Online Voting Available to Deployed Troops
I have always felt that voting is an incredibly important thing, especially for those of us in uniform. It kills me to see people not exercising the very freedoms they put their lives on the line for. So go out there and VOTE! The DoD has made it easier than ever to do so.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) has made available an official On-line Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (OFWAB). The OFWAB like the paper version has been prescribed by FVAP to serve as an emergency ballot for those overseas citizens covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) who do not receive their requested state absentee ballot.
Generally, a citizen can only use the FWAB under three, very specific conditions. To be eligible for this ballot, the U.S.citizen must:
- Be located outside the United States (including APO/FPO addresses);
- Have applied for a regular ballot early enough so that the request is received by the appropriate local election official at least 30 days before the election; and
- Not have received the requested regular absentee ballot from the state.
The FWAB is used to vote for federal offices, President/Vice President, U.S. senator, U.S. representative, delegate or resident commissioner to the Congress in general elections. Some states now allow military and overseas citizens to use the FWAB in elections other than general elections or for offices other than federal offices. The citizen should consult Chapter 3 of the 2004-05 Voting Assistance Guide for specific state or territorial requirements. The citizen may electronically fill in the form before it is printed, or print it and manually fill in the form. In either case, the citizen’s manual signature and date are required. Specific instructions to be followed when submitting the OFWAB may be found at http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/onlinefwab.html.
If the form is mailed within the APO/FPO or U.S. postal system, a postage paid indicia may be printed onto your mailing envelope from the FVAP web site at http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/returnenvelope.html.
Citizens who receive their state ballot after submitting either version of the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot should vote and submit their state ballot any time up to and including election day. Citizens should note on the state ballot envelope that a FWAB was submitted.
The FVAP can be contacted through the DoD Voting Information Center (VIC) Citizens may reach the VIC toll-free from 64 countries using the toll-free numbers listed on the FVAP website, www.fvap.gov. The VIC provides recorded messages from candidates, as well as other information concerning elections, 24 hours a day.
Questions about this program may also be referred to the director, Federal Voting Assistance Program, Department of Defense, 1155 Defense Pentagon.
* story via DefenseLINK