2018 Midterm Elections: Military Family Must-Knows About Voting

The 2018 midterm election day is just around the corner, and with everyone from Kayne to Taylor Swift weighing in on their political preferences, we want to make sure you have every chance to register and cast your vote on November 6.

If you’re not registered, your window to do so is quickly closing. Find out the when’s and how-to’s in your state. Deadlines to register in Alaska and Rhode Island have already passed, and a few others are close.

Want to vote early? Some states allow that—see if yours is on the list.

Because you’re not always living in the state where you’re registered, military spouse, service members, and eligible family members are allowed to vote via absentee ballot–which means you vote by mailing in your ballot instead of going to a poll location. But you’ll need to request a ballot first…here’s how.

As military families, we’ve been briefed on the do’s and don’ts regarding political campaigns—the Department of Defense (DoD) even has well-defined directives for Armed Forces members:

  • No marching or riding in political parades.
  • No display of partisan political signs at one’s residence in military housing.
  • Don’t wear your uniform to, or be an official Armed Forces representative at, any partisan political event.
  • Don’t speak before any partisan event or gathering that promotes a specific cause or candidate.

Sounds limiting, doesn’t it? DoD explains there are things service members CAN do:

  • Register to vote.
  • Express your personal opinion about candidates…just not as a representative of the Armed Forces.
  • Display political bumper stickers on your personal vehicle (but nothing bigger).
  • Attend partisan events, rallies, or other activities as a spectator not in uniform.

Though none of these rules apply to military spouses or family members, it’s smart to consider what you do and don’t share, participate in, and identify with.

Many elections in our nation’s history have been decided by a margin smaller than 1%. From presidential elections to legislative elections, every vote matters. And if it wasn’t a margin of less than 1%, it sure was close.

Your vote could sway history. We hope you rock the vote on November 6!

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