Elections

Voting by mail is nothing new for military service members. Deployed worldwide at any of the nearly 800 foreign bases, military personnel are offered some exceptions during the elections. Some vote by fax from a battleship, and many sent their ballots weeks ago, after receiving them earlier than most voters, at least 45 days before the election. 

San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu stands in a warehouse filled with supplies for the 2020 election.
Mike Damron / KPBS

Military personnel have been voting by mail since the Civil War. This year, some polls suggest that troops' political preferences may be changing.

Members of the Colorado National Guard help monitor network traffic and advise the Secretary of State's office during the Nov. 2018 election. The Guard is once again helping protect elections against cyberattack in 2020.
Darin Overstreet / Colorado National Guard

More than 30 states have asked the National Guard to help safeguard the 2020 election from cyber threats.

Kristin Backlund, whose husband is an Air Force ROTC instructor, holds her Alaska absentee ballot. She says obtaining and completing it was a complicated process.
Sarah Harris / American Homefront

A new study suggests military spouses vote much less than servicemembers, and they may not be getting the help they need to cast their votes.

Congressional candidates MJ Hegar (right) and Gina Ortiz Jones speak at the LBJ Presidential Library in June. Both are military veterans seeking their first political office.
Jay Godwin / LBJ Library

Veterans now make up less than 20 percent of Congress, compared with about 75 percent in the 1960s. Some high-profile candidates are trying to reverse that trend.

Navy Lt. Jessica Vaeth assists fellow sailors on the Navy assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard register for absentee ballots for the 2016 election.
Jeanette Mullinax / U.S. Navy

In 2000, the Florida ballots of overseas service members were a key point of controversy in the contested Bush vs. Gore election.  Now, 16 years later, little has changed for most overseas troops, who still vote absentee mostly through international mail.