Count US In and "Ruck The Vote" -- Recruits Military Voters

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Count US In attempts to inspire the active duty military to vote in the upcoming elections by announcing the formation of this year's message: RUCK THE VOTE. This message is spread on the website as well as on t-shirts which are given away free to active duty military who participate on the website. Count US In seeks to be a resource to enhance absentee voting throughout the service men and women.

It is a "military operation" of sorts. The objective: to increase the percentage of active duty and reserve personnel who vote--and the "company colors" will fly the banner "Ruck the Vote."

The mission is undertaken by Count US In, a non-profit, non-partisan organization tasked with facilitating and improving the absentee ballot process and serving as an educational and reference resource for the military and their families.

"We wanted a tag line that was immediately recognizable as military," said Count US In founder Lt. Colonel Don Johnson, U.S. Army (ret.). "Nothing epitomizes the sharp end of the stick better than a ruck. Everyone in the military knows what a rucksack is," he said, referring to the backpack issued in most branches of the military. "Even the Navy guys have seen the Marines wear them," Johnson added, tongue firmly in cheek.

"Ruck the Vote" T-Shirts, featuring a powerful graphic depiction that delivers the military vote message are being sold to raise funds for Count US In, and are also being given away free to military personnel who participate by sending photos to the group's website:

While Count US In supports the efforts of groups like the National Defense Committee who are working for legislation to facilitate military voting and to make sure absentee military votes are counted, the organization's primary focus is increasing the number of military personnel and their families who take part in the election process--from selecting the next Commander-in-Chief to country commissioners and the local school board. While absentee voting has gotten easier for most Americans, the process is cumbersome and unreliable for the hyper-mobile, active duty personnel and their families who may be deployed to various bases around the country or around the world.

"First and foremost, it is important to get our active duty military personnel to understand and utilize the existing process to cast their ballot and to assure that vote counts," Johnson said, "'Ruck the Vote' will help us deliver that message."


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Marilyn DeMartini
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