There's help to exercise your right to vote

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Karen Castillo
  • 81st Training Wing voting advocacy director
Keesler's installation voter assistance office is here to help you exercise the very right you protect -- your right to vote! We can help you register to vote, request an absentee ballot and notify your local election officials back home of a change of address. These services can be very helpful, especially if you're making a permanent change of station, deploying, separating or retiring.

Federal post card application -- The FPCA can be used to register to vote while simultaneously requesting an absentee ballot. It can also be used to submit a change of address to your local election officials. You can now go online to and use the FPCA Wizard that will help you register, request your absentee ballot and/or change your address while providing you with all state-specific information and requirements to vote.

Federal write-in absentee ballot -- The FWAB can be used as a backup in case you have already registered to vote or sent in an FPCA to both register and request your absentee ballot, but you haven't received your absentee ballot from your state yet. Like the FPCA, you can go online to fill in the FWAB at and use the FWAB Wizard that will help you to vote in federal elections, even filling inyour candidate choices based on your state of residence.

Both the FPCA and FWAB Wizards will provide you with a filled-in form. All you have to do is print, sign and date it and return it to your election official via the directions provided. Some states allow you to fax, and/or e-mail your signed form if you make a PDF and scan it to your computer. National mail voter registration form -- If you're separating or retiring, you'll need to advise your local election official that you'll no longer be considered a military voter. The NVRF can then be used to notify your local election officer of your address change.

For more information or assistance, visit the base vote assistance office, Room 113D, Sablich Center; email, call 376-5836 or log on to

Group representatives are also available to assist you:

81st Training Wing Staff Agencies -- 228-376-8129.

81st Medical Group -- 228-365-4965.

81st Mission Support Group -- 228-376-6370.

81st TRW and 81st Training Group -- 228-377-3774.

There are also unit voting assistance officers in your squadron ready to help.