Some of the men and women who’re protecting our democracy are taking part in one of its most fundamental rights today. Iowa National Guard soldiers stopped by two special booths set up at guard headquarters in Johnston to vote or request absentee ballots. Guard spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood, says it’s one of the things soldiers can take care of before being deployed.He says they address the issue in their soldier readiness processing. He says it’s a voluntary process as some soldiers have other things to do. Hapgood says it’s easier to take care of things before soldiers leave the country. He says overseas soldiers can get the absentee process going, but he says it can be “arduous” to get the ballot physically to were it’s supposed to go. Hapgood says soldiers obviously can come home to their own polling places once they go on active duty. He says soldiers deployed overseas, or in the United States, must use an absentee ballot to vote. He says relatives can also help soldiers. He says under Iowa rules, families of the soldiers can pick up absentee ballots for them. Iowa has about 13-hundred soldiers serving overseas right now with another 600 getting ready to deploy.