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Commissaries Help to Raise Voting Awareness

By Bonnie Powell
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT LEE, Va., Sept. 15, 2004 – Commissaries worldwide are joining forces with the Federal Voting Assistance Program and the Defense Department to encourage military members, retirees and their families to register and vote.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Commissary Agency Chief Executive Officer Patrick B. Nixon delivers voter information to Air Force Maj. Jerold Bauer. Commissaries worldwide are participating in Federal Voting Assistance Program efforts to encourage members of the uniformed services, retirees and their families to register and vote. Photo by Adam Austin

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

"Since commissaries are among the busiest locations on any installation, we can make a significant contribution toward increasing awareness among military families of the importance of registering to vote," said Patrick B. Nixon, chief executive officer for the Defense Commissary Agency.

All over the world, commissary employees are working directly with installation voting assistance officers, making space available for voter information and registration tables. "Our store directors are reporting that as many 40-60 people register to vote during commissary events," said Nixon. "When you have commissaries hosting multiple registration events, there is a great potential to net very impressive results!" The Defense Commissary Agency operates 273 commissaries worldwide.

The effort intensifies throughout September, when all citizens under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act are specifically encouraged to register to vote or request an absentee ballot, officials said.

The Defense Commissary Agency's Web site has a link to the Federal Voting Assistance Program on its front page. The FVAP site is packed with helpful information on topics such as absentee voting, individual state registration requirements and how to apply for an absentee ballot. The Web site also contains links to all state election sites, providing information about upcoming elections, and links to official Web sites of U.S. senators and representatives.

(Bonnie Powell is assigned to the Defense Commissary Agency.)

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Related Sites:
Defense Commissary Agency
Federal Voting Assistance Program

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