Military Vote Focus of National Registration Campaign
September 14, 2012, Anchorage, AK – As part of National Voter Registration Month, Alaska has joined with the “Heroes Vote Initiative” to promote National Military Voter Readiness Day on September 15. The effort is aimed at helping military personnel register to vote, request absentee ballots by established deadlines, and become educated on the importance of making their voices heard on Election Day.
Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, who is engaged in multiple initiatives as part of Voter Registration Month, commends efforts to make sure military personnel and their families are ready to vote.
“Voting is a fundamental American right, one that our men and women in the Armed Forces fight to protect for all of us,” Lt. Gov. Treadwell said. “It’s imperative that we do everything we can to make sure military personnel are able to vote easily.”
A survey from the Overseas Vote Foundation found that in 2008, almost half of military and civilian voters outside the U.S. could not vote successfully because of “mismailed paperwork, too-tight deadlines, and other common frustrations,” according to a story this month in the Stars and Stripes. In 2010, that number was slightly reduced to one-third.
There will be a voter registration drive on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) on Saturday, where volunteers will help military personnel and their families register. Information on how to register and obtain absentee ballots has been sent out through poster campaigns on bases, emails to military personnel, newspapers articles and radio.
Both Lt. Gov. Treadwell’s and the Alaska Division of Elections’ Facebook pages shared links to a video message from Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.). Watch the video at http://youtu.be/vZbZ7TKY6mw.
Military personnel can also register online and request absentee ballots through a web-based application available at www.HeroesVote.org. Alaska voters will find additional information on voter registration and absentee voting on the Division of Elections website here: http://www.elections.alaska.
In addition, after eleven years, a polling place has been reestablished on Fort Wainwright Army base. And for the last two years Alaska has also been able to meet the federal deadline and get ballots in the mail to military and overseas voters 45 days before an election. Just yesterday, Alaska was pre-cleared by the Justice Department and will begin implementing an on-line absentee ballot system to ensure overseas military voters have easy access to ballots prior to elections.