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By Gail Whalen, Peterson Air Force Base voting assistance officer
/ Published June 28, 2016
June 29 - July 5 is Armed Forces Voters’ Week. It is one of two special emphasis weeks set up every two years by the Federal Voting Assistance Program to help members of the military and overseas citizens cast their votes and participate in the political process.
During this week, installation and unit voting assistance officers will make themselves available to ensure every military and overseas citizens can continue to vote in their home state, or state of legal residence, no matter where they are stationed. The goal is to facilitate them staying connected, making their voices heard and getting their votes sent home.
The FVAP website (www.fvap.gov) has an easy online assistant to ensure simple registration or absentee ballot request get to the voter’s home state in a timely manner. All necessary voting information for state, county, parish or district races automatically populates the form once a home state is selected. The whole process takes a short time to complete, often less than five minutes.
Help is also available in person on Peterson Air Force Base. The installation Voter Assistance Office is co-located with the Peterson Air and Space Museum. They are available via email at Vote@Peterson.af.mil, or by calling the IVA Office at 556-5543.
Office staff can make connections with unit voting assistance officers who are ready to help people exercise their right to vote.
It is especially important for those who are new to the base and are residents of another state, to ensure their local election official has a current address so absentee ballots can be sent out and returned in time to meet the home state’s deadline.
A registration request typically takes about two weeks to process. Many states now have the option to email or fax registration. Take action now so absentee ballots are received in October. Teens who will turn 18 by Nov. 8 should register to vote for the first time. Spouses and family members can use the same form, the Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Form, found on the FVAP web site.
The best way for you to stay connected and make your voice heard is to send your vote home.