What Seniors Should Know About Voting
Voting is an important right in the United States that should be exercised by all who have it. Due to various factors that come with age, some seniors may perceive voting to be difficult. Here, the home care providers at Avila Home Care provide solutions to potential voting concerns to help ensure seniors are able to vote successfully.
Mobility and Transportation Solutions are Available
Elderly people who are no longer capable of driving may have difficulty traveling to a voting station, especially if they live in a rural area. This difficulty may be compounded if they do not live in close proximity to friends and family. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways for seniors to either receive transportation to a voting station, or ensure their vote is counted. Civic organizations, religious congregations, unions and even come candidate campaigns offer free rides for seniors to polling places. Local chapters of the League of Women Voters also offer rides, and sites are available that link volunteer drivers to those who require rides. In Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, seniors over 60 also ride free on regional RTA buses.
For seniors who would prefer to vote from home, absentee voting is available to all citizens of Maryland, regardless of reason. Information is available online about how seniors can apply for an absentee ballot, and the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot for the 2018 general election is October 30th, 2018 to receive ballots by mail or fax and November 2nd, 2018 to download the ballot from the State’s website. Seniors who wish to vote via absentee ballot will need to reapply for each primary and general election in which they intend to vote absentee.
To avoid having to stand and wait for long periods of time—something that some elderly people may have difficulty with—early voting is available in Maryland from Thursday, October 25th, 2018 to Thursday, November 1st, 2018 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm each day. This may help to minimize wait times, and early voting centers can be found throughout the state. Seniors must vote in an early voting center in the county in which they live. Additional information about early voting centers can be found here.
You Can Request Assistance or an Accessible Voting Machine
Seniors who may have difficulty using a voting machine, reading or marking their ballot may make use of a variety of helpful tools. Seniors may bring a friend of loved one with them to assist when voting, provided the individual is not an employer, union official or candidate on the ballot. Seniors may also request the assistance of an election judge at the polling location.
For seniors who have difficulty seeing, they may request an accessible voting machine or voting ballot, which may offer larger print, audio recordings of ballot options or high contrast ballot sheets. The angle of voting machines may also be adjusted to accommodate those in a wheelchair or those who use a walker.
November 6th, 2018 is General Election Day in Maryland
For those who are not voting early or absentee, Election Day in Maryland is November 6th, 2018. The caregivers at Avila Home Care want seniors to feel empowered to vote, regardless of location or physical impairment. Beyond the myriad of services home care professionals provide, caregivers are also available to drive senior clients to polling stations and assist them with voting. To learn more about Avila Home Care and our commitment to care, contact us today!
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