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.


 
 

 

What to know before you go to the open house

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” Air Show and Open House April 12 and 13. The event is open to the public and admission is free. It is two days of nonstop entertainment, but a few tips can help make the experience more pleasurable for guests. Traffic...
 
 

D-M Airman defuses situation downrange

One of the biggest defense mechanisms of any expeditionary air base is the ability to launch aircraft to neutralize threats. Several 380th Air Expeditionary Wing agencies are charged with getting air operations back up and running as soon as possible should the flightline or runway be attacked. The 380th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal...
 
 
wall

The writing on the “Walls”

The “Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona” open house will feature many showcases, mostly centered on aerial displays. But one exhibit takes us from the skies to the ground and across thousands of miles to the sands of Iraq, ...
 

 

Will Allen: The Flying Tenor

Combining his vocal talents with his flying, Will Allen as “The Flying Tenor” brings a new type of air show performance that will stir your soul. Will sings the national anthem live from the cockpit of his Pitts bi-plane while flying an aerobatic routine that has been choreographed to harmonize with the cadence and crescendos of the...
 
 
DesertRat

Desert Rats

The “Desert Rats” Warbird Demonstration Team makes a high-speed run past each other in their CJ-6A Chinese basic pilot trainer aircraft. The CJ-6 aircraft, designed in 1958, are still flown today by China’s People’s Lib...
 
 
USAFBlue

USAFA Wings of Blue

Each year, the Wings of Blue Demonstration Team performs at more than 50 special events in front of over 2 million spectators. Demonstration venues include airshows, NFL and College football games, and special events across the...
 




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