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FVAP answers absentee ballot questions

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- With the primary elections are quickly approaching, Team Schriever members are encouraged to contact their unit voting assistant officers and send in their ballot to let their voice be heard.

The UVAOs are representatives of the Federal Voting Assistance Program and work to ensure service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so - from anywhere in the world.

"Our focus is getting out the information and materials that folks need to vote in their home states and counties," said Randolph Saunders, 50th Space Wing unit voting assistant officer.  "We have a listing of all election officials in the states to make sure that voters get their ballots home in time to be counted."

During the 2016 election cycle, a number of offices will be decided by voters including 33 seats in the U.S. Senate and 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Presidential primaries begin as early as February for some states, so those wishing to cast their ballots should visit www.FVAP.gov or contact the Voting Assistance Office soon to obtain their absentee ballot.

"Getting information is easy and it's the primary reason the base has an Installation Voting Assistance Office and Unit Voting Assistance Officers," said Saunders.

The FVAP website states "most states require you to complete an absentee ballot application to start the absentee voting process. FVAP encourages the use of the Federal Post Card Application to start the absentee voting process as it is standardized for use across all states and will extend your eligibility to receive a ballot for all federal elections in which you are eligible."

The wing's FVAP goal is 100 percent contact before the elections. UVAOs will be distributing FPCAs to members of the wing mission partners and family members throughout January, conducting voter training and will participate in two Voter Awareness Weeks this summer and fall.

"I believe that voting is a responsibility of citizenship," said Saunders. "From local councils to federal legislators, our votes for who represents us determine the future of our town, county, state, republic...  so, it's important that all eligible voters do their homework and select the best qualified candidates to fill those important roles."

Saunders stressed the outcomes of the elections can have a dramatic impact on the United States and its military, so it is important for those eligible to take the time to vote.

"The representatives we choose, from local offices, to county, state and federal offices will influence the direction of our republic for the next two to six years (in the case of senators)," said Saunders. "These representatives, senators, governors and the president will choose judges who will apply the law; they will set policy and pass, sign or veto legislation on important issues and determine funding priorities and policy."

Each state has its own schedule of elections. For a complete list of your specific state's scheduled elections or if you have questions or concerns, contact the Voting Assistance Office at 719-567-6877 or email vote.schriever@us.af.mil.  

"A visit to the FVAP website will also provide answers, information and applicable forms for absentee military voters and their dependents," added Saunders.

Upcoming elections are as follows:

--Iowa Presidential Primary: Feb. 1
-- New Hampshire Presidential Primary: Feb. 9
-- South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary: Feb. 20
-- South Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary: Feb. 27
-- Alabama Presidential Primary/State Primary: March 1
-- Arkansas Presidential Primary/State Primary: March 1
-- Georgia Presidential Primary: March 1
-- Massachusetts Presidential Primary: March 1
-- Oklahoma Presidential Primary: March 1
-- Tennessee Presidential Primary: March 1
-- Texas Presidential Primary/State Primary: March 1
-- Vermont Presidential Primary: March 1
-- Virginia Presidential Primary: March 1
-- Louisiana Presidential Primary: March 5
-- Idaho Republican Presidential Primary: March 8
-- Michigan Presidential Primary: March 8
-- Mississippi Presidential Primary/State Primary: March 8
-- Puerto Rico Republican Presidential Primary: March 13
-- Florida Presidential Primary: March 15
-- Illinois Presidential Primary/State Primary: March 15
-- Missouri Presidential Primary: March 15
-- North Carolina Presidential Primary/State Primary: March 15
-- Ohio Presidential Primary/State Primary: March 15
-- Arizona Presidential Primary: March 22
-- Wisconsin Presidential Primary: April 5
-- New York Presidential Primary: April 19
-- Connecticut Presidential Primary: April 26
-- Delaware Presidential Primary: April 26
-- Maryland Presidential Primary/State Primary: April 26
-- Pennsylvania Presidential Primary/State Primary: April 26
-- Rhode Island Presidential Primary: April 26
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