Legionnaires called upon to volunteer where needed

Legionnaires called upon to volunteer where needed

The Nov. 3 election is certain to be complicated and busy. American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford is urging members of the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans to offer their services as volunteers at polls and precincts and to call upon citizens to exercise their right to vote.

“In some states, voter registration is accepted right up to the election, and citizens may need help with that,” Oxford said in support of the national “Veteran Votes Count” campaign now underway. “Others require earlier registration, but it’s likely that no matter the registration deadline, volunteers will be needed at polling places across the land to assist in the process. Legionnaires have helped encourage active voter participation in their communities for a century, so this is familiar territory for our organization. This year’s election, however, is certain to be more complicated than in the past, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and more help than usual may be needed.”

Oxford said members who have not already volunteered to help and would like to are encouraged to contact their local election officials to see what roles they can play. The national commander added that some veterans and their families may need rides, child care or other forms of assistance to cast their ballots.

“Now is a great time for posts to use their Buddy Check lists to contact veterans in their communities to see if they need help understanding the voting process – which stands to be different in many places, due to the pandemic – and to see if there are any other needs The American Legion can fulfill for them. Buddy Checks have proven to be extremely valuable this year for posts who want – and need – to assist veterans with groceries, errands, transportation and to emotional well-being.”

Oxford added that Legionnaires should wear face coverings when assisting veterans in person and abide by local directives to maintain social distance where they apply.

“Veteran Votes Count,” an American Legion initiative, encourages members of the organization and their families to act on their hard-won democratic rights and fully participate in the general election Nov. 3.