SEPTEMBER 1, 2016, GREAT LAKES (NNS) – With the general election approaching quickly, Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes wants to remind Sailors wanting to vote that the command representative can assist those who are unsure of what they need to do to exercise their right to vote Nov. 8.
Across the Navy, voting assistance is administered at the unit level. Voting assistance officers are appointed by their commanding officer and are trained by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). Besides accessing the FVAP website, voters can speak directly to these individuals who stand ready to assist Sailors and family members.
“The voting assistance officer (VAO) exists as the central point of contact and to act as a resource for all voting-related questions concerning voter registration, eligibility, voting processes, home and local election office contact, and to offer non-partisan information on election issues,” said Lt. Stephen Labue, VAO at TSC. “Additionally, the VAO will inform and educate U.S. citizens of their right to vote, foster voting participation, and help with any and all questions related to absentee voting.”
For those who think it is too late to register, it is not. Registration for all states can be handled at http://www.fvap.gov/. U.S. citizens over the age of 18 who wish to vote in their state of residence can fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register and also request their absentee ballot for the election.
“If you plan on voting and have not registered, do so as soon as possible using the FPCA for your state.” Labue said. “If you have already registered and you do not receive your absentee ballot 30 days before the election, you can use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) also found on the www.fvap.gov website.”
Eligible Sailors have the constitutional right to vote. The Navy tries to remove as many obstacles as possible to help people to exercise that right.
“Voting is one of the most powerful acts a citizen can do,” Labue said. “Each vote is a voice that speaks to the future direction of our country and our way of life. Voting is our opportunity to share with the world the values and ideals that matter to each of us. Voting matters because we the people matter, our way of life matters, and our future matters.”