DOD members learn how to be voting assistance officers

by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Installation and unit voting assistance officers from around the KMC attended the Federal Voting Assistance Program training workshop April 21 on Ramstein.

Participants learned how to aid U.S. Department of Defense members voting in this year’s elections.

Kenneth Warford, policy and project compliance deputy director for the FVAP, conducted the workshop and briefed the attendees about their duties as voting assistance officers. He also discussed the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, which grants U.S. citizens the ability to participate in the electoral process even if they are outside U.S. territory.

“We’re here to assist you to try and make your job a little easier,” Warford said. “We understand and appreciate that for the majority of you, this is an additional duty, and you have other duties and responsibilities to take care of.

“UOCAVA is a law that covers us and allows us to be able to vote via absentee ballot no matter where we are in the world,” Warford continued.

Besides UOCAVA, Warford also discussed the information every voting assistance officer would need as they guide the voters through the electoral process.

First Lt. Christopher Cassidy, 603rd Air and Space Operations Center deputy officer in charge of intelligence analysis, said the workshop helped prepare him for his duties as a voting assistance officer.

“Prior to today, I really lacked any firm guidance on exactly what I needed to do,” Cassidy said. “This was very helpful in laying out the guidelines of what we had to do and making it much less a mystery.”

Col. Brandon R. Hileman, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander, thanked the people for stepping up to the task of being a voting assistance officer.

“I want to say thanks for coming out and volunteering to help others,” Hileman said. “Your efforts are critical in ensuring our military and civilian population, as well as their dependents, have the ability and are afforded the opportunity to have their vote count.”