How many times have you voted in an election? Which presidents, senators, and represenatives did you help elect? To which propositions did you cast your vote? After so many years of participating in American democracy, seniors should know better than anyone the importance of casting a ballot on election day. Luckily, voting in assisted living facilities is easier than you might think. Just because you struggle with mobility or you don’t have a car to drive to your local polling place, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t vote. Read on to learn more about the options for voting in assisted living facilities.
Voting in Assisted Living Facilities
As we age, our bodies and living situations sometimes make it difficult to complete formerly simple tasks. Take voting—at one point, you might have jumped in your car, driven to your local polling place, strolled in, waited in line, and cast your vote. Now, if mobility is a struggle and you can’t drive, you might wonder how voting will be possible. How will you cast your ballot on election day? What if you can’t access public transportation? What if you’re expected to stand in line for 30 minutes? What will you do?
First of all, don’t worry! Voting in assisted living facilities is easier than you might think. You should have some or all of the following options available to you. Ask staff members for assistance several weeks ahead of time to ensure that you’ll be able to vote on election day.
VOTING OPTIONS FOR SENIORS IN ASSISTED LIVING
- An Absentee Ballot. Many states allow for absentee voting if you live in an assisted living facility. To qualify, they may ask if you are incapacitated, residing in a licensed care facility, over a certain age (60+ perhaps), etc. If you wish to use an absentee ballot, be sure to check the deadline for your application and sign up with time to spare. Then, when you receive your absentee ballot, complete it promptly and send it back.
- Transportation to Polling Place. Chances are, you won’t be the only resident at your facility hoping to vote on election day. If you speak to the staff, they will probably be happy to provide transportation for the entire group so that you can visit your local polling place together.
- Mobile Polling at the Assisted Living Facility. In some areas, mobile polling is available if there are enough voters needing assistance in one location. Election officials will bring the polling place to you, giving you the chance to vote without having to trek to a nearby school or library.
- Go to the Polling Place On Your Own. If you’re physically capable and can access public transportation or ask a loved one to drive you, you could visit the polling place on your own (or with a friend) and vote the old-fashioned way. This is probably not your preferred option, but depending on the location of your polling place and your physical capabilities, it might be feasible.
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Voting in assisted living facilities is simple. Just be sure to ask your facility’s director or a staff member about the community’s voting procedures ahead of time. Or, if you have the option, plan on signing up for an absentee ballot. If you would like to hear more about the options available to you at Hearthside Senior Living Place on election days, call the location nearest to you. We would be happy to clear up any concerns you have regarding voting in assisted living facilities.