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Voting assistance available for absentee voters

U.S. Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, recently issued a public service announcement encouraging Service members, DoD civilians and their families to vote during the upcoming election. For information on voting, visit, www.fvap.gov.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, recently issued a public service announcement encouraging Service members, DoD civilians and their families to vote during the upcoming election. For information on voting, visit, www.fvap.gov. (U.S. Air Force Illustration by Staff Sgt. Jamal Sutter)

Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. -- State primary elections have begun and the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) has geared up to help military and U.S. citizens residing overseas to register to vote and request their ballots for absentee voting in the primaries over the next few months and the general election on Nov. of this year.

The 2012-13 voting cycle motto is "It's a freedom that you defend - vote!" This is the message Air Force Chief of Staff; Gen. Norton Schwartz gave in a recent public service announcement that can be viewed on the Air Force homepage at http://www.af.mil/news/video/index.asp.

Air Force Voting Action Officer, Mr. William D'Avanzo stated, "Military members do register to vote at a higher rate than the general population, but we run into trouble when we wait too long to request or return our ballots to our local election officials. It's important for voters to send in their Federal Post Card Application well in advance of an election--preferably a minimum of 90 days beforehand."

Buckley Air Force Base Installation Voting Assistance Officer, Ms. Celi Searles heads up our Installation Voter Assistance Office located at building 347, room 103. "We're set up to assist voters register to vote, request their ballots and even send in a back-up Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot in case their state doesn't get their ballot back to them in time," said Searles. "Squadron members don't even have to leave their units. We have Unit Voting Assistance Officers who can walk voters in their squadrons through the process to exercise their right to vote."

The FVAP website is now set up for automated FPCA and FWAB creation for voters unable to get to their local IVAO or UVAO for help. Just go to http://www.fvap.gov and click on the appropriate link in the "Quick Links" area at the bottom of the page. Voters looking for their local Installation Voter Assistance Office can also use the "Quick Links" area by clicking on "Locate a Voting Office Near You".

For immediate assistance, voters can contact the IVAO at 720-847-9891 or through email: vote@buckley.af.mil

For more information on the Federal Voting Assistance Program, visit their website at http://www.fvap.gov.

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