Voting made easy through Columbus AFB voting assistance office

  • Published
  • By Airman Hannah Bean
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Voting is an essential part of society, providing citizens the ability to voice their opinions and choose the leaders of tomorrow.

It’s a fundamental right and privilege every citizen has in the U.S.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program works to ensure service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so from anywhere in the world.

“I think it’s important to make people aware of their right to vote,” said James Brady, 14th Force Support Squadron community readiness specialist and installation voting assistance officer (IVAO). “It’s also important to ensure they know they can continue to vote even though they’re displaced from their home that they’d typically vote at.”

There are 34 voting officers on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. Two of those officers are an IVAO and an alternate IVAO, with the remaining 32 assigned to various units across base as Unit Voting Assistance Officers (UVAO).

These officers are tasked with ensuring residents understand their right to vote and are aware of the various tools and resources available to them.

“People get confused on where they’re supposed to vote, whether it’s at their new base or from their home state,” said 2nd Lt. Nicolette Hallmark, 14th Civil Engineer Squadron community planner and UVAO. “The Voting Assistance Office (VAO) is their single point of contact that helps simplify the process of voting and registration with the right knowledge and information they need. By utilizing the VAOs and asking questions, people gain easy access to the information and forms needed.”

Though federal election years have a large effect on the voting community and activity, elections are happening across the country every year.

“Though each state varies, we can help connect you with your home state,” Hallmark said. “We have easy access to that information and can get you what you need. If they ever have questions, they can contact us.”

Brady said everybody is entitled to have opinions. He noted it’s easy to say, ‘What’s my one vote going to mean? It’s not going to make a difference.’

“That’s not true. There’s been a lot of decisions made in recent years in where very few numbers did make a big difference,” Brady said. “If you took a couple thousand people that have that mentality, it would majorly affect an election. No matter what your opinion is, whether you’re with the majority or minority, you at least voiced your opinion and you can walk away feeling good about it.”

Earlier this year Brady was recognized as the Voting Assistance Officer of the first quarter for the Department of Defense.

“Mr. Brady has done a phenomenal job keeping us on track,” Hallmark said. “He’s really on top of stuff and makes our job easier. He arms us with the capability, training and information on how to help Team BLAZE members.”

For more information and/or questions on voter registration, call (662) 434-2701/2790 or email You can also visit