News: Exercise your right, vote
Story by Cpl. Damany Coleman
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - The right to vote is just that, a right. Voting does not come with one of those “use it or lose it” warranties, but if it’s not exercised, it’s kind of a slap in the face to the people who fought both physically and politically over the years to ensure everyone has the opportunity to exercise their right.
Base officials set up a voter-information table at the Marine Corps Exchange to disseminate free information about the importance of voting, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune June 28.
“It is our job as Voting Assistance officers to ensure Marines, civilian Marines and dependents understand the importance of voting,” said 1st Lt. Stephen Otis, voting assistance officer and MCB Camp Lejeune – Marine Corps Installations East adjutant. “We are all committed to serving our country, but our civic duty does not stop at military service.”
Otis added each service member has a voice, and this country was founded on the principles that make every individual’s opinion viable.
“Our elected officials are put in place because of the votes we cast, and thus we play an indelible role in the future of our country,” said Otis.
Voting is a right that should be exercised, and though most service members are not physically located in their registered state, there are standards in place to ensure each individual’s voice can be heard, said Otis.
The Registration and Absentee Ballot Request – Federal Post Card Application is the main way service members register to cast our votes from the various places they are stationed and deployed, and once registered, the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot can simply be filled out and dropped in the mailbox.
“I think voting is important because by some grace we were born in this country where we can vote, “said Caroline Tupper, volunteer with the Heroes Vote Initiative.” If we were born anywhere else we may not have the opportunity. We should want to take advantage of what we have that others don’t. It’s just the right thing to do.”
Ballots take very little time to complete, but the remunerations of participating in federal elections are wide reaching, said Otis.
“It is our goal to ensure mass participation in the upcoming elections and to provide non-biased, non-partisan and objective advice on voting matters to our members,” said Otis.
For more voting information, visit the website fvap.gov.