The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act covers members
of the U.S. uniformed services and U.S. merchant marine, their family
members, and other U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. – in all,
more than six million potential voters.
In 2006, voters will elect 33 U.S. senators, 435 U.S. representatives,
37 state governors and hundreds of state and local officials. Election
season is underway – primaries began in March and the general election
is Nov. 7.
Whether you are a servicemember, family member, civilian or contractor,
exercising your right to vote while living overseas can take as little
as 10 minutes.
U.S. citizens can register to vote and request an absentee ballot using
the Federal Post Card Application (SF76), which has been redesigned for
2006 to convey more information to election officials while providing
greater security for voters’ personal information.
The form is available from unit and installation voting assistance
officers. It also is available electronically on the
USAREUR/1PERSCOM Web site at
Also, the Department of Defense has a number of rules governing
servicemembers and campaigning. What follows is a short list of the
DOD’s rules regarding participating in American campaigns. More
information is available on the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s Web
• General policy – As a matter of long-standing policy, DOD personnel
acting in their official capacity may not engage in activities that
associate DOD with any partisan political campaign or election,
candidate, cause or issue.
• Public commentary by military personnel – All military personnel
acting in their official capacity may not engage in public commentary,
including speeches and written submissions offered for publication,
concerning political campaigns or elections absent prior clearance.
• Inquiries from political campaign organizations – DOD personnel must
forward all inquiries from local political campaign organizations to a
public affairs officer for awareness and appropriate action.
• Election literature – Military personnel shall not distribute
political campaign or election literature while in uniform, while
acting in their official capacity, or while on a military installation.
Installation commanders will only allow distribution of political
campaign or election literature on installations as authorized by
military department regulations. (Courtesy of USAREUR Public Affairs
and USAFE Public Affairs)