Early action emphasized for voter registration

| July 11, 2014 | 0 Comments
HONOLULU — Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle (left), commander, Tripler Army Medical Center and Pacific Regional Medical Command, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Luciano, senior enlisted adviser, TAMC and PRMC, fill out FPCAs, June 30, to raise awareness for Armed Forces Voting Week. The FPCA acts as a registration and request for absentee ballot forms, which need to be filled out prior to federal elections in November. This is a mandatory first step in order to vote in upcoming elections. FPCAs can be filled out by hand and mailed in, or accessed online via FVAP.gov and emailed. (Photo by Ana Allen, Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

HONOLULU — Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle (left), commander, Tripler Army Medical Center and Pacific Regional Medical Command, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Luciano, senior enlisted adviser, TAMC and PRMC, fill out FPCAs, June 30, to raise awareness for Armed Forces Voting Week.
The FPCA acts as a registration and request for absentee ballot forms, which need to be filled out prior to federal elections in November. This is a mandatory first step in order to vote in upcoming elections. FPCAs can be filled out by hand and mailed in, or accessed online via FVAP.gov and emailed. (Photo by Ana Allen, Pacific Regional Medical Command Public Affairs)

Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr., American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — Service members, their families and U.S. citizens overseas away from their home voting locations should register early to ensure receipt of voting materials.

“The Federal Voting Assistance Program, or FVAP, is a program in the Department of Defense that helps ensure military members, their families and U.S. citizens living overseas are aware of their right to vote, and have the tools and resources to do that,” said Matt Boehmer, director, FVAP. “What we’re telling military members and their families is to get started. You need to register early.

“We also want to raise awareness to the idea that service members who move — whether it’s a deployment or a permanent change of station — need to let their local election officials know of this move,” he added. “The easiest way to do that is to fill out a new federal postcard application.”

In order to exercise your right to vote, first ensure you’re properly registered. (Courtesy photo)

In order to exercise your right to vote, first ensure you’re properly registered. (Courtesy photo)

More than 13,000 unit voting assistance officers are on the job throughout the military services, both stateside and overseas, and their job is for in-person assistance.

Boehmer also advised prospective voters planning a move to ensure they update their mailing address, because it doesn’t occur automatically.

“The initiative I’m most excited to talk about,” he said, “is for our younger, first-time voters in the military. A large portion (of voters) in the military are age 18 to 24. What we want to do is show these younger military members that voting is easy.”

The goal, he added, is for them to be successful in voting by showing them the tools and resources FVAP has in place to make voting easy.

Military members already using FVAP resources are more than likely to vote, Boehmer said, so officials want to show these younger, first-time voters that the process is easy and set them up for success.

For now, Boehmer noted, the best way to raise awareness about FVAP is through sharing information.

“We created an entire section on our website at FVAP.gov of outreach materials,” Boehmer said. “And we simply ask people to share them. You share them with members of your unit; you share them with family members,” he said. “Simply getting the word out about the absentee voting process and how easy it is would be a big help to our program.”

Voting is a personal choice, Boehmer said, and FVAP wants to make sure those military members and their families who want to vote have the tools and resources to do so.

“We also want to remind military members and their families to do things early,” he said. “Register early. Request your absentee ballot early so that we can ensure that you receive your voting information.”

Registering made easy
FVAP has instituted a number of new initiatives for the 2014 election cycle, including a redesigned website and a digital toolkit for voting assistance officers. Voters should use a federal postcard application available by downloading it or using the online assistant that walks voters through the step-by-step process. Visit www.fvap.gov/.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Armed Forces Press Service, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *