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Time Running Out for Military Absentee Voters

By Staff Sgt. Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2000 – Time is running out to register to vote absentee in the Nov. 7 presidential election.

Federal voting officials recommend individuals voting by absentee ballot, including the roughly 6 million potential voters covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986, send in their federal postcard applications at least 45 days before an election.

Many states require the applications be postmarked at least 30 days before the election date. Officials with the Federal Voting Assistance Program have put a tremendous amount of information about absentee voting on the Internet at www.fvap.gov. State-specific information can be found at http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/vag/vagchapter3.html.

To make absentee voting easier, at least 42 states now accept the online version of the Federal Post Card Application. The online form and a list of the states accepting it is at www.fvap.gov/pubs/onlinefpca.html.

For voters undecided about upcoming local races, the DoD Voting Information Center allows callers to hear messages, via an ordinary phone line, from incumbent U.S. senators and representatives, governors, and secretaries of state. In addition, 60 days prior to an election, messages from candidates for these offices are also available. The Voting Information Center's toll-free number is (800) 438-8683, or for those using the military's Defense Switched Network, 425-1584. Toll-free numbers from 50 foreign countries are available on the Internet at http://www.fvap.gov/services/tollfree.html.

Another section military voters might find particularly helpful is http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/howtoinfo.html This page consists of an electronic version of the useful pamphlet How To Do It - Vote Absentee. The pamphlet answers such questions as: Can I vote absentee? How do I apply for an absentee ballot? When is the best time to apply? The pamphlet is also available through unit and installation Voting Assistance Offices.

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