Honoring Those Who Protect Our Right to Vote
Matt Schultz
Secretary of State
State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319
Iowa Secretary of State Seal
WEBSITE: sos.iowa.gov
E-MAIL: sos@sos.iowa.gov
Chance McElhaney, (515) 725-2942

Honoring Those Who Protect Our Right to Vote
by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz

On November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day. In 1938, the Congress declared November 11 to be a federal holiday to honor veterans of World War I. Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to honor veterans from all wars. Today, we continue to honor veterans and give thanks to the brave men and women currently in uniform serving our country.

While each year we set aside Veterans Day to honor veterans, our heroes deserve our thoughts, prayers and support each and every day.

Through my Honor a Veteran with Your Vote program, I invite every Iowan to share stories of loved ones and friends that have served or are currently serving in our armed forces. It's because of the sacrifices veterans have made that we have our precious right to vote.

This online memorial is available at http://sos.iowa.gov/HonorAVeteran. After a message is posted, my office will send you a lapel pin, signifying your willingness to cast your ballot in honor of a veteran. Hopefully wearing your pin will strike up a conversation about honoring veterans with a friend, classmate or co-worker on Election Day or any time you proudly wear your pin and more people will be encouraged to pay tribute to family or friends who serve.

Because of these veterans and their sacrifices, it is important that military men and women have as many avenues as possible to cast a ballot. Before I became Iowa's Secretary of State, only soldiers stationed overseas in “imminent danger pay areas” were able to return their ballot by email or fax. That was just plain unacceptable.

I fixed the problem by allowing all active duty military members stationed outside the U.S. and its territories to return their ballots electronically. There is no reason that those protecting our right to vote should not be able to exercise that right simply because their duties take them far away from home.

We owe our veterans and active duty military personnel a deep debt of gratitude. As long as I am Iowa's Secretary of State, this office will continue to make sure their votes get counted.

Again, thank you to all veterans. We would not have the right to vote or our other rights without your faithful service. May God bless you every day, but especially on Veterans Day.