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Register, vote, make a difference

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- History has shown a single vote can determine what policy will get approved or who will win an election; one vote can also determine an elected official's fate, as well as the fate of the populace they lead.

The right to vote is a freedom all service members and their families are dedicated to defend.

With the Nov. 6 general election approaching in less than two months, the question most service members finding themselves asking is, "can I still make a difference this year?"

Each unit across Team Pete has a unit voting representative to provide assistance to those seeking to make a difference, and there is still time to register and vote. Here are some tips.

For service members and their family members who are already registered:
Active duty military (including spouses and dependents old enough to vote and activated reservists or guardsmen) that are already registered but haven't received a ballot need to use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot. The FWAB, or Standard Form 186, can be downloaded at

Some states will let you email or fax the form. The included instruction page will inform members if their state allows the member to fax or email. Make sure to follow the fax instructions.

For service members and their family members who are not yet registered:
Dates for registering depend on the state. Some states allow service members to use the FWAB to register and cast your ballot at the same time. Go to to find your state or territory and then look for the heading "Haven't Received Your Ballot? Don't Wait Until It's Too Late... Use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot!" It will tell you if you can use the FWAB or another form.

If the member still needs the Federal Post Card Application go to

Civilians that are not a dependant:
The good news of making a difference still extends to these members as well. They can still register and in most cases still receive a pre-printed ballot from your state. The same rules apply when viewing the FVAP website to get to your state election site.

Not sure how to determine your state of legal residency?
For basic guidelines to follow in determining voting residency, go to

Need more help?
Contact your unit voting assistance officer, the base voting office or go to the Team Pete homepage at and click on the Voting Office "Leave Your Mark" icon.

For information, contact Gail Whalen, the base voting officer at Peterson Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, at 556-2314/5543.

(Valarie Sweizer from the 11th Force Support Squadron at Joint Base Andrews, Md., contributed to this report)

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui