Under federal law, nursing homes have a duty to facilitate residents’ rights, including voting. Nursing homes must let them vote. Hundreds of thousands of residents of nursing homes may not be able to vote. Lockdowns, short-staffing, and the failure of officials to help. In fact, North Carolina actually prohibits nursing home workers from helping residents vote.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance saying “it is a felony for owners or employees of these facilities to assist in the absentee voting process.”
Covid has caused the premature deaths of at least 75,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. 41% of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S., according to a New York Times analysis. Many worry about the health risks of voting in person and whether Trump will allow the U.S. Postal Service to deliver ballots on time.
How to vote safely is a dilemma for many Americans especially elderly people. Most of the 2.2 million Americans living in nursing homes or assisted living communities are elderly. Such concerns are multiplied for nursing home residents. They are at higher risk of dying from the coronavirus. In 2018, 66% of Americans over 65 voted, compared with just 35% of those 18 to 29. Let them vote in 2020!