Voting is the foundation of any democratic system, but it isn’t easy if you’re in a long-term care facility. Residents of nursing, assisted living and other facilities face a number of challenges in voting, from registering to actually casting a ballot.
When you move into a nursing home or assisted living residence, your address changes, which means you’ll probably need to re-register to vote based on your new address. You can register in person, by mail, or, in many cases, online.
You can often register in person at your local elections office or your local motor vehicle department office. For more information on where to register, go to: http://tinyurl.com/lw-where-to-register.
There’s also a national voter registration application form with state-specific instructions that you can use to register by mail. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/lw-register-by-mail.
Also, most states offer online registration. See: http://tinyurl.com/lw-online-registration.
Once you’re registered, you still need to physically cast your ballot. This can be difficult if you have trouble leaving your facility.
All states allow for absentee voting, but the requirements are different in each state. Some require an excuse, such as a physical disability. Many allow absentee voting for anyone who is at least 60 or 65 years old.
Some 23 states allow “mobile polling,” which is supervised absentee voting conducted in a residential facility. You may need to contact your local elections office to request this. For more information, go to: http://tinyurl.com/lw-mobile-voting.
And 37 states also allow early voting, where you can visit an election office and vote in person on a schedule that works for you.