Program Eases Voting for Military Families

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"We firmly believe that voting assistance for our absentee voters is absolutely the best that it's ever been," Mitchell said at a Sept. 5 Pentagon news briefing. "There are a lot of tools in our arsenal to help those voters both register, get an absentee ballot and to exercise their right to vote."

If you prefer to go in person, there are 221 installation voting offices, all of which the program supports. "We've spent a lot of time reaching out to every single one," Mitchell said.

The Military Postal Service Agency  [ ]provides free, expedited ballot delivery and ballot tracking to your local election office for overseas-based service members and their families. Go to your local post office or postal clerk, use the Label 11 DOD form on your absentee ballot envelope and mail it. Go to to track the status of your ballot, according to the program's website.

If you haven't received your ballot by Oct. 6, use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, available on the website, as back-up. For each office for which you vote, write in either a candidate's name or their party designation, the website says.

For additional help with the absentee voting process, contact FVAP at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1-800-438-8683, DSN 425-1584 (CONUS)/312-425-1584 (OCONUS). It also is available on Facebook [ ] and you can follow on Twitter at @FVAP.

"Our goal is to make sure that anyone who wants to vote has the resources and tolls they need form anywhere in the world to successfully exercise that right," she said.