It’s a freedom you defend

by Senior Airman Stephen G. Eigel, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 2016 presidential elections are underway, and Kadena is currently offering voting assistance to service members stationed here.

Did you know all absentee ballots submitted timely and according to state requirements are counted for every election? It only takes a few quick steps to make sure your vote is counted no matter where you are in the world.

“The process for voters is not too difficult,” said Capt. Derek Ebeling, Kadena Installation Voting Assistance Officer. “Also, every unit has appointed voting assistance officers to help members get what they need.”

According to the Kadena sharepoint page, in order to vote from Kadena by absentee ballot, registration needs to be completed or an update to the voter's address will need to be done through the voter's home county voter registration office.

To register and request your ballots, complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) using the FPCA online assistant, or fill out the PDF, or pick up a hardcopy version from your Voting Assistance Officer or nearest U.S. Embassy or Consular Office. Be sure to double-check your contact information is accurate in case your election office needs to reach you.

“The most important thing to remember when dealing with absentee voting is to start the process early,” said Matt Boehmer, director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program. “You can use the federal postcard application, or FPCA, to both register to vote and to request your absentee ballot, and you can use our online assistant tools that walk you through the process.”

Please ensure your election office is kept up-to-date with your Authorized Military Mailing Address as provided by your servicing Military Post Office, and remember to follow postal guidelines when sending in your registration and ballot request forms, as well as returning your ballot. If mailing from outside the U.S., ensure there is proper postage if using a foreign mail service. As always, you can contact your election office to ensure they received your information by sending them an email or giving them a call!

Boehmer added, “We know that the process of absentee voting can seem overwhelming, but the tools that we have available at help make the process easier.”

Other assistance options include contacting your unit voting assistance officer with any questions. They can be found on the Kadena sharepoint.

Remember - absentee ballots count. So make sure you complete and send in your state ballot as soon as it arrives. If you don't receive it by Oct. 8, you can use the backup Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.

To find your state's election website for specific information on candidates, elections, contact information, and links to your local election offices, visit FVAP's contact page at

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