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Emergency Absentee Voting for Hospitalized Patients and Voting During COVID-19: A 50-State Study

Western Journal of Emergency Medicine · Jul 15, 2021

 While 39 states operate emergency absentee voting processes for hospitalized voters, there are considerable areas for improvement and heterogeneity in guidelines for these protocols. For future election cycles, information on emergency voting and broader election reforms due to COVID-19 may be useful for emergency providers and patients alike to improve the democratic participation of voters experiencing illness.

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The COVID-19 pandemic posed a challenge to safeguarding civic participation while protecting public health during the 2020 election. Previous research has shown that voters with illness and disability are consistently underrepresented at the polls. Moreover, the risk of viral transmission for in-person voting created additional barriers in 2020. We aimed to analyze emergency absentee voting processes that allow unexpectedly hospitalized voters to obtain an absentee ballot as well as statewide election changes made due to COVID-19.

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Emergency Mail-in Voting in Rhode Island: Protecting Civic Participation During COVID-19 and Beyond

Rhode Island Medical Journal · Oct 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic challenges safe and equitable voting in the United States’ 2020 elections, and in response, several states including Rhode Island (RI) have made significant changes to election policy. This commentary highlights  salient updates and serves as a primer as to how interested health care workers may navigate this process alongside patients and lead in the arena of patient voting rights.

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