If you are a long stay patient at a care home or a patient unexpectedly admitted to a hospital, you are still eligible to vote. To ensure the security and integrity of election related activities at care facilities, staff members are discouraged from participating directly with a voter in the process of registering and/or voting absentee. Staff may assist only upon receiving specific authorization from the resident (voter). When asked by a voter to render assistance, care facility staff must remain nonpartisan and have at least two people NOT of the same political party present. This will help eliminate the appearance of any election irregularities while assisting a voter. In addition, staff should:
- Always be mindful of the voting rights of patients as well as their family members
- Refrain from explicit or implicit discriminatory or coercive voter registration practices, as both are prohibited
- Not collect completed voter registration forms shall unless specific authorization is provided by the clerk or chief election officer
- Mail requests for an absentee ballot directly to the local clerk
- Not copy, duplicate or otherwise make use of any information provided on registration forms. Information provided by the voter on the affidavit for registration is confidential
- If acting as an intermediary to pick up an absentee ballot, obtain a letter of authorization from the registered voter and submit it to the clerk
- Ensure that no one asks a voter to see or look at the contents of a voted ballot or choice of party
- Ensure that no one marks a voter's ballot or directs a voter without authorization
- Not attempt to vote in the name of the patient without specific authorization, as it is illegal
If you require assistance to vote by reason of physical, visual, hearing impairment or inability to read or write, you may be given assistance by a person of the your choice, except for your employer, an agent of your employer, or officer or agent of your union.
For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.