Army, Air Force voting assistance officers need training, says DoD OIG

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Flight deck of the USS Kitty HawkVoting assistance programs across the Defense Department were compliant with the relevant policies regulations and public laws in calendar year 2011, but they could be improved, according to a March 30 report (.pdf) from the DoD Office of Inspector General.

The service-led programs--which are intended to help military and eligible overseas voters register, vote and have their votes counted--are audited yearly and consider staffing, training, material distribution communication and information, and command emphasis. The OIG report found personnel and material distribution to be the area most in need of improvement, however.

For the Army, only 45 percent of voting assistance officers attended a voting assistance workshop in the year prior to the election, the report found. The Air Force also discovered that it didn’t have enough voting officers, not all of them met the minimum grade requirement and come were not trained within 60 days of their appointment.

Sixty-five percent of Army installations had enough voting materials to give newly-assigned personnel, found the OIG. And while the Army and Navy IGs said installation voting assistance programs were not distributing enough voting awareness information, it turns out the services are simply using less traditional means of outreach, notes the DoD OIG.

Army is now implementing Facebook, Twitter and other means to get the word out. Navy is using websites and electronic bulletin boards, but it’s also collaborating with library centers, spouse clubs, commissaries and fleet and family support centers, found the DoD OIG.

For more:
- download the DoD IG report (.pdf)

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