register to Vote

Use the Federal Post Card Application to register to vote and request a ballot.

You may choose to receive your ballot by mail, e-mail or fax. In Section 6 of the Federal Post Card Application form, please indicate how you would like to receive your ballot. If you do not make a selection, your ballot will be mailed to you. If you are requesting your ballot be delivered by e-mail or fax, please be sure you include the appropriate e-mail address or fax number.

Registration Deadlines

You must be registered 15 days prior to an election to be eligible to vote. There are exceptions for new residents (Presidential elections only, see below) and for new U.S. citizens (all elections).

If you are a new resident of California and established residency after the 15-day deadline to register for a Presidential General election, you are eligible to vote for President and Vice President only. New residents must register at the Registrar of Voters office between the 14th and 7th day before Election Day and vote their ballots at the Registrar of Voters Office.

Change of Address Notification

Important! Notify the Registrar of Voters Office immediately of any change of mailing address, fax number, or e-mail address.

Leaving the Military, or Overseas Voters Returning to the U.S.

Important! If you leave the military (or lose your status as an eligible spouse or dependent) or are an overseas voter returning to the U.S., you must immediately re-register to vote using a regular voter registration form (available on the California Secretary of State’s web site). If you don’t re-register by the close of registration (15 days prior to the election) for the next election, you will be ineligible to vote in that election.

Deadline for Requesting a Military or Overseas Ballot

The last day to request a military or overseas ballot by mail is 7 days prior to an election, after which Vote by Mail ballots are available by applying in person at the Registrar of Voters Office.

There are limited exceptions to this requirement. After the 7-day deadline, contact the Registrar of Voters Office if you are unable to go to the polls because of unanticipated illness, disability, or other condition that results in your absence from the precinct. Sonoma County will accept an application from military or overseas voters via fax or email if the application contains all required information and a written signature. Electronic signatures are not acceptable. Voters must return ballots by fax or mail only; they may not be returned by email. Ballots must be received in the Registrar of Voters office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters in the Military (including eligible spouses and dependents)

Voting While in the Military

While you are on active duty (or 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 6 of your Federal Post Card Application.

Voters Living Overseas

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 6 of your Federal Post Card Application.

Deadline for Receiving Voted Military and Overseas Ballots

Voted military and overseas ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, at either of the following:

Postmarks will not be considered. Military and overseas voters can fax their voted ballots to (707) 565-6843 or mail them to Sonoma County Registrar of Voters, P.O. Box 11485, Santa Rosa, CA 95406-1485.

Vote by Mail Status Lookup

Check status of your voted ballot to verify that we have received and processed it. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar of Voters Office (see below for contact information).

Additional Information

To obtain more information about the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens, you may: