Troops often don’t vote, cite obstacles and skepticism their ballots will be counted
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 16, 2016
VICENZA, Italy — Military voters can vote early. They can also vote often. Yet many don’t vote at all.
A variety of factors, including age, gender, education, marital status, mobility and complexity of the voting process all influence voting behavior, experts say, and tend to make those serving their country — particularly young, enlisted men posted overseas — among the least likely to vote.
“Historically, male and younger voters participate at lower rates than female and older voters, which can drive down the overall voter participation rates of the military,” which is predominantly male and younger, according to a 2014 report to Congress by the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
The program, part of the Defense Department, is tasked with providing troops, their eligible family members and overseas citizens with knowledge and tools to vote, no matter where they’re stationed. It also conducts post-election surveys of active-duty servicemembers.