Nov. 3 marks the final day to vote in the 2020 election cycle.
Voting is our civic duty, and participation at high rates encourages lawmakers to support the needs of servicemembers and veterans, their families, and survivors when in office. As a nonpartisan organization, MOAA does not support or endorse candidates or political parties, but we do support participation in elections by seeking to break down barriers to the voting process and supporting our members in making informed decisions.
An added complexity we face in this election year is the expected delay in announcing the winners in some races. Unofficial results have been released on election night in recent years, but the increase in absentee ballots means we could hear unofficial results for some races days or weeks later.
Regardless of when unofficial results are announced, states do not certify their official winners in the presidential race until Dec. 14, with a final Electoral College count. This enables a joint session of Congress to officially declare a president and vice president on Jan. 6, 2021.
And regardless of election outcomes or delays, a lot of work must be accomplished before the 116th Congress concludes. This includes passage of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and federal appropriations legislation, all of which has been pushed until after the elections.
[NDAA ACTION ITEMS: Stop Cuts to Military Medicine | Expand Benefits for Tens of Thousands of Vietnam Veterans]
With a possible government shutdown Dec. 11 which could precipitate a stoppage in Coast Guard pay, and many MOAA priorities at stake, failure to negotiate a fiscal year 2021 budget (or extend a Continuing Resolution) and passage of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act would be detrimental to servicemembers and their families.
We must stay focused on the vision, mission and values of our association – put succinctly, to Never Stop Serving and advocating on behalf of America’s uniformed services, veterans, their families and surviving spouses.