United States Election Assistance Comittee

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Note: If you wish to vote absentee and are a uniformed service member or family member or a citizen living outside the U.S., contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program to register to vote.

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Military and Overseas Voters

EAC has several projects under way to assist states in serving military and overseas citizens who register and vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. Learn more

UOCAVA Studies

The Help America Vote Act mandates that for each regularly scheduled general election for federal office, states collect data on how many Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA ballots) were sent and received, and instructs EAC to collect the data and deliver the results to Congress. The biennial survey consists of data from the county (or equivalent of) level from 50 states, four territories and the District of Columbia. EAC provides the complete data sets in three formats, which are available below. 

2012 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act Survey

A Report to the 112th Congress

This report provides the number of UOCAVA ballots sent, received, and counted, and key findings and analysis.

[ NOTE:  Please also see the 2012 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) that includes datasets on the ability of civilian, military and overseas citizens to successfully cast a ballot. The survey contains the most comprehensive, nationwide data about election administration in the United States. The EAVS data is used for two federally mandated reports – the NVRA Report (motor voter) and the UOCAVA Report (military & overseas citizens) ]


 

The 2012 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act Survey

Type of Voter 7 2013 thumb

Ballot Rejection 7 2013 thumb

2010 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act Survey

A Report to the 112th Congress, October 2011

This report provides the number of UOCAVA ballots sent, received, and counted, and key findings and analysis.

Responses from states and territories varied significantly. In some cases, local election officials were challenged to meet states’ requests for data. In some areas, however, state data reporting improved from prior UOCAVA reports. This year 90 % of responding jurisdictions were able to report  the number of military ballots that were cast and counted, up from 84 % in 2008. 

Select Findings from the Report

  • The number of ballots transmitted to UOCAVA voters decreased during the two years leading up to the 2010 elections. The total number of ballots transmitted for the November 2010 elections was 611,058, a decrease of more than 378,000 ballots sent for the 2008 elections.
  • States reported receiving 211,749 ballots from UOCAVA voters. Approximately 51% of the ballots submitted for casting came from uniformed service members, while 40% came from overseas civilians.
  • Of the 211,749 UOCAVA ballots submitted for counting, States reported counting 197,390 (93%). The same percentage of UOCAVA ballots were counted in 2008.
  • States reported rejecting 14,824 ballots. The most common reason for rejecting a UOCAVA ballot was that the ballot was not received on time. Thirty-two percent of the ballots were not counted for this reason.
  • States reported that 4,294 Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots (FWABs) were submitted. FWABs accounted for 2% of the total number of UOCAVA ballots submitted for counting.  

 A Note about the Data

Caution must be exercised when interpreting data from this report and comparing it with data from earlier EAC election data reports as the amount of data provided continues to increase and state data collection practices continue to evolve and vary from state to state. 

2008 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act Survey

November 2009

This report provides the number of UOCAVA ballots sent, received, and counted, and key findings and analysis.

 

Note:  Illinois data were mistakenly excluded from the dataset.


 2006 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act Survey

September 2007

In 2006, EAC used the Election Administration and Voting Survey instrument to collect comprehensive information about uniformed and overseas voters. The findings, released in September 2007, detail the number of UOCAVA ballots sent, received, and counted, and provide key findings and analysis. 

Data Overview

When possible, data have been distributed in "raw" form, as extracted from the data system, meaning that most items are defined in the data set as string or character variables. Users will need to recode missing responses (None, Don't Know, Do Not Collect) that were allowed by the system in order to analyze numeric responses.

Due to the complexity of the survey, the files have been distributed in seven separate data files. Questions 35, 43, and 44 were collected separately.

All files can be merged by the ID variable, which describes the state and county records. Please note that a record that consists of a state FIPS code plus three zeroes is a "state only" record, a designation for states that submitted only state level data

Survey Code Book

Survey Data Code Names These correspond to the column headings that are contained in the data files. For ease of reviewing the data, users should also download the Excel database.

Appendix C: 2006 Election Administration and Voting Survey

2006 UOCAVA Survey Data (.xls) View all data in Excel, or by questions below:


 2004 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act Survey

Released March 2006

HAVA mandates that the Commission collect information related to the processes and procedures used to serve uniformed and overseas citizen voters. In 2004, the EAC undertook its first effort to collect nationwide data related to this issue. In March 2006, EAC published its first UOVACA Survey based on information collected regarding the number of ballots sent to and received from uniformed and overseas voters. 


UOCAVA Voters and the Electronic Transmission of Voting Materials in Four States

October 2007

Section 245 of HAVA requires EAC to conduct a study of issues and challenges, specifically including the potential for election fraud, that are presented by the incorporation of communications and internet technologies in the Federal, state and local electoral process. 

To begin to better understand the issues, challenges and potential for electronic voting, EAC undertook a series of case studies regarding four states’ experiences with developing programs for transmitting absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters.  These case studies, released in October 2007, describe the unique experiences of state’s experiences with transmitting ballots electronically, sending and accepting ballots electronically, and using internet voting.  


 
Voting from Abroad: A Survey of UOCAVA Voters

September 2007

The research study also surveyed UOCAVA voters regarding their reactions to, attitudes toward, and experiences with electronic voting. 

 


 
Facilitating UOCAVA Voting Conference

September 2007, University of California, Washington Center

The final portion of the study involved conducting a national conference in September 2007 with state officials and interested parties. The conference served as a forum for the exchange of information regarding experiences with the electronic transmission of absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters.


 
Best Practices for UOCAVA Voters

September 2004

This study was completed in September 2004 in consultation with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program in order for EAC to meet its HAVA requirements under HAVA section 242.

This document is a review of information concerning UOCAVA voters provided by the Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) and information found in the FVAP-HAVA Interpretative Memo. EAC offers several recommendations based on its review of the information.