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Voting in a nursing home

November 5, 2012
by Kathleen Mears
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When I first went to a nursing home in 1996, I did not know how voting was handled. When I learned I would be voting in the group with a person from the board of elections assisting, I was uncomfortable. That is the only time I did not vote in a presidential election.

In 2000 I was online and could easily register to vote. When I requested an absentee ballot, I asked if activities could assist me with it. After that either a friend or a facility staff person assisted me to complete my ballot. I wanted no more ‘70s flashbacks of voting in my parents' vehicle in front of a polling place assisted by a poll matron.

I was glad to have the independence of privately filling out my absentee ballot with just one person present. I think the private vote is very important. Voting absentee also allowed me to take the time I needed.

Four years ago at a previous facility I was required to vote in a group in the dining room. We voters were assisted by ladies from the board of elections. I felt uncomfortable but mustered through anyway. I did not feel influenced but the ladies seemed to be skeptical about my knowledge of the issues.

I have been at this facility for two years. I recently reregistered to vote online and changed my address. Since then I have been followed closely by emails checking out each step of the process. Though I know little about local politics, I am knowledgeable about state and national issues.

My absentee ballot is here. I plan is to complete it tomorrow and put it in the mail. I am sure I will receive an email reminding me to mail my ballot. This election year the Internet has been up close and personal in a positive way.

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Kathleen Mears

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Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...