An absent uniformed services voter is a member of one of the U.S. uniformed services, currently serving away from their home voting district on active duty.
The uniformed services are the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps. Members of the U.S. flag Merchant Marine also qualify as absent uniformed services voters, as do spouses and voting-age family members of uniformed service members and Merchant Marine members, if they are accompanying the service member.
The voter need not be absent from the state where he or she is eligible to vote. A soldier from Houston serving at Fort Hood (also located in Texas) is an absent uniformed services voter for purposes of UOCAVA, but a soldier serving in Houston (e.g., as a recruiter) who is eligible to vote in Houston would not be an absent uniformed services voter for UOCAVA purposes. (Such a person could be eligible to vote absentee under State law if he or she expects to be absent from Houston on Election Day.)