E Pluribus Unum: From many comes one

  • Published
  • By Capt. Brian Burnham
  • 36th MSS Military Personnel Flight commander
E Pluribus Unum is a Latin phrase found on the back of many coins and the Great Seal of the United States. It means, "From many comes one" or "One from many." Our many states, all different and unique, are united as one great country, and from this unity comes our great strength.

Our diversity and united strength is never more apparent than when we elect our government. Whatever our political affiliations are, we come together and vote. And regardless of the outcome, power is transferred and we go forward as a united country. Electing a representative government was the core of American Independence. This is the essence of being an American and a privilege that many Americans have fought and died for in order to preserve.

As military members it is our duty to take part in this great tradition and ensure that we participate in electing the officials that create the policies and laws of our great nation. Military members stationed overseas are not excluded from voting, in fact, it is highly encouraged and relatively easy for all of us to cast our ballet. Through the absentee ballot system, military members can cast their votes and affect the outcome of elections. More and more, close elections are decided only after all absentee ballots are collected and counted. Oversea voters impact local, gubernatorial, representative, and presidential elections. As recently as 2000, absentee ballots had a direct impact on electing the President of the United States.

The process for oversea military members to request an absentee ballot and vote is extremely easy. First, you register through your State of record. Then request an absentee ballot be sent to your local address. Approximately 45 days prior to the election, ballots are mailed. You vote your choices, sign the ballot, and return it to your home county where the vote is counted.

Assistance can be found online at www.fvap.gov or stop by the military personnel flight to get the registration and absentee ballot request form. Ballet post cards and information are available in the Wing commander's support section of the MPF, building 23008, room 2A. November 2008 is a presidential election year. Register early to vote in primaries and help elect the 44th President. You can make a difference. Vote!