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Office Surveys Military to Improve Voting Program

Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2000 – As the 2000 presidential election has shown, every vote counts, including service members' absentee ballots.

To improve the absentee balloting program for the next election cycle, DoD officials are surveying military absentee voters.

Thousands of U.S. service members serving out of state vote via absentee ballots. After each election, officials at the Federal Voting Assistance Program examine their processes and work with Congress to improve the program for the next election.

Voting officials sent surveys to a random sample of U.S. citizens covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act beginning Nov. 6.

The survey will probe the opinions and experiences of five groups during the 2000 election season -- military personnel, federal civilians overseas, overseas citizens, unit voting assistance officers and local election officials.

This year, for the first time, participants will have the option of filling out the paper version of the survey or responding to the survey over the Internet.

The Web site access information is provided on the survey mailed to the citizen. Each participant will receive an access code, which is printed on the back of the questionnaire, to enter the Web site.

Officials urge respondents to use the electronic version of the survey because it takes less time to complete than the paper version. The Gallup Organization is conducting the survey for voting assistance program.

The voting office analyzes the results to determine how voting assistance offered to U.S. citizens may be improved. Only people involved in collecting or preparing the information for analysis will have access to completed questionnaires and only group statistics will be reported.

Questions regarding the survey may be referred to Elaine Perna at 1-800-438-VOTE (8683), local (703) 588-1584, DSN 425-1584 or by clicking the "Toll-free Numbers" heading listed on the home page of the Web site at http://www.fvap.ncr.gov/.

For written questions or comments, the office address is Director, Federal Voting Assistance Program, Department of Defense, Washington Headquarters Services, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301-1155. The e-mail address is vote@fvap.ncr.gov.

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