FORT KNOX, Ky. (Army News Service, Sept. 24, 2010) -- This week absentee-voter week begins, when the Army and Department of Defense encourage absentee voters to mail their ballots to their respective states.
National Absentee-Ballot Awareness Week runs this year Sept. 27 through Oct. 4.
If voters have not yet received their states' absentee ballots, they can complete the federal write-in absentee ballot so it can arrive in time to be counted, said Lt. Col Michael Bell, chief of Soldier Programs Branch at the U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
Bell said each state has different laws that govern the execution of elections, but that all states must accept the federal absentee ballot. He also said each Army installation has voting assistance officers available to help Soldiers navigate the sometimes difficult process of filing to vote absentee.
"Efforts have been ongoing since the spring to ensure we have VAOs trained and they have the forms necessary to assist their Soldiers," he said. "VAOs should have the 2010 voting guide from the Federal Voting Assistant Program which has extensive information about each state's absentee mailing deadlines."
Bell said eligible voters should contact their unit VAO to ensure they know when their ballots must be received by their states.
All Army units have voting assistant officers. In fact, there are more than 67,000 such officers across the Army. Soldiers can contact their inspector general's office for more information or visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program may http://www.fvap.gov/
(Master Sgt. Christina Steiner writes for U.S. Army Human Resources Command)