Soldier’s votes may impact direction of America

| April 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

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David Vergun
Army News Service

WASHINGTON — 2014 elections will “encompass all 435 seats of the House of Representatives and 33 Senate seats,” as well as state and local positions and other important things like initiatives and referendums.

Although the commander in chief is not on the ballot, 2014 is still a “huge year” for voting, said Rachel Gilman, Army voting action officer, Soldiers Program Branch, Adjutant General Directorate, Human Resources Command.

Mid-term election season ends with the Nov. 4th election. The last primary is held in Massachusetts on Sept. 9th.

Deadlines for requesting ballots vary by state; however, the earliest for the general election is Oct. 6th. States are required to send absentee ballots out 45 days in advance, so the sooner you register, the sooner you will also receive your ballot.

It’s “really important” Soldiers and family members are registered, request their ballots early, immediately fill them out, sign them and return them in the mail. Also, make sure the correct address is on the ballot request, Gilman added.

Soldiers must identify their voting residence address when registering to vote. This address determines your voting precinct and for which offices and candidates you are eligible to vote. Your voting residence is the place you consider your true, fixed and permanent home.

Your voting residence may be your home of record, but if you have changed your legal residence at any point in your military career, your voting residence will have also changed. The Federal Voting Assistance Program recommends speaking with a staff judge advocate officer if you are not sure of your voting residence address.

Soldiers can vote by absentee ballot if they are not in the state or territory where they are registered to vote. Deployed Soldiers should request an absentee ballot at least 45 days before their state primary, she said. If they have not received their ballot from their local election official, they can complete a federal write-in absentee ballot.

Soldiers also can contact their local election office and use the federal postcard application to get that request in or find their state and its requirements. Additionally, all Soldiers should check with their state because every state has different registration requirements, she said.

Finally, every unit — from company level on up — has a unit voting assistance officer.

In past elections, Gilman observed, “We saw a lot of people who were kind of frantic because they waited a little bit too late to either request their ballot or send their ballot back.”

The Army Voting Assistance Program is a year-round program, since elections are often held in off-year cycles. This year’s voting theme is “Send Your Vote Home.”

Local Voting Assistance

Questions about voting? Contact the Installation Voting Assistance Officer at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Human Resources, Military Personnel Division, 673 Ayers Ave., Bldg. 750, Rm. 103.

Call 655-5546. Email usarmy.schofield.imcompacific.mbx.vote-usag-hi@mail.mil.

 

State Date

Fla. April 22

N.C. May 6

Indiana May 6

Ohio May 6

West Virginia May 13

Nebraska May 13

Idaho May 20

Pennsylvania May 20

Kentucky May 20

Oregon May 20

Georgia May 20

Arkansas May 20

Texas May 27

California June 3

Montana June 3

Mississippi June 3

New Mexico June 3

Alabama June 3

New Jersey June 3

Iowa June 3

South Dakota June 3

Nevada June 10

Virginia June 10

South Carolina June 10

Arkansas June 10

Maine June 10

North Dakota June 10

Oklahoma June 24

Utah June 24

Maryland June 24

South Carolina June 24

New York June 24

Colorado June 24

Mississippi June 24

Florida June 24

Alabama July 15

North Carolina July 15

Georgia July 22

Virgin Islands Aug. 2

Kansas Aug. 5

Washington Aug. 5

Missouri Aug. 5

Michigan Aug. 5

Tennessee Aug. 7

Hawaii Aug. 9

Minnesota Aug. 12

Connecticut Aug. 12

Wisconsin Aug. 12

South Dakota Aug. 12

Wyoming Aug. 19

Alaska Aug. 19

Florida Aug. 26

Arizona Aug. 26

Vermont Aug. 26

Oklahoma Aug. 26

Guam Aug. 30

Delaware Sept. 9

Massachusetts Sept. 9

Rhode Island Sept. 9

New York Sept. 9

New Hampshire Sept. 9

Mississippi Nov. 25

(Courtesy of www.fvap.gov.)

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