World

July 19, 2012

Rock the vote, but beware of guidelines

Senior Airman Marissa Tucker
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNS) — As political campaigns heat up across the U.S., Airmen, family members and Department of Defense civilians are encouraged to be a part of the political process.

Being away from the U.S. can lead some to believe they are not able to vote in their respective state and federal elections. The federal government recognizes the unique challenges faced by Americans overseas and offers assistance to all service members, DOD civilians, family members over the age of 18 and American contractors outside of the U.S. through voting assistance officers.

Capt. Chad Atkinson-Adams, the 39th Mission Support Group executive officer and Incirlik Air Base’s installation voting assistance officer, said he encourages all eligible American citizens to be active participants in the voting process.

“The first thing eligible voters must do is register to vote,” Atkinson-Adams said. “We refer everyone to www.fvap.gov, where they can register and request ballots for either local, state or federal elections. Because they have to rely on the mail system to receive ballots, it needs to be done as soon as possible.”

People seeking clarification on topics such as where to send their ballots, where they can vote, state of residency and other issues should contact their unit voting assistance officers. These representatives can assist with gathering information about candidates or political parties as requested, but will not offer opinions in an attempt to sway a potential voter.

“Our primary mission is to make sure they have the opportunity vote, not to determine who they vote for,” Atkinson-Adams said.

Obtaining absentee ballots can be a simple process when using www.fvap.gov. All potential voters need is their state license or identification card number and voting residence in the U.S. to get started.

“We encourage Airmen to vote and make informed decisions,” Atkinson-Adams said. “Voting representatives are available to help provide additional information as requested.”

While making an informed decision on a candidate can sometimes yield heated discussions or unintentional endorsements of political figures, service members must adhere to guidelines in the Code of Federal Regulations Part 734 – Political Activities of Federal Employees. Service members are prohibited from using their position or status as a member of the armed forces to endorse a political candidate. This includes participation in partisan activities in uniform or in any way representing the Air Force.

In the social media age, it can be easy to accidentally violate regulations that prevent federal employees from distributing literature or soliciting support for a candidate. Simply suggesting that someone “like” a candidate’s Facebook page could lead to disciplinary action if the initiator can easily be identified as an active-duty member,
officials said.

It is also important to remember that while Airmen are free to voice opinions about political candidates, they can be held responsible for derogatory statements against elected officials. Participating in tactful conversations and being aware of surroundings when discussing political topics is highly encouraged, according to officials.

“I strongly encourage people to exercise this freedom that so many have fought and died for,” Atkinson-Adams said.

For more information about registering to vote or obtaining ballots, contact the voting assistance office.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

The new fight: Writing cyber into the science of war

Every year, the Aspen Security Forum brings together the top minds in defense, intelligence and homeland security. This year, more than ever, the conversation is turning to cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and everything attached to them. Cyber is constantly changing the way conflicts and combat unfold. Here, former U.S. Navy Rear Adm. William Leigher offers insights...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Local Briefs July 31, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park.. Final deadline for sign-ups is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more information. White water rafting and camping Aug. 20 – 24 – Grand...
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Relationship building by means of the F-16

  America’s stars and stripes and Arizona’s lone copper star always wave proudly at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing. But it’s the adjacent flags of coalition-partners – from the pacific island-nat...
 
 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>