Military and overseas voters

San Francisco residents away from home can still vote here.

Where you call home determines where you can vote. This means that if you are a San Francisco resident currently overseas or serving in the military, you can still vote here.

Keep reading to find out what it means to be a military and overseas (MILOS) voter and how to become one.

MILOS eligibility

Under federal law, you may qualify to be a MILOS voter if you are any of the following:

  • An active duty member of the uniformed services or merchant marine
  • A spouse or dependent of an active duty member of the uniformed services or merchant marine
  • A United States citizen living outside the country

MILOS registration

To become a MILOS voter, you must be otherwise eligible to vote. You must also have a San Francisco home address. (If you have never lived in the United States, you can use the San Francisco address of your parent/guardian.)

You can register to be a MILOS voter in one of two ways:

  1. Print, complete, and return the Federal Post Card Application to us by mail, fax, or email.
  2. Register to vote online (If you do not have a signature with the DMV, you will need to print, sign, and return the application by mail, fax, or email.)

When you come home to San Francisco, please re-register to vote to return to local voter status.

MILOS ballot delivery

We will send out MILOS ballots 45-60 days before Election Day. As a MILOS voter, you can get your ballot via the method you provide when registering to vote: by mail, email, or fax. As a MILOS voter, you can vote in any local, state, or federal contests on your ballot.

You can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot as a backup ballot if you do not receive your local ballot on time. You can also get your ballot through our accessible vote-by-mail system.

MILOS ballot return

Any MILOS voter may return their ballot by mail. If you are a MILOS voter living abroad, you may also return your ballot by fax. If you are a MILOS voter called for military service within the United States in the week before Election Day, you may also return your ballot by fax. To return your ballot, take one of the following actions:

  1. Mail your ballot in the official return envelope or use two plain envelopes and a Voter Oath and Ballot Return Form
  2. Fax your ballot to 415-554-4372 along with a signed printout of the Voter Oath and Ballot Return Form

We can only count your ballot if you return it by Election Day. If you return it by mail, please allow time for delivery. If you fax it on Election Day, be sure to do so before the close of polls at 8 p.m. Pacific Time. Note that you cannot return your ballot by email.   

To track your ballot, log into the Voter Portal or sign up for email, text, or voice call notifications.

Get help

Department of Elections

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102


Fax: 415-554-7344
TTY: 415-554-4386

中文: 415-554-4367
Español: 415-554-4366
Filipino: 415-554-4310

Last updated January 19, 2024