Federal Voting Assistance Program helps Airmen understand their right to vote

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jake Carter
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
With election season coming around the corner in 2016, Airmen here may not know how to cast their vote.

Airmen from around the world have a program to assist them in their right to vote: the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

"The voting assistance program is a mandated-by-law program under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act," said Capt. James Francis, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment and distribution flight commander, and Nellis AFB installation voting assistance officer. "It is designed to ensure service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so from anywhere in the world."

The goal of the program is to assists voters through partnerships with the Military Services, Department of State, Department of Justice and election officials from 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

"For Nellis AFB, voting assistance reaches to Creech AFB, both local and geographically separated units, and military recruiters in and around the Las Vegas area," said Francis. "It is important because both uniformed service members and civilians need to know that their vote can still count whether they are living in the United States or overseas."

Every U.S. Air Force base is required to appoint in writing an installation voting assistance officer and unit voting assistance officer.

"As a country based on democracy, it is important to be able to exercise this sacred right we fight to defend," said 2nd Lt. David Riffle, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron project manager, and Nellis AFB installation voting assistance officer. "The Federal Voting Assistance Program exists to ensure people know how to exercise that right to vote and have every available resource they may need in order to do so."

For Airmen, voting assistance officers are a good start to gather information on their right to vote.

"Your voting assistance officers are a start in knowing what you need to do get registered to vote and to gain the voting materials, such as the voting absentee ballot," said Francis. "Additionally, the FVAP website is a huge source of information that anyone can check at www.fvap.gov. The site provides information regarding important state and federal elections, to providing the necessary paperwork needed to register to vote." 

For more information concerning voting assistance, please contact your unit voting assistance officer or contact the Nellis AFB Installation Voting Assistance Officers; Capt. James Francis and 2nd Lt. David Riffle at 702-652-7334 or 702-652-8441.