With Service members constantly moving around the country and the world, the Federal Voting Assistance Program works to ensure they, and their eligible family members, have the tools and resources to vote, while reducing obstacles for voting success.
“Voting is a personal choice and many in the military community don’t realize the Defense Department has a program designed to assist them, if they choose to vote,” said David Beirne, Director of FVAP. “There are many myths surrounding the military voting process. The most important thing for military voters and their eligible spouses and dependents to know is, there are absentee voting resources on FVAP.gov, designed to meet their voting needs.”
“The FVAP website is a one-stop-shop for all voting issues,” said Fabian Reinoso, Fort Belvoir’s installation voting assistance – action officer. “They can do just about everything – they can register to vote; they can request their ballot; they can also request the ballot be sent electronically via email. Americans can vote from anywhere. It’s so simple – it’s very easy and the website walks you through it,” he said.
Among the many provisions afforded Service members and their families is the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act. It allows the spouse to use the same residence their Service member has established as their voter residence — even if they’ve never lived there.
Once at FVAP.gov, there are just two steps for military families to vote in their home state: (1) register to vote and then (2) request your ballot in in one easy step by filling out the Federal Post Card Application. You can find your state voting deadlines, along with contact information for your elections office. Your state of residence for voting should be the state of residence listed on your leave and earnings statement for tax purposes, according to FVAP.
“Voting assistance is a non-stop obligation,” said Reinoso. “If you don’t understand something, your Unit Voting Assistance Officer has been trained on the FVAP and can answer your questions,” he said.
The Fort Belvoir Voting Assistance Office is located at 9625 Middleton Road, Fort Belvoir. Their phone number is 703-805-1061, or you can go online for assistance FVAP.gov.