Marines

Vote: it’s your voice

13 Sep 2012 | Pfc. Joshua W. Grant

More than 130 million Americans voted in the 2008 presidential election, but the number of active- duty Marines who voted was minimal.

Sept. 27 to Oct. 4. is this year’s absentee voting week and voting assistance officers across Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune are stepping up efforts in an attempt to get Marines registered.

Active-duty military and their families are often not stationed in the state they are registered to vote, making it difficult to cast their ballots, said 1st Lt. Stephen Otis, installation voting officer and deputy adjutant for Marine Corps Installations East – MCB Camp Lejeune.

In order to relieve stress and make the voting process easier, individuals can go to www.FVAP.gov, register to vote, and absentee ballots will be mailed to the specified address. Casting a vote is as easy as filling out the ballot and mailing it back.

If an individual is not comfortable using the internet or does not know how alternate options are available. The Federal Post Card Application can be filled out and mailed to state of legal residence in order to register to vote. The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot is used if the individual’s home state does not send an absentee ballot and can be mailed in to cast a vote.

Otis said all the information needed as well as the forms for the FPCA and the FWAB can be found at any voting assistance office.

“Ultimately it’s up to the individual Marines to take the five or 10 minutes to register to vote and then fill out the absentee ballot,” said Otis. “We can only do so much but were doing our best to encourage Marines to vote because it’s important for their voice to be heard.”

Everyone has a voice and everyone has an opinion, which is what our government is formulated around, and just because we are not located in our state of residence is no reason our voice cannot be heard, said Otis.

Whether it’s because people find it difficult or lack the time, voting assistance officers everywhere are striving to inform the public and offer help in order for the individuals vote to be heard.

For more information visit www.FVAP.gov or call the installation voting officer at 451-3033
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