An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | July 23, 2008

Election season approaching rapidly; is CAFB ready?

By The Installation Voting Office 437th Airlift Wing

The 2008 presidential election is quickly approaching with a little more than three months to go. Team Charleston members are encouraged by base voting representatives to be aware of their voting options.

"The country is now in the heat of a most aggressive and the most important presidential election," said Maj. Karen Berkeley, installation voting officer and member of the 437th Medical Group. "Everyone wants to know who will be the 44th president of the United States. This campaign and the election process may have some confused and even some new potential voters overwhelmed."

To help eliminate some confusion, here are some frequently asked questions that may assist in making an informed voting decision:

Where is my legal voting residence?

For voting purposes, legal voting residence can be the state or territory where an Airman last resided prior to entering the military service or the state or territory the person has since claimed as their legal residence. While they may no longer maintain formal ties to the residence, the address determines the proper district, ward, precinct or parish for voting purposes. To claim a new legal residence, Airmen must have a simultaneous physical residence and the intent to return to that location as their primary residence.

Can I vote in person where I am stationed?

Military members may vote in the state or territory where they are stationed if they change their legal residence to the state or territory, even if they live on a military installation. Be advised that there are legal obligations that may be incurred, such as taxation, if there is a change to the state or territory of residence. Therefore, consult a judge advocate group officer or legal counsel before making a decision.

My family members are not in the military; can they also vote absentee?

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act entitles eligible family members (U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years of age) of military members to vote absentee. Military family members are considered to be in the same category of absentee voter as military members and generally should follow the same procedures.

Do I have to be registered to vote absentee?

Registration requirements vary from state to state. Most states and territories do require registration to vote absentee, but UOCAVA voters, registration and request can be done at the same time by submitting a single Federal Post Card Application.

How do I register to vote or apply for an absentee ballot?

Airmen may register and request an absentee ballot with a single form: the FPCA. The FPCA is accepted by all states and territories. Hard copies of the FPCA can be obtained from the installation's voting assistance officer or requested directly from the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

When is the best time to apply for an absentee ballot?

Apply at least 45 days before Election Day to allow ample time to process the request and mail the ballot. There is no date that is too early to send in an FPCA. If applying for both registration and request an absentee ballot, the FPCA may have to be mailed earlier than 45 days.

For more information contact a unit voting representative or Major Berkeley at 963-6809.