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Rock the Vote: This is Absentee Voting Week for Military and Their Families

Thanks to the Internet, emails and fax machines, it's easier than ever for members of the military and their families to vote ' no matter how far away from home you are. This is Absentee Voting Week (through Oct. 4), and the Department of Defense is encouraging all citizens voting under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act who have not received their absentee ballot to go to and fill it out as soon as possible.

Leaders of all branches of the American military are emphasizing this week the importance of filling out and returning the absentee ballot. They're also educating eligible personnel on how to use the new online tools to fill out their absentee ballot, plus encouraging the use of emailing and faxing as an alternative to sending the voted ballot to local election officials where allowed.

"We encourage all military personnel, their family members, and overseas citizens to exercise their right to vote," Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said in a statement released by the DoD. "We strongly recommend they complete and mail their absentee ballots immediately, so they are received by local election officials in time to be counted for the November general election. Make your vote count."


Voters in Iraq, Afghanistan or any other overseas locations without access to the military postal system should send completed ballots by Oct. 2. Voters in other overseas military installations should send completed ballots by Oct. 9. The Federal Assistance Voting Program is responsible for making the absentee voting process easier and more efficient. One of their new initiatives is to provide military members, their families and overseas voters electronic alternatives to requesting, receiving or returning their ballots.

If someone has not received their state absentee ballot, it is not too late. "This year, the states and FVAP launched new online products that make completing absentees ballots much easier. In many cases voters can request their ballot, fill it out and mail or fax it back in 10 to 15 minutes," Stanley explains. "When I was a junior officer, this process could take 30 to 40 days. The new online tools have remarkably reduced the wait time. Go to to fill out your state ballot or the federal write-in absentee ballot online and send it, today."