Partisan Organizations & Legal Restrictions
Voting Assistance Officers (VAOs) may not provide partisan voting information on candidates, political parties, or partisan organizations. You may receive questions from voters regarding whether they can distribute or display partisan materials on your military installation. Please consult with your Commanding Officer for their interpretation of DoD Directive 1344.10, Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces on active duty.
Official overseas organizations of the major political parties, may sponsor or co-sponsor voter registration drives in overseas areas. These organizations generally assist voters regardless of their party preference. It should be made clear who the sponsor is so that voters know who will be providing assistance. Regardless of who is providing assistance, the voter always has control over casting his or her ballot.
VAO Requirements in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act provides for the following:
- When someone knowingly deprives or attempts to deprive any person of a right found under UOCAVA, they shall be fined or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.
- When someone gives false information to establish voting eligibility for any person, pays, offers to pay, or accepts payment to register or vote under the Act, they shall be fined or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.
VAO Requirements in the National Voter Registration Act
The National Voter Registration Act makes it illegal to:
- Attempt to or intentionally intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for: (1) registering to vote, voting, or attempting to register or vote; (2) influencing or aiding any person to register, vote, or attempt to register or vote; (3) exercising any right under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or
- Attempt to or intentionally deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair or impartially conducted election process, by: (1) The submission of voter registration applications that are known to be false, fictitious, of fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is being held; or (2) The procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known to be false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is being held, shall be fined in accordance with title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for more than five years or both.