Panetta asks members to vote Nov. 6

by American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — In a video message released today, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta urges the men and women of the Defense Department and their families to vote in the upcoming election.

Here is the text of the secretary’s message:

On Nov. 6, Americans will have the opportunity to exercise the most important responsibility we have in a democracy — the right to vote. Voters will choose from candidates at every level — from the commander-in-chief, to legislative representatives, to county commissioners, city council members and others.

I don’t have to tell you that your vote can determine the future. It really counts. And that’s why it’s so important to participate in this process — no matter where you are in the world, no matter who you plan to vote for. Please exercise the very privilege that you’re willing to fight and die for in order to protect.

But there isn’t much time. If you’re overseas or away from home, request your absentee ballot immediately, and mail it back in time so that your vote will count. And if you need help, visit your installation voter assistance office, or see your unit’s voting assistance officer, or visit the website

For the full statement, visit