As members of the Fort Knox community begin gathering all the forms and documents required to file their tax returns, voting assistance officers want Soldiers and Family members to keep in mind another form -- the Federal Post Card Application.
The FPCA is a critical first step in ensuring military personnel and eligible Family members have the opportunity to participate in the electoral process. Because of the time that may be needed to get registered, voting assistance officers are getting the word out now.
Xavier Hunt, the installation voting assistance officer for Fort Knox, said he and unit voting assistance officers are working hard to provide information to those who need it. Their outreach goal: 100 percent by the end of January.
Once voters receive the forms, they can either contact a unit voting assistance officer or Hunt. He said the process of getting registered to vote is actually fairly straightforward.
It's not difficult," said Hunt. "The only difficult part is when you have Soldiers or individuals who say, 'Well, I got a driver's license here but I'm registered to vote there.'"
In that case, voters need to remember where they last registered to vote, said Hunt.
"If there is a difficulty, we can always look back to see or give a county clerk a call to find out if they are registered in that county," Hunt said.
The process starts with the application. Once filled out, the applicant mails it to the county clerk's office where they plan to vote.
"Either we can send it or they can send it to their county clerk in order to get their absentee ballots sent to them," said Hunt.
The service is provided to active, Reserve and National Guard military members, DOD civilian employees, contractors and any spouses and qualifying dependents of these groups who belong to Fort Knox.
Hunt warns those who plan to register to vote not to delay on the process.
"We recommend that they start in January," said Hunt.
Once voters are registered, state election offices will usually send absentee ballots out within 45-30 days of an election. The FPCA website recommends sending absentee ballots in as soon as they arrive.
Hunt said Soldiers will usually get a little leniency on when they can get them in, but that's not a guarantee.
For more information about specific voting dates, county clerk information and more, go online to fvap.gov. For information about specific unit voting assistance liaisons or any other questions, call Hunt at (502) 624-7325.