52 Goals Week 36: Register to Vote

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52 Goals Week 36: Register to Vote

Whether you’re on the “Trump Train,” you’re “With Her,” you’ve Googled Gary Johnson or you have no idea which candidate should get your vote, as an American citizen you have an obligation to cast that ballot.

As military spouses, we know all too well what sacrifices have been made to protect that privilege.

Not feeling the presidential race this year? Remember, there are a plethora of local elections that warrant your attention as well.

There’s nothing worse in an election year than showing up at the polls and realizing you’re not registered to vote. Or talking to your deployed spouse overseas and realizing that he or she missed the window to request an absentee ballot.

Don’t you think you both should have a say in who is commanding our troops and making decisions for our military families?

September 27 is National Voter Registration Day, so this week’s challenge is to participate in it – get registered to vote!

52 Goals Week 36 Register to Vote

Week 36 Challenge: Register to vote and if you know you’re not going to make it to your local voting location (because you are registered to vote in Texas, but living in Florida), request your absentee ballot.

Challenge Details: Make your vote count by casting one this year. Find your state’s guidelines and register so no matter where in the world you’re living, you can rock the vote.

Your Deadline: While voter registration deadlines vary by state, your deadline for this challenge is September 13.

To earn this week’s bonus points take a picture of yourself holding a sign saying “Registered to Vote!” Extra bonus points if you tell us the most important issue to you this election cycle. Either way use #2016IsMyBitch on Twitter or Instagram.

Unsure of how to register to vote? You can register to vote with these 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Figure out where you have residency. That sounds so simple, but I can’t remember my ZIP code half the time. I have a driver’s license from one state with an address on it from another.

Aren’t we all a little geographically confused?

Home might be where the heart is, but for the purposes of voting, home is where you pay state income taxes.

Step 2: Once you know which state is your state of residency, make sure you are registered to vote in that state. The best website to help you through the process is the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

FVAP “works to ensure service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so – from anywhere in the world.”

Step 3: Once you go to FVAP’s website, you’ll see the box at the top for “Voter Start Here” aimed at military and overseas citizens. Select your state to see voter requirements, deadlines and how to register.

For example, the state of California’s vote registration deadline is October 24. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is November 1.

In contrast, the state of Virginia’s vote registration deadline is November 8 for service members and military spouses living overseas. The absentee ballot request deadline is November 1. Yes, you read that correctly. This is why you need to doublecheck your state’s  information. It varies a lot with each state.

Voter registration is infinitely easier with the use of the Federal Post Card Application. The FPCA, available on FVAP’s website (we promise no more acronyms)  is both a registration card and an absentee ballot request.

On fvap.gov, you’ll be able to link to your local election office and find instructions of where to mail your completed FPCA.

These instructions will all make sense when you visit the website. They tell you exactly where to go, what to fill out and how to do it, so that you don’t have to search for all the answers.

Questions? Check out the Smart MilSpouse’s Guide to Voter Registration or ask away in the comments. Remember, the best vote is one that counts!

Are you registered to vote? Have you requested your absentee ballot for the 2016 election? Or are you planning to vote in-person at a voting booth? Tell us in the comments section. 

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