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NEWS | Sept. 8, 2021

What JBSA tech school students need to know about voting

By Monty Marsolf 802nd Force Support Squadron Community Readiness Specialist

The right to vote is precious, and many Americans have given their lives for us to have that right.

All technical school students throughout Joint Base San Antonio should be ready and able to vote in any election they are eligible to vote in.

An election does not need to be a presidential election to be important. It may be a hometown election with a proposition to change the city charter, to increase property taxes, or to elect new judges.

Each of these ballot items is important, and it’s recommended students take action now to be able to vote in the next election. Voting jurisdictions require residents to be registered to vote approximately 30 to 45 days prior to an election.

So how does one ensure they are registered to vote?

Tech school students need to complete the Standard Form 76, Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application, or FPCA, date the form, sign the form with an actual signature, and then mail that SF 76 to their hometown’s local election office.

Even if already registered to vote and think you will be home by Election Day to vote in person, it’s better to send in the form after obtaining a new address where you are located (assuming you are not interested in changing your state of legal residence).

While you are still on active duty, it’s a great idea to submit an FPCA in January of each year, so that your voting office can annotate your file and know where to send your absentee ballot.

An FPCA can be obtained from the squadron Unit Voting Assistance Officer, or UVAO, or online at the Federal Voting Assistance Program, or FVAP, website.

You can fill in the SF76 on the FVAP.gov website, but you must print out the completed form so that you can sign it with a “wet” signature before mailing it in. Key voting information is readily available at FVAP.gov.

People may have heard of the Standard Form 186, Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, or FWAB, and wonder what that is used for. The FWAB is used by registered voters who have not received their absentee ballots with enough time to complete and mail them in to meet the state deadline for absentee ballot return.

Some states require FWABs to be received on or before an election date. Check with the local UVAO for assistance.

Americans may have only one voting residence. For many Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Guardians, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who just arrived at JBSA, whether it’s for Basic Military Training or their initial tech school, their voting location is most likely where their home of record is, which is where they lived immediately prior to entering the military). To change a state of residency, then get with your unit’s UVAO for assistance.

For tech school members at JBSA-Lackland, the Tech Training Airman Readiness Element, or TTARE, office at building 5616, room 106, can help with a variety of voting-related assistance requests.

The JBSA Military & Family Readiness Centers maintain the Installation Voting Assistance Offices, or IVAOs.

At JBSA-Lackland, the IVAO is located at the Military & Family Readiness Center, 2160 Kenly Ave., building 1249. It can be reached at 210-671-3723 or lackland.vote@us.af.mil.

At JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the IVAO is at the Military & Family Readiness Center, 3060 Stanley Road, building 2797, and can be reached at 210-221-8683 or by email at usaf.jbsa.502-abw.mbx.502-fss-votingassistance@mail.mil.

At JBSA-Randolph, the Military & Family Readiness Center IVAO is located at 555 F Street West, building 693, and can be reached at 210-652-5321 or randolph.vote@us.af.mil.