Fact: seniors vote. A recent blog post for Zillner (a marketing and advertising company focused on senior consumers) affirms this truth with an impressive stat from the Pew Research Center: “…nine out of 10 seniors (91%) who are registered voters say they ‘always’ or ‘almost always’ vote.” Also, says the post, 25% of eligible voters in the upcoming presidential election are 60 years old and up.
What about the voters who reside in assisted living? Simple — they can still vote. This helpful document from Ohio-based Help4Seniors.org (complied by the Voting Rights Institute) offers advice for family members and friends, assisted living staff, and election officials who want to help seniors fulfill their civic duty from a location other than home. Suggestions include providing transportation to the appropriate polling place, or obtaining and completing an absentee ballot or change of address form.
Many assisted living communities offer transportation to local polling places on election day as well. Providers should research the polling facility in advance to make certain they are ADA-compliant (wheelchair accessible); it would also be wise to send a few staff members along to assist those who may need help in the voting booth (or request this service of local elections officials and volunteers).
Seniors must have a say in the next election, and they have a powerful voice. Family, friends, and providers alike: make sure the seniors you know, love, or serve in assisted living are able to participate this fall.