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Voting laws updated for 2010 election

All active-duty military and civilian employees voting in this year’s upcoming election should be aware that voting laws for 2010 have been subject to some significant changes. One of the changes made this year is that service members, including those deployed overseas, can only use the Federal Post Card Application and not state registration and absentee ballot application forms to register to vote. The FPCA is a form provided by federal law to permit members of the U.S. armed forces, civilian employees and their family members to request a ballot to vote early by mail. The application provides specific federal rights that the state forms do not, said Maria Ruiz, unit voting officer, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “Although there have been a few changes to the voting laws this year, the voters on base are very committed in their right to vote and will work with the voting assistance officers to ensure that this election year goes as smooth as possible,” said Ruiz. In addition to the new laws, voters will no longer automatically receive ballots from absentee ballot applications submitted in previous years. Military voters should submit a new FPCA every year and every time they move, deploy or redeploy overseas. Overseas civilian voters should also submit an application before every federal election. For more information about voter registration, contact your unit’s voting assistance officer or log onto and review the Voting Assistance Guide for more details.

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