Federal services voters are a special category of voters. A federal law called the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) guarantees special status for military personnel, serving either domestically or abroad, and civilian U.S. citizens living abroad.

The law allows absentee voters who qualify to vote under the UOCAVA to apply for a ballot to the county election officer in the county they consider their residence county. It is not necessary for them to be registered to vote in the county where they request a ballot, although many are. (KSA 25-1215)

The ballot application form designed by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) for this purpose is called the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). A federal services voter who files an application before the primary election in a given year automatically receives a ballot in the general election that year. (KSA 25-1216(a)) There is no statutory deadline for applications to be submitted, but they must be submitted early enough to allow transmittal time to an from the voter, and many federal services voters are in remote locations, so ample transmittal time must be built in.