The State of Ohio has a long history of dedicated service in our country’s military. Ohioans have participated in every major conflict involving the United States of America from the American Revolution through present day. Currently, more than 45,000 Ohioans serve in all branches of our military around the world, with an additional 860,000 veterans residing in the state. Ohio is also home to many large military installations such as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Camp Perry Joint Training Center.
Ohio is a leader in working to improve the accessibility of voting to our service members. In August 2011, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced the Military Ready-to-Vote (MRV) program, an initiative creating a one-stop shop for military voters regardless of where they are stationed across the nation or around the world. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office helps ensure service members can register to vote, receive their ballots, get information on issues and candidates and verify their completed ballots are received and counted by the county board of elections.
Through the MRV program website, www.OhioMilitaryVotes.com and the MRV brochure, service members have the guidance and materials they need to be able to participate successfully in the election process. This unique statewide program also allows for service members to be fully briefed on military voting on the local level prior to leaving the state.
The Ohio Secretary of State’s office continues to work with the Ohio National Guard, Ohio Department of Veterans Services, various military support organizations such as Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and local veterans affairs offices to ensure that service members have easy access to the MRV program. Hundreds of Ohioans serving across the world have requested MRV materials and the number of service members participating is steadily growing.
The Ohio Secretary of State’s office also encourages all Ohioans to honor these service members by participating in the “Vote in Honor of a Veteran” program. Participants receive a special pin to wear on Election Day and can leave an on-line testimonial for why they are voting in honor of a special veteran in their lives.
Members of the military make great sacrifices to protect our right to vote. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office is dedicated to ensuring their voices will be heard on Election Day.