Is “absentee voting” allowed in the VFW?
A Member Asks… I belong the the VFW Post in my hometown. I have been a member (former Jr Vice) for many years. I am currently on Active Duty in Washington DC. My dues are current. Can I vote in the up-coming April elections by mail/letter?
And the Judge says….Sorry, the answer is “No”. While your service is to be commended, as is your continued membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, our National Bylaws and Manual of Procedure specifically require that all votes be cast by “Members present”, even if pre-printed ballots are used.
My guess is that you have a strong interest in the outcome of the election, otherwise you would not have asked the question. There is nothing to prohibit you from writing to comrade members and asking them to support and elect the candidate you support. For that matter, you can always write a letter to the candidate and authorize him or her to cite your support. That’s about the only suggestion I can offer at this point.
For your convenience, I have reproduced the two applicable sections of the current Manual of Procedure which cite the regulations.
Thanks again for your service and interest in the business of your Post!
Section 217 – (Excerpt) Election. Post officers shall be elected in April. Balloting for Post officers may be conducted by open vote or written secret ballot (handwritten or printed) at a regular Post meeting, or, if required by Post By-Laws or authorized by Post vote prior to the opening of nominations, by a poll system and preprinted ballot. Absentee ballots and proxy votes are prohibited. …
…Poll System and Preprinted Ballot. The Post shall determine where and during what hours the polls shall be open for members in good standing to cast their vote; and shall determine the procedure for tallying the votes; and the procedure to be followed in the event of a tie. Due notice of any election to be conducted pursuant to poll system and
preprinted ballot, including the time and place for voting, shall be provided to members in good standing within reasonable time prior to the date of the election. That notice shall contain the names of the candidates. The preprinted ballot shall have a space or spaces for write-in candidates. The candidate receiving the greater number of votes cast shall be the winner.
Sec. 221—Voting. In the conducting of Post elections or other routine business, each Post member in good standing present at the meeting shall be entitled to one vote. In the case of an election by pre-printed ballot each member in good standing shall be entitled to cast one ballot during the hours of balloting determined by vote of the Post as outlined in Section 217 of the Manual of Procedure. Voting may only be accomplished by members in attendance at a meeting or if the printed ballot is used by members presenting themselves and casting their ballot during the specified hours for balloting.