Who is Eligible?

Military and overseas citizen voters are welcome to use the standard voter registration and absentee voting by mail process available to all voters away from their home county on Election Day. However, there are also special provisions for those who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces (Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard), merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, family members of all the above, and those citizens who reside outside of the United States.

You are eligible to vote early with a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) if you are qualified to vote in Georgia and you are:

  • a member of the U.S. armed forces or the spouse or a dependent of a member;
  • a member of the U.S. merchant marines or the spouse or a dependent of a member; or
  • a U.S. citizen domiciled in Georgia but temporarily living outside the territorial limits of the United States.
  • a U.S. citizen permanently residing overseas (Federal ballot only).

Georgia Residency

A residence address in Georgia is a prerequisite to requesting absentee ballots from Georgia. Residency requirements are defined in the OCGA 21-2-217.

If you do have a residence address in Georgia that you can claim for voting purposes, you may wish to follow the procedures outlined below to request an absentee ballot by mail. The FPCA application serves as both a voter registration application and a request for absentee ballots. The FPCA form will be used to provide absentee ballots to the requester for two general election cycles. This means that if you file an FPCA, you are treated as a registered voter. You will need to provide either your previous Georgia residence address or the current address you are using as your residence. Additionally, FPCA mailing materials are treated as express mail by the U.S. Postal Service at no additional cost. Be sure to provide your Georgia Voter Registration address and the address to which you want your ballot mailed on the FPCA.

Submitting the Application

An FPCA may be submitted to the voter registration office by mail or fax more than 180 days prior to a primary or election in which a federal candidate appears on the ballot as well as for any runoffs resulting therefrom, including presidential preference primaries for two general elections. OCGA 21-2-381

Application with Missing Information

If an FPCA is missing information required for registration, the voter registration office must notify the applicant in writing. If the information is provided before the deadline, the applicant is entitled to receive an absentee ballot. If the missing information is supplemented after the deadline, the applicant is entitled to receive an absentee ballot for the next election that occurs within the two general elections.

Primary Voting

An applicant who wishes to vote in a primary election must state a political party preference to participate in that party's primary and runoff elections.

Counting Your Ballot

The vote by mail ballot will be accepted up to three days after an election if postmarked by election day.

Faxing Your Ballot                   (Cherokee County FAX  770-479-9791)

While the request for an vote by mail ballot can be faxed, the voted ballot must be mailed and received by the vote by mail ballot clerk within three days of election day.

Voting by Overseas Citizens

A United States citizen whose most recent domicile was Georgia and is now a permanent overseas citizen shall only be authorized to vote for presidential electors and United States senator or representative in Congress. Permanent overseas citizens shall be deemed residents of the precinct in which the county courthouse is located - OCGA 21-2-219c. Voters in this category must use the FPCA and indicate that they are applying for a federal ballot only. The FPCA must be submitted to the voter registration office of the applicant’s most recent domicile in this state.

How to Obtain a FPCA Form

FPCAs may be obtained by eligible voters from voting assistance officers within their branch of service, from a U.S. consulate or embassy, or from the Federal Voting Assistance Program of the Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. 20301. For more information, call 1-800-438-VOTE (8683).


Sample Ballots are available 45 days before the corresponding election.

2016 Election Dates

Presidential Preference Primary
Special Election March 1, 2016
  General Primary Election
May 24, 2016
  General Primary Runoff Election
July 26, 2016
  General Election
November 8, 2016
  General Election Runoff for Local and State Offices December 6, 2016
  General Election Runoff for Federal Offices January 10, 2016
Federal Postcard Application
  Federal Voting Assistance Program
  State of Georgia Poll Locator
  Forms require Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download here.

© 2007. Cherokee County Elections & Voter Registration. 400 East Main Street, Canton, GA  30114