J.J. Green, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Some active duty members of the military have found themselves deployed away from home when they realize, they forgot to register to vote and have not filed an absentee ballot.
The Pentagon is responding to concerns coming from some service members that they won’t be able to vote in the upcoming Presidential election.
“It’s absolutely not too late,” says Erin Conaton, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel at the Department of Defense. “We encourage them to go to our website to be sure when their state deadline is.”
For those whose state deadlines have passed, Conaton says, “In a worst case scenario where they do not receive their ballot in time, there is a write-in ballot option.”
She says it doesn’t matter where the active-duty service member is.
“Whether they’re here in the United States, or whether they’re deployed overseas, or on a ship in the middle of the ocean,” she says there are 221 voter offices worldwide available for service members.
And random checks are conducted to ensure each office is operating.
“Each and every week, we call every single of those 221 offices across the country and around the world to make sure that there’s somebody there answering the phone, ready to be there when a service member would call,” Conaton says.
The spot checks will continue until after the election.
More information is available at the Federal Voting Assistance Program website or call 1-800-438-VOTE.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)