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Armed Forces Voters Week shines spotlight on registration, preparation

Federal Post Card Applications can be picked up from the Voting Assistance Office at RAF Mildenhall. Airmen can register to vote and request absentee ballots overseas to ensure their voice is heard in elections at home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Federal Post Card Applications can be picked up from the voting assistance office at RAF Mildenhall. Airmen can register to vote and request absentee ballots overseas to ensure their voice is heard in elections at home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

RAF Mildenhall, England --

Armed Forces Voters Week is held June 28 through July 5 and encourages service members and citizens living overseas to take the necessary steps to be able to vote.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program campaign is led by the Airman and Family Readiness Center’s Voting Assistance Office.

“It’s an opportunity to highlight that the Federal Voting Assistance Program is available to ensure service members and U.S. citizens overseas are aware of their right to vote, and have the tools and resources to successfully do so,” said Beverly Pineiro, 100th Air Refueling Wing alternate installation voting assistance officer.

Overseas individuals will need to fill out a Federal Post Card Application prior to Aug. 1, either on paper or online, to receive the materials needed to make their vote count. 

“The emphasis on the voting week is to push out the FPCA,” explained Amber Lujan, 100th ARW installation voting assistance officer. “That’s where you register to vote absentee in your legal state of residence or change your address, so you can get your voting materials sent to your PSC box.”

Voters can visit the fvap.gov website, speak with their unit voting assistance officer, or come in person to the voting assistance office to receive help with filling out the FPCA.

“We have open hours on Wednesdays and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m,” Lujan said. “We’re here to assist Team Mildenhall members with printing the FPCA and sending it off. Our office is essentially here to help people register and get voting materials.” 

Individuals who don’t register in time to receive their absentee ballot in the mail, for either state or general elections, can utilize the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot to send in their vote.  

"The FWAB is an emergency backup ballot that should only be used if an individual does not receive their ballot in time," said Lujan. "It can be found on fvap.gov or by inquiring with your unit or installation voting assistance officer."

Service members and other U.S. citizens at Team Mildenhall may be far from their assigned polling place, but the resources available to them provide all that is needed to have a say in elections at home. 

“The only way that there can be change is to make your voice heard,” Lujan stated. “Voting is one of those avenues.”