When Americans go to the polls to vote in November, their history should not be forgotten.  The American national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written on September 14, 1814 by Francis Scott Key, after he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships in the War of 1812.   Key was inspired by the large American flag, flying triumphantly above the fort during the fight and victory.

“And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Many men and women gave not only their time, but their lives to fight and defend American FREEDOM.  In honor of veterans, a number of states offer, a little known program called, “Vote in Honor of Veterans”

CaliforniaColoradoIowaKentuckyLouisianaMaine, Minnesota, NevadaNorth Carolina,  OhioTennesseeVermontWashington

“Honor a Veteran is a program that pays tribute to the sacrifices that veterans have made throughout history to protect our freedoms and our sacred right to vote. We encourage people to honor a loved one or family member who served in the military, by filling out a postcard or making a tribute online at HonorAVet.net. We will then send the honorer and the honoree, if they are still with us, an Honor a Veteran with Your Vote lapel pin, and encourage them to wear it on Election Day.”  Kevin Hull, Office of Iowa Sec of State

“We have received very positive feedback from the veteran’s community. This is just a small way we can say thank you to them. Hundreds of thousands of brave men and women defended our freedoms and our right to choose our representative form of government. We cannot say: ‘thank you’ enough for what they did for us, but we can honor them by participating in our elections.” -Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State

“We often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude and highest appreciation.  We instead, focus on complaining about things like the national debt, when in fact, the biggest debt is that of our veterans who fought and died for the freedom we all enjoy.

Our debt to these heroes can never be repaid but our gratitude and respect can (and must) last forever. Freedom is never free. We owe them a great deal, one that we can honestly never repay.  That’s one of the reasons the Secretary of State’s Office started the Honor Vet Vote program.

One of our most sacred rights is the right to vote.  It’s a right that men and women fought and died for and it should not be taken for granted.  Honor a Vet….Geaux Vote in November….and every Election Day!”  Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler

“Maine’s ‘Vote In Honor of a Veteran’ program seeks to recognize those who have served by asking voters to wear a personalized button when they go to the polls, and to contribute to the memorials on our website.  We are glad to have an opportunity to help Maine residents honor their friends and family members who served our country, particularly while they are exercising one of the most dearly held freedoms for which those service members fought.”  Kristen Schulze Muszynski, Director of Communications, Department of Maine’s Secretary of State

“We receive thank you calls from the family members and friends who nominate the service members upon receiving their pin and viewing their tribute posted, but generally don’t receive calls from the service members themselves.  As we don’t limit the time period of service in order to participate in the program, many of these tributes refer to conflicts sometime prior, and it is often the case that a person’s honored veteran is no longer with us and has passed away.”   Nevada Election Division

“Since Ohio’s Secretary Husted took office, over 15,400 people have gone to our Vote in Honor of a veteran webpage and the site has taken in over 7,400 testimonials. Over 4,400 people have enrolled in the program and cast their vote in honor a veteran.

Although veterans are appreciative of the program, the testimonials we receive are mostly from friends and family members of veterans who are grateful for the opportunity to recognized and remember loved ones.”  Joshua Eck │ Press Secretary, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

“The Vermont Honor a Vet with Your Vote program was established to provide citizens with the opportunity to honor those who have proudly served this country in the military by recognizing their important contributions to keeping our democracy strong and ensuring that we can cast a ballot each Election Day. Vermont voters who would like to honor a Veteran in their life can request a personalized pin and a poster from the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office.”  Elizabeth Ryder, Executive Assistant, VT Secretary of State

“Not only veterans, but family members of veterans are typically excited to learn they are able to share a story of their veteran. Our voters and our veterans are very supportive of the program and find it to be very meaningful. We’ve received great feedback through e-mails and personal phone calls thanking our office for providing a space for our veteran community to share their amazing stories.

If someone submits a story to our website, we send them a Thank You card signed by Secretary of State, Kim Wyman and attached to it is a beautiful lapel pin with the wording  ‘Vote in Honor of a Veteran’.” Marlene White, Washington Voter Education & Outreach Specialist

Now is the time for you to VOTE IN HONOR OF VETERANS in accordance with your state’s deadline. Voting is only opened to registered voters.  “As many as 30,000 of the 300,000 U.S. Citizens living in Israel voted in previous presidential elections.” (Source Article: USA Today, 10/31/2012)

Are you registered to vote in November and “Vote In Honor of Veterans”?   If you submitted your Absentee Ballot Request via the mail, you might not be registered.   It is highly recommend you verify that your Election Official has received your form and there are no problems.

Ballots will be mailed 45 days prior to the November election.  Don’t worry if you do not receive your ballot.   A Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot is an alternative ballot for overseas and uniformed services voters whose ballots are late.

If you have any questions, you can reach Andee Goldman at votingfromabroad@gmail.com or for your Absentee Ballot request.

“Your vote is as powerful as the vote cast by the President of the United States.”  Kenneth Norwich