|Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 2, 2017
Secretary of State helps National Guard members request absentee ballots before overseas deployment
CAMP DODGE – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's office helped 155 Iowa Army National Guard members request absentee ballots prior to their overseas deployment. The soldiers represent the 248th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) and are headed to the U.S. Central Command theater of operation, which includes 20 nations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Our soldiers defend our freedoms and our right to vote. They've got our back, so we want to make sure, when it comes to voting, we've got theirs," Secretary Pate said. "These absentee ballot requests will enable Iowa National Guard members to vote in Iowa's elections from anywhere in the world."
The mobilization is expected to last one year. Sendoff ceremonies for the ASB were held in Boone, Davenport, Muscatine and Waterloo on Friday. The entire battalion gathered at Camp Dodge on Saturday for briefings. During those briefings, the Secretary of State's office explained the absentee process for overseas soldiers and distributed ballot request forms to them. These soldiers will be able to participate in Iowa's elections during their deployment, including city elections which take place on Tuesday, November 7.
"The Iowa National Guard greatly appreciates the assistance from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate and his team to ensure our deploying men and women have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote while serving thousands of miles away from home during the 2017 election season," said Col. Greg Hapgood, director of Public Affairs for the Iowa National Guard. "Through the Iowa Secretary of State's efforts, Iowa service members can cast their ballot while defending our freedoms, regardless how far away from home their service takes them."
"I want every eligible Iowan to register to vote and cast a ballot in our elections," Secretary Pate said. "If these soldiers can vote from the other side of the world, there's no reason for Iowans here at home not to participate. My thanks to these troops for everything they do for us, and for showing Iowans how easy it is to be a voter."
Here are links to photos of Iowa Army National Guard soldiers filling out absentee ballot request forms. You are welcome to use these photos:
INDIVIDUAL PHOTOS Sutoyah Preko of Johnston fills out absentee ballot request form Gatlin Meador of Mount Pleasant fills out absentee ballot request form Henry Meza of Windsor Heights and Jorge Montoya of Muscatine