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Absentee ballots allow service members, civilian employees and their families to vote while stationed overseas.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

FVAP simplifies voting

30 Nov 2015 | Lance Cpl. Connor Hancock Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The Installation Voting Assistance Office and Federal Voting Assistance Program provide Marines, sailors and family members accessibility to vote in upcoming elections.

“Our goal is to reach everyone and simplify the voting process,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ikaika Chaves, Installation Voting Assistance Officer.

The program’s website,, is an effective tool for voting registration and knowledge on voting requirements for each service member’s home state.  

“The website is very easy to utilize,” Chaves said. “Sending your vote home is as simple as filling out a federal postcard application, which is a request for a write-in ballot. When election time comes, [FVAP] will mail you a write-in absentee ballot.”

            According to Chaves, using mail-in ballots is the most popular choice for service members to vote in elections according to their legal residence. “You can print the post card application, the write-in absentee ballot, and an envelope that will have pre-printed postage, so you won’t have to pay for it.”

“If you wanted to go to the polls, you would have to go back home to do it, which is why most service members use absentee ballots,” added Chaves.

FVAP recommends registering annually, in order to ensure an updated residential address.

“As a citizen, voting is your duty,” Chaves said. “Do your research and study the candidates so you can make an informed decision based off of your ideals and what you stand for.”

Chaves encourages service members to contact their unit voting officers. Visit, or call 1-800-438-8683 to have further questions answered.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms