U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific


U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Voting assistance officers stress state registration

By Cpl. Juan D. Alfonso | August 13, 2008

CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- With general presidential elections around the corner, unit voting assistance officers are stressing the need to register.

The elections may not be until November, but service members and their families have until Aug. 21 to register for voting, according to Staff Sgt. Jesus N. Ramos, voting assistance officer for Headquarters and Service Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific.

To encourage registration and voting, Ramos is planning to setup a registration table outside of the Pollock Theater here during lunch hours for the next two weeks.

“Everyone should be registered by the 21st,” Ramos said. “That will give everyone enough time get their absentee ballot in the mail.”

The Federal Voting Assistance Program offers service members, their family members and citizens living overseas the opportunity to vote for all local and state elections within their state of residence, regardless of where they are living at the time.

After registering, either at the FVAP Web site, http://www.fvap.gov, or through the voting assistance officer, an absentee ballot is mailed to the registered voter. At that point the voter fills out the form and sends it through the mail to cast their vote.

If a voter is waiting for the last minute to register, there may be some issues they need to consider.

Each state has different dates and times that ballots must be received. The FVAP Web site provides a complete list of state and county, requirements and deadlines.

If they prefer, some voters have the option to vote as registered citizens of their current location. Registration requirements also differ from state to state. More information is available at the Web site.

     “As American citizens you have the privilege and honor of voting,” Ramos said. “Decisions and actions made by the president of the United States will ultimately impact you as service members. Make sure you do your homework and vote for the right person for you.”

For more information contact Ramos at 808-477-8361.