The Elderly and Voting
Updated: Mar 17
Voting is incredibly important, but, can be difficult for the elderly. Regardless of who you vote for, voting is a privilege that we all share and everyone should be encouraged to vote. But, when you’re caring for seniors, helping them exercise those rights can be challenging. From logistical nightmares to physical limitations, the elderly face many challenges that can be overcome with preparation and patience.
Early Voting or Absentee Ballots
If getting to the polls is too much for your loved one to handle, they can vote early or by absentee ballot. Typically, voting early can avoid long lines and can give seniors the extra time they need to feel comfortable. Information on early voting or absentee voting is available at www.usa.gov/absentee-voting. Rules vary by state, so be sure to check the specific location where they are registered to vote.
If the person you’re caring for wants to vote in person at the polls the day of the election, be sure to plan well in advance to make it as easy as possible. Call your election office before you go to find out where handicap parking is available. Voting officials will be on hand if your loved one needs assistance at the poll. Above all, be sure to ask for help.
Assistance at the Polls
Once you get to the polls, ask for help. Many times, polls typically have multiple volunteer workers on hand who can help make voting easier. Dad can’t take waiting in line? Ask for a chair. Mom needs a glass of water? Ask for one.
Poll volunteers are on hand to help with casting their ballot as well. Above all, ask what you need.
Don’t let obstacles get in the way of your loved exercising their right to vote. Plan early, take your time, and have patience.
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