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NEWS | Aug. 25, 2006

Armed Forces Voters Week starts Sept. 3

By Vickie Williams Virginia State Board of Elections

It is during this week that the Federal Voting Assistance Program motivates Voting Assistance Officers to promote voting awareness programs and publicizes the importance of requesting an absentee ballot early. 

During the Presidential Election of 2004, the FVAP sponsored a Voting Awareness Program that featured the base commissaries in their promotion. The drive at Langley was very successful, as many of the visitors to the commissary had not had the opportunity to register to vote and or request their absentee ballot. 

Although utilizing the base commissary as a mechanism to promote voting awareness works, it was not the only great idea used to promote the importance of military members engaging in the democratic process. 

Military bases across the world approached the problem differently: 

- An army unit in Korea conducted unity voting rallies to get the word out, "Your Vote Can Make a Difference." 

- Langley AFB set up a booth in front the BX during Armed Forces Voting Week which proved to be very successful in registering voters. 

- Marines suggest dissemination of voting information and voting articles via base newspapers and command bulletin boards. 

- Army unit in Fort Dix, NJ provided each unit that was mobilized a "Voting Deployment Package." The package contained the following elements: current Voting Assistance Guide, FPCA's, FWAB's, DoD Voting Lesson Plan and a letter of instruction from the Fort Dix Voting Assistance Officer. 

Collaborate with spousal support groups, local military affairs committees, local veterans groups and other organizations that support engagement in the democratic process and utilize and share with military members and their families the following websites:

Federal Voting Assistance Program

Virginia State Board of Elections

For more information email or call 804-864-8932.