Deployed Wis. Guard members urged to exercise their right to vote - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Deployed Wis. Guard members urged to exercise their right to vote


Madison (News Release) - With the general election less than eight weeks away, the Wisconsin National Guard is reminding its deployed Soldiers and Airmen to complete and mail in their absentee ballots soon.

Official Wisconsin write-in absentee ballots were sent to all military and overseas voters with an absentee application on file at least 90 days before the Nov. 2 election. The official printed ballot can be electronically transmitted by e-mail or fax after Oct. 4.

Voters in Iraq, Afghanistan or other overseas locations without access to the military postal system should send completed ballots by Oct. 2. Voters in other overseas military installations should send completed ballots by Oct. 9. Also, Wisconsin National Guard members deployed stateside but outside of Wisconsin should send their completed absentee ballots by Oct. 25.

Deployed Wisconsin National Guard members who have not received a state absentee ballot before Oct. 2 are encouraged to use the federal write-in absentee ballot, which is available online and at military bases, overseas embassies and consulates. The federal write-in absentee ballot is valid in Wisconsin elections. Voters can write in a candidate's name or their party designation. The form can then be printed out and mailed. Additional candidate information should be available on state election websites 45 days prior to the general election.

A special page on the Government Accountability Board website has information for military and overseas voters. The Overseas Vote Foundation has additional information on registering to vote and requesting absentee ballots.

The deadlines for submitting the federal write-in absentee ballot are the same as for the state absentee ballots. Wisconsin National Guard members overseas who receive their state absentee ballots after submitting a completed federal write-in absentee ballot may complete and return the state ballot. If both ballots are received by the deadline, only the state ballot will be counted.

According to the state Government Accountability Board website, active away military may request election absentee ballots up until election day. The completed ballot must be postmarked by election day and received by the municipal clerk no later than 10 days after the general election in order to be counted. Local election officials track the status of all absentee ballots from military and overseas voters using the Government Accountability Board's statewide voter registration system.

Military away voters may track receipt of their general election absentee ballots on the Board's Voter Public Access website.

Wisconsin National Guard troops that will be deployed overseas during the partisan primary and general elections include approximately 600 Soldiers - mostly from the 724th Engineer Battalion and 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment in Iraq - and about 45 Airmen supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

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