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Voter Assistance Officers attend workshop ahead of busy election season

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bob Teichmann
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Airmen and civilians attended a Department of Defense-led Federal Voter Assistance Program workshop here April 24, 2024 to improve Voter Assistance Officers’ readiness to help voters in the 2024 election cycle.
FVAP was formed to administer the responsibilities of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986.  VAOs help educate U.S. citizens worldwide about their voting rights, increase overall voter participation, and dispel misinformation about how and where service members can vote.
“We provide the tools for trainers to go out to their units and help military members be better informed with the voting process,” said Sarah Gooch, DoD FVAP program analyst.
Each unit on base is assigned a primary and alternate VAO. They are ready to answer questions for both new and experienced voters alike.
Gooch emphasized the importance of VAOs being ready to inform potential voters about the importance of this year’s elections. In addition to the president of the United States, 34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 House of Representative seats, Governors in 13 states and three territories and more are all up for grabs.
“People often think they have to physically be in their home state to actually vote,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Devin Lunnon, 49th Force Support Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of command support staff.
Lunnon, a VAO alternate, said his position is a rewarding one. He often gets to interact with service members from various parts of the base, spouses and other civilians and teach them something about voting that they might not know.
The Holloman Voting Assistance Office is located in the Military and Family Readiness Center and can be reached at 575-572-7754.