Political Awareness: How to Make Your Voice Heard as a Military Spouse

Story submitted by Zach

I think we can all agree, 2020 has been a roller coaster of a year; from PCS moves being postponed to deployments being extended and full on chaos all across our country! Even during this difficult time, we as Americans have a duty and a responsibility this year. On November 3rd, 2020 polls across the country will open to either elect a new president or to re-elect our current one, this choice yours! Future generations of Americans will look back at this chaotic year and ask “What did you do to contribute to our American experience?”

One of the biggest misconceptions within our military is that spouses cannot be politically active! Well I’m here to tell you from experience you can and here’s how:

How Do I Register to Vote?

One of the most important things you can do as an American is exercise your right to vote! As a military family you have a couple options on registering to vote, here are some steps:You can choose to register at your current duty station (This will need to be changed once you move to your next station) or at your home of record.

  • To get started, visit https://vote.gov/.
  • Select your state or territory and the website will present to you a link to the registration website. Please note each state or territory is different when it comes to registering to vote. Some allow for online registration if you have a license with that state or territory, while some require a paper application submission. .
  • Some states or territories offer Same Day Registration which means you can walk in on election day and cast your vote! How cool is that! These states include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina (during early voting only) Utah, Vermont, Washington State, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

How Do I Request an Absentee Ballot?

As a military spouse or active duty service member, you have a right to request an absentee ballot no matter where you live. This is your constitutional right and you should exercise it no matter what!

To request an absentee ballot, visit https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/

How Do I Contact My Local Representatives?

 Writing or calling your representatives is one of the most important thing you can do to voice your concerns about issues you care about. So here’s how you do it:

  • To contact your state representative, visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.
  • Select what level of government you want to contact from your Local, State, or Federal Representatives, and find the local representative you want to get in touch with.

Points of Note Before You Contact Your Representative:

  • Be respectful. The people answering the phone are not looking to debate the situation, they are just trying to do their job and you should treat them with the same respect you expect from them.
  • Let them know that you live in their district/state. Be sure to say the city and state you are from.
  • Know your facts. It’s very important that you know the information you’re calling about. So, take a minute to write down all the facts about the situation. 
  • Be brief. Your representative receives a high volume of phone calls every day, so keep your call short and to the point.

Voicing your concerns and making your voice heard is what makes our country great.  Regardless of who is in office, never be afraid to exercise your right to peacefully assemble or protest protest, contact your representatives and most of all, vote! Stay tune for next month’s edition of “Being an Politically Aware Military Spouse.”

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