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Military and Overseas Voters' Ballots to Begin Mailing

Author: Erin Clausen
Date: 1/4/2024 12:27 PM

Ballots to voters serving or living abroad will go out by January 20 deadline, per California Elections Code

The SLO County Elections Office is in the final stages of proofing and preparing March 5, 2024, Presidential Primary ballots for print, and the first ballots to mail out will be those headed to registered military and overseas voters. Per Election Code, these ballots must be mailed no earlier than "E-60," which means 60 days prior to an election, and no later than "E-45," which is 45 days prior. In the case of this primary election, E-60 is January 5 and E-45 is January 20.

Those eligible individuals serving or living abroad must complete the process of registering and requesting an absentee ballot in order to receive their election materials. This can be done online, and the California Secretary of State's web site has a helpful video that walks through the process. Military and overseas voters can choose to have their ballot and voter's declaration (included in the Military or Overseas Voter Return Envelope) faxed or emailed to them, instead of having it delivered by mail.

Once a military or overseas voter has registered and requested their absentee ballot, they can check on their status at For anyone abroad who registers and requests ballot materials after January 20, the Elections Office "shall transmit them to the voter as soon as practicable after the application arrives." (Elections Code 3114)

For more information about voting as a military or civilian overseas voter, visit the Secretary of State's web site.