With just over 30 days until the general election, military members and their families living outside their state of residence are facing looming voting deadlines.
According to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, those interested in voting this election should request an absentee ballot as soon as possible. Voters need enough time to receive the ballot, fill it out and have it postmarked it by the deadline in order for their vote to count.
Click to request an absentee ballot visit. The website gives users the option to request a ballot for federal and state elections. Once it’s filled out, users should print the absentee ballot request, sign it and mail it to your state’s election official. The address for the official will be provided on the absentee ballot request. The website also gives users the option to email or fax their request. Even if you chose this option, you will still need to print and sign a copy of the request and mail it to your election official. The election office needs your original signature on file.
Once you receive your absentee ballot, deadlines for returning it can vary by state, with most states requiring absentee ballots be postmarked Nov. 5 or Nov. 6. Click to see a complete list of state by state deadlines. Click on the “Deadline” tab, then click on “2012 Election Deadlines” on the pull-down menu.
If you haven’t gotten a jump start on requesting a ballot, it only takes a couple of minutes and can be done by computer or smart phone. Recently, the Department of Defense launched a phone website for military members and their voting-age dependents. Though, if you visit www.fvap.gov on your smart phone it will automatically direct you to the mobile site. According to the organization, the site “connects voters, wherever they may be, with the latest news alerts, absentee voting information, state election dates, key contact information, and answers to frequently asked questions.” Users can also sign up for voting alerts.
If computer and mobile phones aren’t your thing, you can always call the Federal Voting Assistance Program at 1-800-438-VOTE for absentee voting assistance.