By David VergunSeptember 25, 2012
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 25, 2012) -- Today is National Voter Registration Day, and the Army wants Soldiers to recognize "the importance of voting, a right they have fought to defend," said Lt. Col. Paul Amrhein, chief of Soldiers Program Branch, Human Resources Command.
Success in getting the voting message out to Soldiers and their families isn't measured by the number of people who actually vote, Amrhein said.
"We're not here to force a Soldier to vote. That's the Soldier's responsibility. We're here to assist the ones that want to vote and ensure they and their families have all the appropriate information."
Many Soldiers stationed overseas have already completed absentee ballots, he said, but some are still waiting on their states to mail their ballot to them. Each state sets their own timeline when they send out absentee ballots.
"If Soldiers and family members stationed overseas didn't receive ballots from their local election office overseas, they should visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at fvap.gov, to fill out and send in their federal write-in absentee ballot. Do not wait for your ballots to arrive in the mail. We want to ensure your vote counts."
Amrhein said there will be fewer absentee ballots this year because of the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also emphasized the Army's non-partisanship in its effort to get out the vote.
Sept. 27 is the start of Absentee Voter Week. Installations will set up displays and emphasize the importance of voting and reminding them to register if they haven't already done so and to get their ballots in, he said.
Soldiers and family members with any questions should contact their unit voting assistance officers, he said.