With the 2016 general election fast approaching, the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is increasing its outreach during Armed Forces Voters Week, to be held from June 23-30, 2016. The purpose of AF Voters Week is to provide awareness to military members, citizens, and their families abroad on how to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and notify their local election officials back home of a change of address. “It can be difficult for service members and citizens abroad to exercise their right to vote because of the need to constantly move and the uncertainty of the absentee voting process. FVAP aims to make the process as simple as possible,” explains 1st Lt Kevin Steuterman, Team Hill Installation Voting Officer.
Military members and U.S. citizens may find themselves confused about the voting process and how to participate. Most U.S. citizens have the luxury of simply visiting their local election office on voting day to place their vote in-person; however, military members often find themselves in a difficult circumstance. Since each state runs their own election process, you can only vote in-person in your current state of residency or home of record. Of particular concern are young airmen. “In every election cycle there are many Airmen who will be first-time eligible voters, and we want to ensure they have all of the resources needed to successfully vote now and in the future.” said Steuterman.
There are several remaining state primaries voters have the opportunity to participate in. Specific dates according to each state can be found on www.fvap.gov. The general election for U.S. President, Senate, and House of Representatives will take place Nov. 8. In order to participate in this election while outside your home state/legal residence, you must visit www.fvap.gov, complete a Standard Form 76, Federal Post Card Application, and submit it to your local election office by Aug. 1 to officially register to vote and receive an absentee ballot in the mail. Be sure to follow your respective state’s instructions on the website for submitting your FPCA.
Another option you can use is the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. The FWAB can be used as a backup in case you have already registered to vote, but you have not yet received your absentee ballot from your state. If you must complete a FWAB, be sure to complete and submit the form no later than Oct. 8. Like the FPCA, you can go online to fill in the FWAB at www.fvap.gov and use the FWAB Wizard that will help you complete the process step-by- step, even filling in your candidate choices based on your state of residence.
Each unit has a voting assistance officer to assist the member in registering and voting. Additional assistance can be found at the Team Hill Voting Assistance Office located in Bldg. 180 Room 111or by contacting Team Hill Installation Voting Officers, Steuterman and Mikel Gregory at firstname.lastname@example.org or 777-6488.