Each Federal election year (every even numbered year), the Federal Voting Assistance Program works with the Uniformed Services and overseas citizens groups to promote voter registration and absentee voting by conducting Voting Emphasis Weeks. June 28 to July 7, 2010 is designated Armed Forces Voters Week (AFVW) and Overseas Citizens Voters Week (OCVW). The primary purpose of this week is to encourage all citizens voting under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) who have not registered to vote or requested an absentee ballot this year, to do so at this time. During this week Commanders and Voting Assistance Officers (VAOs) in the Uniformed Services and the Department of State will motivate and encourage all eligible citizens to participate in the remaining State primaries and vote in the November 2, 2010 General Election. Activities scheduled during this week should include voting programs explaining the procedures required to register and how to obtain an absentee ballot from the citizen's jurisdiction of voting residence.
AFVW receives priority support from the Secretary of Defense. During this week Commanding Officers and VAOs will carry out comprehensive command-wide voting awareness activities to include local events publicizing the upcoming election and focusing on the importance of voting. VAOs should aim for 100 percent contact and availability of Federal Post Card Application to all personnel and dependents. Emphasis should be made on the importance of early action on the part of the voter in order to obtain a ballot for the general election well in advance of State deadlines for registration and ballot request.
VAOs should enlist the help of organizations to participate in AFVW and OCVW. Organizations such as spouse clubs, family services, Boy/Girl Scouts and other groups that support absentee voting for citizens residing outside the United States can be effective venues for holding voter registration drives, informational forums and other non-partisan activities which stress the importance of participating in the upcoming elections. Service Voting Action Plans (available from Service Voting Action Officers) and the For Voting Assistance Officers section of our web site, www.fvap.gov), provide ideas for AFVW and OCVW activities. VAOs are encouraged to contact installation newspapers and other internal media, including closed-circuit radio/TV and Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) program managers to provide daily bulletins and other announcements to promote activities for the week.
All UOCAVA citizens should be informed about the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB, SF 186), which is available online at www.fvap.gov and stocked at military installations, and embassies and consulates worldwide. The FWAB can be used as a back up to a requested State absentee ballot in the event that the State ballot does not arrive with enough time to vote and return it. (Consult www.fvap.gov and the 2010-2011 Voting Assistance Guide for details).
For More Information: For more information visit FVAP at www.fvap.gov.
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