THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The US Air Force in the UK has added its voice to the organizations raising awareness of voter registration for overseas Americans ahead of the 2020 US Elections. This week, June 28 to July 5, marks Armed Forces Voter Week as well as Overseas Citizens Voters Week - 7 days in which US Citizens residing overseas are encouraged to register to ensure they have their say in the upcoming elections in the United States.
Beverly Pineiro, alternative voting assistance officer with the 100th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) at RAF Mildenhall, explained the week as "an opportunity to highlight that the Federal Voting Assistance Program is available to ensure service members and US citizens overseas are aware of their right to vote, and have the tools and resources to successfully do so".
Amber Lujan, 100th ARW installation voting assistance officer, added that "The emphasis on the voting week is to push out the FPCA. That’s where you register to vote absentee in your legal state of residence or change your address, so you can get your voting materials".
For US service personnel and their families based in the UK, the US Air Force has a voting assistance office on base which you can visit for support filling out your FPCA (Federal Post Card Application). Lujan says "We have open hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m ... We’re here to assist Team Mildenhall members with printing the FPCA and sending it off. Our office is essentially here to help people register and get voting materials."
For US Citizens living in the UK, the US Embassy recently announced how you can submit your FPCA free of charge via the Embassy's diplomatic mail bag, whilst others with questions can find more details on the FPCA via the website of the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
With the ongoing pandemic delaying international mail, the FVAP are encouraging all Americans living overseas to fill out their FPCA as soon as possible.
As Amber Lujan says, "The only way that there can be change is to make your voice heard. Voting is one of those avenues."
US Service personnel can contact their bases' Voting Assistance Office for support on filing out their FPCA.
All overseas Americans can go to the FVAP website for more details and questions.
Essential Weekly Reads for Overseas Americans. Free