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In this infographic from the process and eligibility requirements to become President of the United States are presented.

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Get prepared now, vote Nov. 8 in the presidential election

28 Jul 2016 | Adele Uphaus-Conner Marine Corps Base Quantico

“Marines should vote simply for the fact that we’re afforded the freedom,” said 1st Lt. Talia Bastien, MCINCR-MCBQ G-1 adjutant and Installation voting assistance officer (IVAO) for Marine Corps Base Quantico. “As Marines, we protect people’s liberties and the right to vote is one of our most basic freedoms.”

She said that it’s wrong to feel that one’s vote does not matter.

“Your vote absolutely matters,” she said. “We have no right to complain if we don’t vote.”

As voting officer, Bastien’s job is to report on and disseminate information to the military and civilian voting populations aboard base. She liaises with headquarters and the MCBQ unit voting assistance officers (a list of which can be found at: to ensure that their programs are ready and to offer supplemental training.

“Basically, it’s raising awareness and encouraging everyone to vote,” she said.

There is still plenty of time before Election Day—Tuesday, Nov. 8—for Marines and their families to register to vote. Deadlines to register vary by state but some will allow registration up to voting day itself. Service members and families can find information about their state’s deadlines at the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website:

The easiest way for service members and their families to vote is by absentee ballot, Bastien said. The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is the first step in registering to vote and obtaining an absentee ballot. It can be downloaded at the FVAP website or picked up in person aboard base from Bastien in Lejeune Hall, 3250 Catlin Ave.

Service members should register at their last place of residence or legal U.S. residence. They do not need to have any current physical ties to that address. The state will send an absentee ballot to the Marines’ current address. And if it doesn’t arrive before Election Day, there is an emergency back-up: the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which can also be completed electronically at the FVAP website.

Unit voting officers can also help military spouses register to vote and obtain their ballots. Bastien said that everyone over the age of 18 is eligible to vote and should register. She said that Marines and most civilian workers will be given time off from their duties to vote.

“Employers and commands will make accommodations so everyone can exercise their right to vote,” she said.

Bastien said that while service members are strongly encouraged to vote, they should refrain from talking about politics and political preferences while in uniform. If a political conversation does come up, the Marine should make sure whoever is listening knows that he or she is speaking as a private individual and not as a member of the Marine Corps.

“Marines are still people, but at the end of the day, regardless of who is commander in chief, we obey orders and exercise our duties because that’s what Marines do best,” Bastien said.

Voting Resources:

Federal Voting Assistance Program:

MCBQ Voter Assistance:

Installation Voting Assistance Officer: or 703/784-2106
Marine Corps Base Quantico