A dedicated group of former service members and military family members called “We the Veterans and Military Families” is rallying veterans to take an active role in the electoral process.
We the Veterans and Military Families Launches ‘Vet the Vote’ Campaign
“We the Veterans and Military Families” a nonpartisan nonprofit organization is committed to reinforcing the nation’s democratic foundation through civic engagement and cooperation and aims to encourage veterans to serve as poll workers during upcoming elections, a published article reported.
With National Poll Worker Recruitment Day approaching, We the Veterans and Military Families are ramping up its outreach efforts by launching the “Vet the Vote 2023/2024”.
This campaign of We the Veterans and Military Families intends to make strides in educating veterans and military families about the electoral process, fostering trust in the system, and disseminating information about the integrity of U.S. elections.
Ellen Gustafson, the We the Veterans and Military Families executive director, and a Navy spouse, revealed the campaign’s plans, which include a tour of the ballot-processing facility in Maricopa County, Arizona, as well as educational events in New Hampshire, Los Angeles County, and Las Vegas.
Gustafson emphasized the importance of “voting education” to ensure military personnel, veterans, and their families understand and trust the electoral process. She warned against foreign adversaries undermining the nation’s democracy by eroding trust in the electoral system, stressing the need to protect the “hearts and minds” of this trusted group.
We the Veterans and Military Families
In 2022, We the Veterans and Military Families united a coalition of military and veteran organizations for the “Vet the Vote” campaign, resulting in 63,500 veterans and family members volunteering as poll workers during the November elections, Yahoo reported.
This substantial effort helped fill the void left by retirements and pandemic-related absenteeism among older poll workers.
While Gustafson didn’t specify a target number of poll workers for the 2024 elections, she underscored the necessity for states to have a full complement of workers early in the year due to new regulations. This urgency means campaigns like Vet the Vote will have to mobilize early and strongly, especially in states with such rules, like Florida.
We the Veterans and Military Families emphasize that its campaign is apolitical, and it firmly believes that working the polls aligns with the values of service members and veterans, who prioritize civic duty over political affiliation.
Joe Plenzler, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and board member of the organization, highlighted the non-partisan nature of poll work, where discussions of politics are discouraged.
Tina Barton, an elections expert, stressed that election boards need volunteers who believe in the system, especially as many existing poll workers are retirees who face various challenges.