October 18, 2012

5 Questions: Installation Voting Assistance Officer

Capt. Staci Reidinger

Why does the Department of Defense have Voting Assistance Officers?

Voting is a constitutional right that U.S. citizens are afforded and the Federal Government believes that U.S. military members deserve additional assistance with exercising this right due to hardships involved with multiple military moves and deployments.

What services are provided by the Installation Voting Assistance Office and who is eligible to use these services?

The MCAS Yuma Installation Voting Assistance Office can help all government employees, both military and civilian and their families, with registering to vote locally or absentee in another state, with finding information to make an informed voting decision and can provide information pertaining to local, state or federal level elections throughout the year.

Is the MCAS Yuma Installation Voting Assistance Officer the only voting assistance officer on station?

No.  Each major tenant command aboard MCAS Yuma has a unit-level voting assistance officer who can assist with registering to vote.  Please contact your squadron/unit’s S-1 for more information.

As the November Presidential Election draws near, what guidance can you provide to help voters?

Although we are all very busy with work, family and our own personal interests, this year is a very important election year for the United States of America.  The best guidance I can provide includes three simple steps:

#1:  Register to vote.  Either in the state in which you currently reside or, if you are active duty, register as an absentee voter so your vote can count in your home of record state.  Visit www.FVAP.gov for assistance with registering.

#2:  Think about how the current Federal Government supports you, your family and your community.  Many people don’t realize all of the services provided through the Federal Government  to include Social Security, Medicare, U.S. Military, FEMA, U.S. Postal Service, Department of Transportation, Small Business Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, FBI, CIA, and the list goes on and on.  Visit www.USA.gov for a full list of these governmental services.

#3:  Learn about the presidential candidates through an objective source, if possible.  I personally have reviewed several election websites and recommend visiting http://2012.presidential-candidates.org/ .  This site provides a full listing of candidates from every political party to include links to their own campaign websites and offers a comparison of their educational and professional experiences.

As the Installation Voting Assistance Officer, have you come across any information that is interesting to share with potential voters?

Yes. Thomas Jefferson’s poignant quote below may help some citizens who are apathetic about voting or feel that their vote will not make a difference:

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

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