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Contact: Jim Gavin
(Ali Al Saleem Air Force Base, Kuwait) – Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita returned today to Kuwait after visiting troops and military voting representatives at the Bagram Air Force base and Camp Eggers in Afghanistan – his second trip into a combat zone this week. He encouraged all Indiana residents to follow the lead of Hoosier soldiers by registering to vote by the October 6 deadline and going to the polls in November.
During the May 2008 primary in Indiana, voting among military personnel overseas was up more than 500 percent compared to the turnout in the 2006 primary, the last federal election cycle. To date, Hoosiers serving in the military stateside and abroad have requested more than 5,700 ballots for the November election.
"It is obvious that our men and women in uniform are enthusiastic about the upcoming elections and are very informed about the races on the ballot back home,” said Secretary Rokita. “Their level of attention and rate of participation is impressive and inspirational, and I hope to see that same spirit and turnout across Indiana in towns large and small.”
Secretary Rokita was among five secretaries of state invited by the Department of Defense to travel into Iraq and Afghanistan to inspect the absentee ballot process and meet with troops and military voting representatives. The delegation will also visit Landstuhl Air Force Base in Germany before returning home this weekend.
“This has been an encouraging trip for me as a chief election officer to see first-hand the amount of respect for and dedication to the voting process among our troops in the field,” said Secretary Rokita. “In Indiana, we’re doing everything we can to establish the best mechanisms possible to allow our troops to vote and making sure the process is available to every soldier who wants to use it. It is my hope every soldier does use it. From what I’ve observed, commanding officers, support personnel and voting assistance officers here are also very devoted to ensuring the integrity of the process.”
Secretary Rokita is currently in Kuwait and will be available to speak with reporters about his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan via teleconference today at 10:15 a.m. EDT:
Teleconference Dial-in: 1-866-910-4857
As Indiana’s chief election officer and immediate past president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Secretary Rokita has promoted policies and technological innovations necessary to ensure military personnel can vote from overseas. For more information on what his office makes available military and overseas voters, go to http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/pdfs/movg_08.pdf.
Indiana residents can register to vote by October 6 at the office of their county clerk or election board or can download the Voter Registration form at http://www.indianavoters.com/
Media Contact: Jim Gavin, 317.233.8655, firstname.lastname@example.org