Your Voting Opportunities Just Got Easier! DoD Blogger Roundtable

Time does seem to fly! We are approaching Veterans Day 2011 so fast. Do you know that by next Veterans Day we will have had elections for President, Congress and local officials too!

Why talk about elections now? Because so many of our veterans and in particular, active duty folks did not vote in 2010 or 2008! The folks with so much at stake with the direction of their government; either, made the choice not to vote, or had a problem getting their ballots. So… we talked to Mr. Bob Carey, director, Federal Voting Assistance Program during a Bloggers Roundtable yesterday and he outlined what the federal government and DoD are doing to make sure that no one and, I repeat, no one does not have an opportunity to vote.

Some great news to start:

“FVAP has released the 2010 post-election report, which shows a 21% increase
in military voting, a 27% increase in military voters receiving ballots, and
a 24% increase in military voters casting ballots. It also shows broad
increases in voter awareness of available voting assistance resources.”

Congratulations! Many of our soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines and coasties made quite the effort to get their ballot counted! Did you know that Congress passed a law that said that election officials had to get your ballots mailed to you 45 days in advance so you had time to get it, vote and return in time to be counted!  (Some of you do make it hard to find your locale in the far flung places of the globe you find yourselves assigned to) This is a terrific law for the military community as it prevents us from being disenfranchised!

But, with great news came some bad news from FVAP statistics:

“Unfortunately, it also shows 29% of the military never receiving their
ballots, and 44% of local election officials sending out ballots after the
45-day deadline...”.

When queried about the law violators, Carey said the Department of Justice has been aggressively pursuing legal remedies. His office provides local election officials having problems meeting legal requirements with suggestions for how to get your ballots in time too.  He gave us an example, such as making copies of ballots to mail to you before they are sent to the printing company before large production for local delivery.

But what can you do to improve your chances of getting a ballot before next November? This applies to military family members too! How about a one stop shop? An online wizard, 5-7 minutes of your time with direct access to all the state systems! Click on this image, register and get that ballot on its way! Or, at least click and then bookmark, make a favorite!

Mr Bob Carey, FVAP
Carey, enthused about the future of making it easier for military voters too. New law being considered in Congress for military spouses to be on same track as the military member is a good possibility, new electronic systems for two way voting and $20M worth of federal grants to local officials for more efficient electronic systems too!

This was a great discussion with superb responses to all the bloggers’ questions and interaction. Thank you! If you would like to read a transcript or listen to an audio replay (well worth your time I might add), please go to DoDLive!

Interested in finding ways to say Thank You to our veterans this Veterans Day? Go to 101 Ways to Say Thank You on MilitaryAvenue!

We always encourage comments on our blogs.  But we ask that because our active duty audience can not be partisan please avoid parochial commentary.   (2010 Making Your Vote Count).  Thank you.

Image/Logo Credit:  http://www.fvap.gov/index.html

Photo Credit:   Mr Bob Carey  http://www.fvap.gov/index.html  



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