Voter Registration for Military Voters and Voters who Reside Outside the U.S.
Who is eligible to register to vote?
To register to vote in Maryland, you must be:
- A U.S. Citizen;
- A Maryland resident; and
- At least 16 years old*.
You cannot have been:
- Found by a court to be incapable of voting by reason of mental disability;
- Convicted of buying or selling votes;
- Convicted of a felony or if you have, you have completed a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment, including any term of parole or probation for the conviction.
* You may register to vote if you are at least 16 years old but cannot vote unless you will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.
Important Information for U.S. residents residing outside of the U.S.: If you reside outside of the U.S., you may vote in Maryland if Maryland was the last place you lived before moving outside the U.S. This is the case even if you moved away many years ago and no longer maintain a residence in Maryland. If you never resided in Maryland, you are not considered a resident of Maryland and cannot vote here.
How do I register to vote?
There are two ways you can register to vote.
- You can register to vote online. To register online, you must have a Maryland driver’s license, MVA ID card, or Social Security number. There is a field where you can select that you are a military voter, spouse or dependent of a military voter, or voter who resides outside the U.S. Please look for this field and select the answer that best describes you.
- You can register to vote by mail. Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and mail it to the local board of elections where you last resided in Maryland. If you are registering for the first time, you must mail your FPCA; it cannot be emailed or faxed, because election officials need an original signature.
What is the deadline to register to vote?
The deadline to register to vote for the 2020 General Election is Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
If you are mailing the FPCA, please mail it as soon as possible but no later than the deadline. Your mailing must be postmarked on or before the deadline to be processed.
An FPCA is also considered a request for an absentee ballot. Please submit a new FPCA each time you move to ensure that you will receive your absentee ballot.
For what contests am I eligible to vote?
It depends. Military voters and their spouses and dependents may vote for all federal*, state, and local contests. Some voters who reside outside the U.S. may vote for all federal, state and local offices, while others may only vote for federal contests. You can vote for all federal, state, and local offices if you are a U.S. citizen, reside outside of the U.S., and are a:
- Civilian employee of the U.S. Government serving outside of the United States and its territories or a spouse or dependent of this individual
- Member of the American Red Cross, Society of Friends, or USO serving with the Armed Forces outside of the United States or a spouse or dependent of this individual
If you are a U.S. citizen and reside outside of the U.S., the contests you can vote for depend on whether you plan to return and live in the U.S. in the future.
- If you plan to live in the U.S. – even if you do not know when that might be, you can vote for all federal, state, and local offices. If you are completing a voter registration or absentee form, select “A U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. and I intend to return to the U.S.”
- If you don’t plan to live in the U.S. again, you can vote for all federal offices. If you are completing a voter registration or absentee form, select “A U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. and my return to the U.S. is not certain.”
* Federal offices are President/Vice-President, U.S. Senate, Representatives to the U.S. Congress, and delegates to the national conventions (primary elections only).
How do I keep my registration up-to-date?
Please update your registration information online or complete and submit a new FPCA whenever you move or each election year. This ensures that your absentee ballot gets sent to the right address.
I have more questions. Who can help me?
If you think you are already registered to vote in Maryland, use the voter look-up website to check your registration status and voter information. If you have more questions, please send an email or call the State Board of Elections or your local board of elections.
Where can I find more information?
To learn more about registering and voting for military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S., visit: