“When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.” - George Washington
Military members and their spouses have long faced challenges when they vote. Unlike many Americans, military families are constantly on the go moving from one duty location to another. The frequency and unexpected nature of these moves have increased as our men and women in uniform have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. For most military families, if they have any hope of voting, they are forced to navigate a confusing state absentee ballot process.
Unfortunately, most military families do not successfully navigate this process—a fact repeatedly evidenced in recent elections. In 2008, for example, less than 20 percent of 2.5 million military voters were able to request and return their absentee ballots and have that ballot counted. In 2010, that number dipped to 4.6 percent. See MVP Project’s 2010 Post-Election Report.
The Heroes Vote Initiative is a non-partisan program of the Military Voter Protection Project. Working with local military and veterans groups, as well as state and local election officials, our goal is to motivate military voter participation and provide assistance to those members who need it. It is time for our men and women in uniform to have their voices heard on Election Day.