Federal Voting Assistance Program eases elections for Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jason Wiese
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
As this election season approaches, Airmen and dependents may have trouble understanding where, when and how to vote.

For this reason, the Federal Voting Assistance Program helps U.S. citizens, particularly servicemembers, vote when away from home, said 1st Lt. Maria Kutschke, 90th Force Support Squadron Manpower and Personnel Flight commander and Voting Assistance Program manager for the 90th FSS.

VAP managers in each unit on base are liaisons for people who have questions about voting or applying for absentee ballots. Absentee ballots allow people to vote when they are away from their home of record, she said.

"We inform people about their rights regarding elections, and we disseminate information about upcoming elections," said Senior Airman Hunter Atkinson, 90th Civil Engineer Squadron electrical systems technician and VAP manager for the 90th CES.

FVAP gives important voting information, such as election dates in different states and districts and deadlines to register, to the 90th Missile Wing VAP manager who passes it to the other VAP managers on base. People seeking information about voting can contact their unit's VAP manager, Kutschke said.

"If I receive messages from the installation voting office, I distribute them to people in my unit so they're kept abreast of their respective states' voting information," Kutschke explained.

Another source of voting information is the FVAP Web site, www.fvap.gov.

"I really recommend people check out the FVAP website," Kutschke said. "The amount of information it has is amazing. It makes it easier to fill out the proper forms to vote."

If an individual's unit VAP manager is unavailable, Kutschke suggests visiting the installation voting office in Building 1284 for the information there and self-help options.

"Voting is an important right that American citizens have, and many people are unaware of how to vote," Kutschke said.

"I encourage everyone to know how the election system works and to participate in it," Atkinson added. "If you're uninformed, now would be a good time to start doing research"

Sometimes, people are ill-informed about political candidates and current events, and that hinders their ability to vote for their interests, Kutschke explained.

"Because of new technology, there's many sources of information about candidates, and you can be as informed as you want to be," she said. "Be sure to vote. It's the best way to make sure your voice is heard.

"I remember when I first voted -- I was honored to have done my part."