Healthcare facilities and professionals must make sure that, when elections happen, residents of their facilities are able to vote. After all, being able to vote is someone’s constitutional right. Christopher Halajian has therefore devised some guidelines on how health care facilities can achieve this.
Christoper Halajian on Helping Healthcare Residents to Vote
Halajian is from Southold himself, from a local estate. People enjoy voting for their local candidates, but if they are hospitalized, they often don’t even know what they are campaigning for, as hospitals are not exactly on the campaign trail of most politicians. This is why Halajian believes special arrangements must be made. Transportation to town must be made available so patients are able to go to the polls. This can be done through police cars, facility buses, county vehicles, volunteers, ambulances, and so on. It is likely that there are plenty of people happy to take others into town so they can exercise their right to vote.
Some people, however, simply cannot go to the polls. They should be encouraged to use an absentee ballot instead, voting for their preferred candidate via a mail ballot. It is important to find out what the exact rules and regulations for this are, as they can differ from location to location. In Mattiuck, NY, for instance, the rules are very different to those in Mobil, AL. Most areas also have deadlines, such as needing to receive the ballot by Monday, so it is important to look into those as well.
Lastly, it is vital that residents are educated on their right to vote and how important it is. When they have a daily break to have a drink of tea or coffee, for instance, healthcare providers could talk to them about what is going on. Some of the things that all residents should be made aware of include:
- That day’s election headlines.
- Trivia about elections, both current and past.
- Prior election discussions.
- Puzzles on elections.
- Holding a mock election in which everybody participates, including mock ballets so that people can get used to completing them.
- Debates in which different residents argue for or against a certain topic.
- Crafts relating to election day, such as an election box, a campaign sign, a rosette, and so on.
- A scavenger hunt across the facility, finding things relating to elections.
- An opportunity to meet the different candidates if at all possible.
- A prominent bulletin board where information about elections is included.
- Quotes about elections and the importance of voting.
- The opportunity to watch live debates and party conferences on television or listen to them on the radio.
Voting is a constitutional right, no matter whether someone is old or young, ill or healthy. Senior citizens in particular are often bound to the care facilities in which they live, and they should be given an opportunity to exert their right to voice. They have a voice that should be heard, and they must be empowered to let it be heard.