MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
a presidential election year and this November, men and women across the United
States will flood the polls to cast their vote for the candidates they would
like to see elected.
Day 2016 will be held on Nov. 8 and voters will have the opportunity to elect
the President of the United States, Vice President, 435 voting member seats in
the House of Representatives, 34 seats in the Senate, 12 state governorships,
two territorial governorships and numerous state elections.
are deployed throughout the world, often in harm’s way, protecting our Nation
and supporting the cause of freedom and democracy. In many places, the struggle
centers on one very basic but powerful principle of democracy – the right to
vote,” said Gordon R. England, former Secretary of the Navy.
service members, exercising their right to vote in the election means they are
going to have a direct influence on who their next commander-in-chief of the
armed forces will be. It is the right of every American citizen to make an
informed decision on who to vote for and, once their decision has been made,
many voters desire to show support to their candidate of choice and make their
opinion known. As members of the armed forced, it is crucial to know and abide
by the Department of Defense’s guidelines and policies surrounding political
campaigns and elections.
guidance on political campaigns and activity, as outlined in Marine
Administrative Message 603/15, states that active duty Marines and Sailors may
register to vote and may vote in any U.S. election and are encouraged to
fulfill their civil liberty to do so.
to the MARADMIN, service members may express a personal opinion on political
candidates or issues, join a partisan or nonpartisan political club and attend
meetings, write letters to editors in newspapers expressing only their personal
views on issues and candidates, but are required to explicitly state that the
views, opinions and support are solely their own and do not represent the armed
forces as a whole.
members are approved to make monetary donations to a political organization,
display partisan political bumper stickers on personally owned vehicles or
attend fundraising activities so long as they are not in uniform while
participating and they are not doing so as a representative of the armed forces
at any point in time, according to the MARADMIN.
members are not authorized to participate in partisan political fundraising
including speaking at political gatherings and performing clerical or other
duties for a partisan political committee or candidate during a campaign, on
Election Day or following the election. Additionally, soliciting or otherwise
engaging in fundraising activities in federal offices or facilities or on
military installations for any political cause or candidate, marching or riding
in a political parade or displaying large political banners or posters is
information on what service members may and may not do during the election
year, view MARADMIN 603/15 at http://www.marines.mil/News/Messages/MessagesDisplay/tabid/13286/Article/175443/guidance-on-political-campaigns-and-activity.aspx.
service members and some family members are eligible to cast an absentee vote
when living outside of their voting residence. To cast this vote, service
members can request an absentee ballot with the Federal Post Card Application
which can be obtained through the installation voting assistance officer or at www.FVAP.gov.
and Sailors are encouraged to participate in the Federal Voting Assistance
Program. Through the program, service members who are a U.S. citizen, a
resident of the state in which they are registering to vote; are 18 years or
older before Nov. 8, 2016; and who are registered no later than 20 days prior
to the primaries and elections can cast their vote. For information regarding
the Voting Assistance Program, service members should contact their Voting