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Voting: At the base, national level

Voting booth attendants show Tech. Sgt. Rebekah Virtue voting literature at the Spouses' Club Spring Bazaar March 27, 2010, Eielson Air Force Base. The booth attendants were available to get people registered to vote and answer any questions they might have. Sergeant Virtue is a 354th Medical Group Family Practice NCO in charge.(U.S. Air Force photo by/Airman 1st Class Janine Thibault)

Voting booth attendants show Tech. Sgt. Rebekah Virtue voting literature at the Spouses' Club Spring Bazaar March 27, 2010, Eielson Air Force Base. The booth attendants were available to get people registered to vote and answer any questions they might have. Sergeant Virtue is a 354th Medical Group Family Practice NCO in charge.(U.S. Air Force photo by/Airman 1st Class Janine Thibault)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Serving in the Air Force as an Airman is a role that merits pride. It allows people to contribute to this country in a unique way. Past and present Airmen have taken their place in society supporting the United States, but we must not forget one of the most basic rights and methods to stay involved, voting.

Voting is one of the ways service members remain connected, as well as involved, in the community.

The closest opportunity to vote is now. Airmen Committed to Excellence are looking for new officers. The election starts today and ends May 1. Everyone can take advantage of this opportunity.

"It is not just Airmen E-1 through E-4 voting for you and it is not confined to members of ACE, it can be enlisted members through officers," said Senior Airman Raven Taylor, the 354th Medical Group medical technician and vice president of ACE.

The positions available include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, volunteer coordinator, and activities coordinator.

Candidates will send emails to gain the support of other Airmen on Eielson. The elections will be conducted solely by email. Once the voter chooses their candidate, they must send a positive reply. All that is left is for the tally to reveal the next ACE officials.

"I think we have put our name out there so more people are aware of ACE but still we need to promote the committee because ACE is for us. It would be awesome if we got a high amount of participation. I do think there will be more involvement in the election," said Senior Airman Taylor.

After the elections the newly elected ACE officers will shadow the officer that previously held their title so they can start their term with the ability pick up where the last team left off.

It is important that Eielson's Airmen vote and chose a candidate that will work at a good pace for ACE. The elected members set the pace and direction for the committee.

On the national scale, it is also time for primary elections.

Primary elections are important because they determine the candidates from each political party that will run for office in the final general election.

People may feel they are left with candidates they would not want but their participation in earlier primary elections could have possibly influenced the choice for general elections.

This year is a federal mid-term election year meaning it is in the middle of the U.S. President's four year term. Due to this fact, elections are occurring in every state.

Just because Airmen are located outside their state of residence they should not get left out of the voting process. Absentee voting allows them to actively participate.

"Requesting an absentee ballot is relatively painless. It is a small investment in your time in order for you to exercise a hard fought right to govern yourself. You have a responsibility and the authority as a citizen and an Airman to assist in our government by choosing which elected officials you want to govern our country. It is important to stay informed on what is going on with both local and national politics so you can make intelligent decisions on whom and what to vote for or against," said Major Erick Wallman, the 354th Operations Support Squadron director of operations.

It is a high priority to participate in the base and government elections. As Airmen, any chance to influence offices both on a large and small level are highly encouraged.

"All elections affect Airmen. We have a unique government in the United States, where we select representatives to govern us. Everyone who is eligible to vote should vote in any election they can. Get a sample ballot before you vote and research the candidates, their positions and voting records, and any ballot measures. Vote, vote frequently and vote intelligently," said Major Wallman.