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One of the greatest rights we all possess is the right to vote.
It is a right that every Service member fights to defend.
However, sometimes Service members are unable to take advantage of this privilege because they do not know or understand the necessary requirements.
The purpose of the Installation Voting Assistance Office is to provide Service members, their families and retirees with all possible help in registering to vote and answering other voting-related questions.
Why is voting different for military members and their families?
Voting in the U.S. is controlled and conducted by state governments who have various rules, whether it's for voting early, by absentee or at local polls if a local voter is temporarily gone on election day.
Military voting is different because extended or overseas absences can prevent Service members from using normal state voting rules. A special law, called the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, or UOCAVA, requires that the states and territories allow certain groups to register and vote absentee in federal elections.
What if I am deployed?
While a few deploying or deployed members may be able to vote at their local polls prior to departure, or will return in time to vote at their local polls, most deployed members must use the absentee voting process if they want to vote. Local briefings during deployment processing should encourage deploying members to take a copy of two voting forms with them -- the SF-76, or Federal Post Card Application, and the SF-186, or Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.
Base voting action officers (or unit voting assistance officer) and Personnel Support for Contingency Operations team members can help. PERSCO teams should also have copies of the SF-76 and SF-186. The SF-76 is available at the Federal Voting Assistance Program Web site.
Who do I contact at Whiteman for voting assistance?
Yes. Whiteman's Installation Voter Assistance Office can be reached at (660) 687-7132 or DSN: 975-7132
For Whiteman voting information, email email@example.com
To contact other Air Force Installation Voter Assistance offices,https://www.fvap.gov/vao/materials/usm-order.
How do I vote by absentee ballot?
Complete and mail the Federal Post Card Application Form (SF-76). Contact your installation voting assistance officer through your base operator for more information.
For more voting information, visit www.fvap.gov
Where do I get the form?
The SF-76 can be obtained from a unit voting officer or from a PERSCO team in deployed locations. It is also available online at the Federal Voting Assistance Program Web site.
How do I complete and send the form?
Many states have specific rules. Please use the "FPCA Wizard" which guides you according the requirements of your state. You can also look up those requirements in the Voting Assistance Guide.
Depending on the rules of the state, voters can mail or use electronic means for registering and requesting ballots (email or fax, etc.). Although there is a deadline, some states allow late registration.
Do all military members vote under the UOCAVA law or can I vote locally?
Military and family members stationed/working in their voting residence city and state, may vote locally at the polls or use their state's absentee process. Each state has specific residency and voter registration requirements.
State rules and most required forms can be found at the FVAP website. Even if it is not one's home state, military members may vote in the state or territory where they are stationed if they change their legal residence to that state or territory.
Even if Service members live on a military installation, just registering to vote at their new location will often result in a change in legal residence. Because there are legal and tax obligations that may be incurred, people should visit their base legal office for advice on local and state tax policies.
Voters using UOCAVA protections continue to remain voting and tax residents of their home state without regard to the places their duty has taken them.
Since my family members are not in the military, can they vote absentee?
The law entitles eligible family members of military personnel to vote absentee. Family members are considered to be in the same absentee voter category as military members and generally should follow the same procedures.
Family members of military personnel residing overseas, who are U.S. citizens and who have never resided in the U.S., usually claim a parent's legal status as their own if that parent is a U.S. citizen.