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Contact: Jim Gavin
(Camp Arifjhan, Kuwait) – Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has just completed an election oversight mission to Baghdad, Iraq, and Balad Air Force Base in Iraq where he witnessed first hand how soldiers in the battlefield are preparing to cast their votes this election season.
The Department of Defense invited Secretary Rokita to travel within the battle theatre of our nation’s war on terror to meet with troops and military voting representatives. Secretary Rokita was chosen based on his national leadership in promoting the availability of the vote to troops overseas. He recently served a term as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and made military and overseas voting a priority focus area of his term.
Secretary Rokita was joined on the trip to Iraq by current NASS President and Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes and the secretaries of state from California, Florida and Mississippi. This is the first time the Department of Defense has invited secretaries of state to travel to the area of operation (AOR) to observe the absentee ballot process.
"This is a historic opportunity to tell our nation’s heroes, face to face, how important it is that they have the right and the means to vote and that their vote is important,” said Secretary Rokita. “Because the Department of Defense arranged this landmark trip, I've had the opportunity to hear directly from Hoosier soldiers how the voting process has worked so far. It is evident our military is committed to promoting the vote here by having well-trained voting assistance officers in place to help troops through the process.”
While in Iraq meeting with troops, Secretary Rokita took part in the taping of public service announcements to be broadcast worldwide on the Armed Forces Network.
Secretary Rokita’s trip to Iraq coincides with the approach of the October 6th deadline for all Hoosiers to register to vote. He reminds Hoosiers that they should register at the office of their county clerk or election board or go to http://www.indianavoters.com/ to download the Voter Registration form.
“Through this experience, I’m reminded of what makes our nation and our state so great,” said Secretary Rokita. “Our right as citizens to vote is our most fundamental freedom and ensures the strength of our republic. My office and the local election officials across Indiana are dedicated to ensuring that the process is available to each and every Hoosier who wishes to participate no matter their situation. And Hoosiers should take the time to exercise the right that our military members continue to protect.”
For broadcast quality footage and hi resolution photos of the tour, contact Nan Clarke with DVIDS Digital Video & Distribution System at (678) 421-6778 , call the DVIDS Media Hotline at (678) 421-6612 or go to http://www.dvidshub.net/.
Media Contact: Jim Gavin, 317.233.8655, firstname.lastname@example.org