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.


 
 

 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 
 

New EPR challenges status quo

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The enlisted performance report is going to drastically change. These changes seek to combat inflated ratings, which have been a prevalent complaint from Airmen over the years. The change is right around the corner and many Airmen are asking themselves, “How will it affect future promotions, and what can I do...
 
 

55th Rescue Squadron returns home

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu) U.S. Air Force Maj. Stephanie Harley, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bio Engineering Flight commander, and son welcome home Capt. Colin Harley, 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pavehawk pilot, at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 11. Capt. Harley has just returned from a five-month deployment to Afghanistan.
 

 

AF to implement TDY policy changes

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) — Recently, the Air Force started implementing two temporary duty policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per...
 
 

OPSEC: Everyone’s responsibility

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Everyone who’s been around the military has heard the term Operations Security, or OPSEC, but do they really know what it means? Many people think OPSEC is all about classified information, when the opposite is true; OPSEC targets critical and sensitive unclassified information. OPSEC is a fundamental principle of the Air...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin