Coast Guard leads voting effort with recruits

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May NewsCAPE MAY, N.J. – Coast Guard recruits at Training Center Cape May will be voting in the 2012 Presidential Election using the absentee voting process for military personnel Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Training center staff have either registered or enabled more than 140 recruits to vote in the 2012 Presidential Election using the absentee voting process, which is more than half of the more than 250 recruits in basic training.

“Our future Coast Guardsmen have taken an oath to protect and defend the American people’s right to vote, and we want to ensure they have the opportunity to exercise that right as well even while they’re here at recruit training,” said Capt. Bill Kelly, the commanding officer of Training Center Cape May.

Recruits can vote two ways while they’re in the rigorous training program. First, they can receive an absentee ballot in the mail from their voting district if they were previously registered. However, most recruits vote using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, which allows recruits to write their choices for political candidates and ballot initiatives on a form. The form is sent back to the recruit’s home voting district and counted as part of the general election.

“More than 30 percent of our recruits have some sort of college education, and many of them are anxious to exercise their right to vote,” said Kelly. “The number of recruits we have voting is a testament to the high-quality and patriotism of our future Coast Guardsmen.”

The recruits are given time during the challenging and demanding training schedule to vote using voting workshops during their study hall time. They are allowed to research candidates or ballot initiatives, fill out their absentee forms and actually vote using the absentee voting process. Recruits who receive absentee ballots are given a few minutes each night to fill out the forms and send them back to their voting district.

Training center staff will be administering the last voting workshop for the recruits Friday at 10:30 a.m. where Recruit Company Hotel 187 will be casting their votes in the 2012 Presidential Election.

 

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