Registration Drive for Overseas Voters Begins July 4th
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2004 With the November general elections coming up, the Defense Department has designated July 4-10 as Overseas Citizens Voters Week to get eligible DoD personnel stationed abroad registered to vote.
Polli Brunelli, director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, said in a Pentagon Channel interview that the objective is to get overseas voters involved in the electoral process and to stress the importance of registering to vote.
She said throughout the week voting assistance officers at overseas military installations, U.S. Embassies and consulates will hold registration drives and other activities to get people to vote. She noted the emphasis will also be placed on mailing registration forms back in time to meet local and state deadlines.
Brunelli said DoD citizens overseas should register to vote as early as possible because each mail system is different in countries outside the United States.
"Depending on whether their registration forms or ballots are traveling through international mail, or whether they are traveling through APO or FPO mail, they should allow a couple of weeks for the registration forms to get to local election officials, Brunelli said. "And local election officials need time to send those ballots back."
Brunelli said that the Fourth of July was the perfect time to begin the drive because of the patriotism associated with the holiday.
More information about overseas voter registration can be found on the FVAP Web site.