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Family Matters Blog: Blogger Urges Readers to Vote

By Heather Forsgren Weaver
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2010 – Heather Forsgren Weaver of American Forces Press Service is a regular contributor to Family Matters. In this blog, Heather urges servicemembers and their families who are living and serving away from their home of record to exercise their right to vote by using an absentee ballot.

Absentee Ballots Do Count

When I first moved East, I lived and worked on Capitol Hill for the senator from Utah. This meant I could keep my Utah residency.

Being 2,500 miles away from Utah, however, meant that to vote in the local election in 1989, I needed to vote by absentee ballot. I dutifully filled out the form requesting a ballot and then carefully made sure that after I made my selections, I signed the correct copy and put it in the double envelope and personally took it to the post office to be sent.


Some of my friends laughed at me, telling me that absentee ballots didn't matter – nobody really counted them anyway.

They were wrong. All votes, even absentee ballots, count. In this case especially, my vote counted. The outcome of my hometown's mayoral race was decided by counting the absentee ballots. I voted for the incumbent and he won only because the absentee votes were counted. I'll never know whether my vote was the deciding factor but I do know that my vote counted.

This week is Absentee Voter Week. The purpose of Absentee Voter Week is to encourage all of those not living in the  local jurisdiction of their home of record and especially those living overseas to vote now so that your vote will count on Nov. 2. Ballots that arrive after this date ARE NOT COUNTED.

American Forces Press Service has developed a Web special that has all of the information you need along with special links to online resources.

I encourage all of you out there living away from your home of record to use those resources and make your vote count.

You never know your vote could turn an election.

To comment on this blog, please visit the Family Matters blog.

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