The U.S. Air Force encourages its members and dependents to exercise their right to vote. To achieve this end, base voting officers are established to assist you in getting absentee ballots and answering questions about what is appropriate and inappropriate political activity for uniformed members.
For information about voting, visit Federal Voting Assistance Program
Political guidelines for Active-Duty Members
Members of the Armed Forces are encouraged to carry out the obligations of a citizen but are subject to certain restrictions on their political activities. The rules on political activities by military personnel are found in DoD Directive (DoDD) 1344.10, Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces on Active Duty, 2 August 2004.
· Register, vote, and express their opinions on political candidates and issues (but not as a representative of the Armed Forces).
· Make monetary contributions to a political organization.
· Attend partisan and non-partisan political meetings or rallies as a spectator when not in uniform.
· Promote and encourage other military members to exercise their voting rights, if such action does not attempt to influence or interfere with the outcome of an election.
· Join a political club and attend its meetings when not in uniform.
· Serve as an election official, if such service is not as a representative of a partisan political party, does not interfere with military duties, is performed while out of uniform, and has the prior approval of the Secretary of the Air Force.
· Sign a petition for specific legislative action or a petition to place a candidate's name on an official election ballot.
· Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper expressing his personal views on public issues or political candidates, if such action is not part of an organized letter-writing campaign.
· Display a political sticker on your private vehicle.
Member May Not:
· Use his or her official authority or influence to interfere with an election, affect the course or outcome of an election, solicit votes for a particular candidate or issue, or solicit political contributions from others.
· Be a candidate for, or hold, civil office except as authorized below.
· As long as the member is not serving on extended active duty (EAD), enlisted members and reserve officers may hold partisan or nonpartisan civil office if the office is held in a private capacity and does not interfere with the performance of military duties.
· Enlisted members on EAD may seek and hold nonpartisan civil office as a notary public or member of a school board, neighborhood planning commission, or similar local agency, as long as the office is held in a private capacity and does not interfere with the performance of military duties.
· Officers on active duty may seek and hold nonpartisan civil office on an independent school board that is located exclusively on a military reservation.
· Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions.
· Make campaign contributions to another member of the Armed Forces or an employee of the Federal Government
· Solicit or receive a campaign contribution from another member of the Armed Forces, a civilian officer, or an employee of the U.S. for promoting a political objective or cause.
· Allow publication of partisan political articles that solicit votes for or against a partisan political party or candidate and that carry his signature.
· Serve in any official capacity or be listed as a sponsor of a partisan political club.
· Speak before a partisan political gathering of any kind for promoting a partisan political party or candidate.
· Participate in any radio, television, or other program or group discussion as an advocate of a partisan political party or candidate.
· Conduct a political opinion survey under the auspices of a partisan political group or distribute partisan political literature.
· Perform clerical or other duties for a partisan political committee during a campaign or on Election Day.
· Solicit or fundraise in Federal offices, facilities, or military reservations for a partisan political cause or candidate.
· March or ride in a partisan political parade.
· Display a large political sign, banner, or poster (as distinguished from a bumper sticker) on the top or side of a private vehicle.
· Participate in any organized effort to provide voters with transportation to the polls if the effort is organized by a partisan political party or candidate.
· Sell tickets for, or otherwise actively promote, political dinners and similar fundraising events.
· Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces.
A member on active-duty participating in local nonpartisan political activities shall not:
· Wear a uniform or use any Government property or facilities while participating.
· Engage in conduct that in any way implies that the Air Force has taken an official position on, or is otherwise involved in, the local political campaign or issue.