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Troops Urged to Vote by Absentee Ballot

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2002 – Stateside and overseas troops and U.S. civilians overseas should now be requesting absentee ballots in order to vote in the November general election, DoD's senior voting official urged today.

State voter registration deadlines are nearing and absentee voters need to obtain and send in their Federal Post Card Application forms to register to vote, said Polli Brunelli, director of DoD's Federal Voting Assistance Program.

U.S. civilians and military members living overseas should submit voter registration forms so that local election officials receive them by Oct. 7.

"If you want to vote, you need to register now if you haven't done it already," Brunelli said.

Overseas voters should return their filled-out absentee ballots by Oct. 15 to ensure that local election officials receive them in time, she said.

Overseas voters should use the Federal Write In Absentee Ballot if their requested state absentee ballot does not arrive in time to allow voters to return it by the state deadline for counting, Brunelli pointed out.

The November election, she noted, involves about a third of the Senate, the entire House of Representatives, 37 state governors, and thousands of local races.

It's important that absentee voters sign and date the ballot return envelope, Brunelli said. Some states, she added, require that the envelope be postmarked, witnessed, or notarized.

Troops with questions on absentee voting requirements should see their unit voting assistance officer or read their state registration and voting procedures in the Voting Assistance Guide on the Federal Voting Assistance Program Web site at www.fvap.gov.

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