As a healthcare provider,
It's our job to care for the patient. The whole patient. You have the potential to help them vote from their hospital bed, if they're interested. Below are some steps that you can take to help your patient vote.
Tell your patients they have the right to vote
Most patients don't realize they have the right to vote. Ask them if they're interested in learning more. It's important to respect their refusal, if they want to focus on their health only.
Review the process in your state
The process to vote from a hospital bed is usually just a few steps.
Identify the barriers
Think about which ones the patient will be able to accomplish on their own, or which steps may require friend/family/staff assistance. For example:
Printed materials - most patients won't have the ability to print materials while in the hospital. Offer to print off ballot applications for them and provide pens as needed.
Transportation - the patient will be unable to leave the hospital. Is there a friend or family member that will be able to pick up and deliver the ballot to the election office? Is there a staff member who can help fax the application to the election office? Some states have restrictions on who can help with which steps. Review the state-specific information.
If you live in a state where the election office sends an employee to help the patient vote, will the employee know how to find the floor or bed where your patient is located?
If you're stuck on your floor during your long shift, who else can help in the hospital? We recommend case management, social work, and hospital-based volunteers
Create a Patient Voting chapter
Identify a few other healthcare providers who are passionate about patient advocacy and this project. You can set up a Patient Voting chapter and give you the support you need.