Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 9:13 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 9:16 a.m. CDT
Caption
(MC2 Chad A. Bascom)
YN2 Franchesca Thomas drops her vote into the ballot box during a Women's Equality Day event on the quarterdeck of Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic.

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) – The voting assistance team (VAT) assigned to Center for Service Support (CSS) is ensuring that Sailors and civilian employees assigned to the command’s large network of schools and learning sites have the tools and information necessary to vote in upcoming elections.

“CSS encourages everyone who does not reside within their home voting precincts to complete and return an absentee ballot to their legal residence for the upcoming elections,” said Chief Culinary Specialist (SS) Fred Butts, CSS voting assistance officer. “It’s simple to register, but I highly recommend that potential voters register early and contact their states to verify that their ballots were received, once received, they (the states) will mail it back with a tracking number.”

Butts said the registration process to vote absentee is the same for every sailor, Marine, soldier and airman, whether they are stationed in the continental U.S. or overseas and can be accomplished in person at a voting assistance office or online at www.fvap.gov with a completed Federal Post Card application.

“Your voting rights are important and you can clearly see its ramifications in the local elections,” said Butts. “These elections directly affect positions like a town mayor, vice mayor, congressman and school boards. We must not overlook our rights. Not using your rights can lead to an ineffective leader being elected into office, which will impact everyone.”

According to the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, voting assistance officers around the world aim for 100 percent contact and availability of Federal Post Card applications (to all personnel and dependents.

The organization emphasizes the importance of early action on the part of the voter in order to obtain a ballot for the general election well in advance of State deadlines for registration and ballot request.

“The registration process was very quick and easy for me,” said Chief Personnel Specialist (SW/AW) Roger Drumheller, CSS personnel specialist (PS) training manager. “I completed registration before transferring here. It was completed online without any problems. It is everyone’s responsibly as an American to vote. Sometimes we take our right to vote for granted while so many people in different countries are denied this simple, basic right. I encourage everyone to register.”

The voting process is not limited to those from the 50 U.S. states, but also includes residents of U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Sailors who desire to vote in a federal primary or special election in March, April or May 2014, are encouraged to visit FVAP.gov for information on state deadlines and requirements.

CSS and its seven learning sites provide Sailors with the knowledge and skills required to support the fleet’s warfighting mission. Each year, the nearly 250 staff and faculty members of CSS deliver training to more than 10,000 personnel serving in the Navy’s administration, logistics and media communities.

For more information on voting, visit www.fvap.gov.

For more news from Center for Service Support, visit www.navy.mil/local/css/.

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