Voting at West Point

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jerseyboy, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. jerseyboy

    jerseyboy New Member

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    After this election, it crossed my mind if cadets at West Point vote as a resident of their home state or of NY? I will (hopefully) be a plebe for the 2020 election and was wondering if I was supposed to register at West Point since I will be living there for the next 4 years
     
  2. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    absentee ballot in home state i would imagine
     
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  3. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Cadets/mids typically vote absentee. With states moving to mail-in and even internet-based voting, it’s really not an issue. I mailed my DD her ballot in mid-October, she submitted it directly on the 31st, it arrived by Election Day. Just register to vote before leaving for college.
     
  4. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    my DS in TX requested ballot online
     
  5. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    Military members have the choice where to maintain their legal residence. This may or may not be where they are actually living. As a cadet at West Point, your legal residence will most likely be where you entered from and where your parents live. Once you join the Army, more options open. Military members mostly vote absentee and there are usually support staff at all post that help this process.
     
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  6. shock-n-awe

    shock-n-awe Member

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    DS 21 is registered to vote in our home state and has been voting absentee
     
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  7. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Most servicepeople that I have known maintain their registration to vote with their Home Of Record and Drivers License (most often same state). This is allowed by law and is generally much better than having to change all of these things with every PCS move. One possible exception is if the military manages to move you to a low-tax state, it is often a chance to use Voter Registration + Drivers License to try to establish residency for later on when you PCS to a less tax-friendly place. I never did this myself but my son has and it has been an advantage for him.
     
  8. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    While I'm thinking about it, the mids/cadets/servicepeople NEED to request the ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) as his both registers them and gets the ballot sent to them. The system exists to send military ballots to military members. You cannot do this for them and it is not the same as sending them a "regular" absentee ballot.
     
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  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    There is always a command voting officer assigned, and buried in cadet and midshipman emails is the guidance for obtaining an absentee ballot.

    I voted absentee my entire military career. Home of Record (place from which I entered the military) was GA; state of legal residence became FL (no state income tax) after a tour of duty there. Voted absentee from Florida from all over the world.

    Cadets and mids learn all about the strategies for this as junior officers. They can be military non-residents in a state, while on AD orders, and hence not subject to income tax there. Each state also has various rules on drivers’ licenses. It’s not unusual for an AD person to have HOR in one state, legal residence in another, a driver’s license from a past duty station and a car with plates from the immediate last duty station. Always let the law enforcement officer who has stopped you see both your driver’s license and military ID, so they immediately grasp why nothing seems to match up.
     
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  10. New@This

    New@This Member

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    A cadet at a SA would go through the same process to request an absentee ballot as any college student who is living outside of his registered precinct. I have 2 sons in college. DS1 voted absentee ballot via USPS. DS2 voted with the election commissioner when he was home on spring break.

    DS2 goes to school in same state as registered precinct (our home). In our state he had the option of switching his registration to his college precinct. He would have been able to vote on all the state races but is in a different congressional district and would not be able to vote for any of the local officials/issues. He opted to vote early so he could vote on the school board and local sales tax initiative.
     
  11. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    NO! This is bad information
    As Capt MJ said, follow the guidance of the command voting assistance office. There is a process to follow in the military and it is normally not the same as civilian college.
     
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  12. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    All good information here. Military actively encourages service members to vote , and dedicates resources to assist them. Who else has as much at stake from the actions of the elected officials ?

    "State of legal residence" is a legal determination, and requirements vary from state. It is generally described by "intent", i.e. where do you intend to live when you leave the service. It is not necessarily your " home of record." I was informed by a sharp young First Class Petty Officer in the NAS Pensacola PSD that I wanted to become a Florida resident when I showed up for NFO training. She had detailed instructions for me ... change voter registration, vehicle registration , drivers license , and go down to the Courthouse and sign an Affidavit swearing allegiance to Escambia County (OK, might be a bit of a stretch there, but signed and recorded something in the County Courthouse). That was the best advice I ever received -- no taxes and cheap vehicle registration for the duration of my service. I have always wondered how many service members vote absentee in place like Pensacola, Jacksonville, etc. and how that skews the voting results.
     
  13. THParent

    THParent Member

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    "The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP.gov) encourages the use of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to start the absentee voting process as it is standardized for use across all States and will extend your eligibility to receive a ballot for all federal elections for at least one calendar year. The FPCA acts as both a registration and absentee ballot request form. We encourage our military voters to submit a new FPCA every year and when they move."

    You can find your unit's voter assistance office HERE.
     
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  14. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Remember that elections are run at the state level, and that includes federal elections. Each state sets its own procedures for absentee ballots, out-of-state college students, internet-based voting. So while each SA will encourage cadets/mids to vote and can support them, how a cadet/mid actually does so will be state-specific.
     
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  15. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    Yup. “Ummm.... you have a TX driver’s license with a KY address but you live in NY????”
    It also befuddles the Canadian border police when driving back and forth.

    BTW, thankfully the same residency and tax laws now apply to spouses. I really tired of getting a new driver’s license with each move. “Yeah, my third trip to the DMV in 5 years.”
     
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  16. New@This

    New@This Member

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    My bad, sorry. I didn't think the military postcard applied while a cadet was in school.