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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 876-10
September 27, 2010

DOD Announces Absentee Voting Week; Launches Electronic Voting Support Wizard

              The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today Absentee Voting Week from Sept. 27 to Oct. 4.  The week will encourage all citizens voting under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act who have not received their absentee ballot to go to http://www.FVAP.gov  to fill it out as soon as possible.

             Commanders and voting assistance officers will use this week to emphasize the importance of filling out and returning the absentee ballot.  They will also educate eligible personnel on how to use the new online tools to fill out their absentee ballot, plus encourage the use of emailing and faxing as an alternative to sending the voted ballot to local election officials where allowed.

              “We encourage all military personnel, their family members, and overseas citizens to exercise their right to vote,” said Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.  “We strongly recommend they complete and mail their absentee ballots immediately, so they are received by local election officials in time to be counted for the November general election.  Make your vote count.”

              The Federal Assistance Voting Program is responsible for making the absentee voting process easier and more efficient.  One of their new initiatives is to provide military members, their families and overseas voters electronic alternatives to requesting, receiving or returning their ballots.  If someone has not received their state absentee ballot, it is not too late.

              “This year, the states and FVAP launched new online products that make completing absentees ballots much easier.  In many cases voters can request their ballot, fill it out and mail or fax it back in 10 to 15 minutes,” said Stanley.  “When I was a junior officer, this process could take 30 to 40 days.  The new online tools have remarkably reduced the wait time.  Go to FVAP.gov to fill out your state ballot or the federal write-in absentee ballot online and send it, today.”