American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford is reiterating his call for members of the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans to apply their Buddy Check skills and programs to help “get out the vote” on Nov. 3.
“The American Legion’s 100-year-old Get Out the Vote program has educated and assisted millions of citizens over the years, advancing the principles of freedom, justice and democracy for generations,” Oxford explained. “The Buddy Check program has connected American Legion posts and members with veterans and their families in local communities who may need assistance, someone to talk to, or a ride somewhere. That ride might be to a polling place Nov. 3, but it also could be to a VA appointment or to the local pharmacy.”
Oxford said – as part of his “Veteran Votes Count” movement – that expected changes in the voting process, increased use of mail ballots in some communities, and concerns over casting ballots in person may be difficult to understand in the time of COVID-19 precautions and regulations.
“Election Day or not, we have an obligation as Legionnaires to express our ‘devotion to mutual helpfulness,’ as is stated in the Preamble to The American Legion Constitution, and reach out to our comrades now, and especially in the winter months to come.”
“Buddy Check: Coronavirus Pandemic Assistance” is a toolkit that can be downloaded from The American Legion website and offers guidance to contact veterans to check on their welfare and see if the organization can help them in any way. Also at legion.org/publications is “Vote America,” which provides legal guidance and recommendations for members and posts to participate in the election process in a nonpartisan way.
Oxford urges Legionnaires to wear face coverings when assisting veterans in person and abide by local directives to maintain social distance where they apply, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Veteran Votes Count” encourages American Legion members and their families to act on their hard-won rights and fully participate in the general election Nov. 3.