This year is important in many ways – we’ve learned a lot about our health systems’ abilities, the strength of our long-term care industry, and our community spirit. This year also includes an important election cycle. Every eligible American should take advantage of their right to vote. This includes your loved ones in long-term care! That’s right – given a few conditions, long-term care residents also have the right to vote on November 3!
Who Can Register?
In fact, in Missouri, anyone may register and vote in an election in this state if they:
- Are a citizen of the United States
- Are a resident of Missouri
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are registered to vote in the county their facility is in
- Are not on probation or parole for a felony conviction
- Have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor related to voting
- Are legally competent and do not have a guardian
Voting During COVID-19
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there may be some unique barriers to long-term care resident voting. You may need to ask facility staff to help your loved one check their voter registration status and request a mail-in ballot so that they may take part in the 2020 election. Please note that those voting by mail are required to submit a copy or some form of identification! In Missouri, acceptable documents include federal, state, or local identification, driver’s license or state ID card, a bank statement, government check, or other government ID. Be sure to also check out these additional voting resources from the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. The Consumer Voice also offers additional details and news about residents voting on their website.
Because many facilities are still closed to visitors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may ask staff for assistance in several key voting activities, including:
- Checking voter registration status
- Helping residents assess their options and request a mail-in ballot
- Help residents mark their selections on the ballot, access a free notary, and return the ballot
Facility staff may NOT, in any way, influence a resident’s choices, commit voter fraud by voting or changing your chosen candidate without your knowledge, or disclose your voting choices. If your loved one experiences any of these, please reach out to your ombudsman!
VOYCE encourages facilities to educate residents about each of the elections and candidates for this November and help them complete the voting process. Thank you to all Missouri facilities and staff for their participation in this year’s election and promoting resident rights in voting! Share how your facility is helping resident voters on social media with the hashtag #ltcvotes, and be sure to tag @VOYCESTL