Nursing home residents have always faced challenges voting — because of limited mobility, physical infirmity and the restrictive reality of institutional life. But there were many ways to get help: Residents who were mobile and had access to transportation could vote at general polling places, families could freely visit to help residents vote by mail, and, in some states, election officials conducted voting in nursing homes. Now, the novel coronavirus has changed much of that: In-person voting risks infection, and visitors who might help with mail-in voting are barred from many homes. Short-staffed and still concentrating on other challenges posed by the pandemic, facilities do not seem ready to step up.
“Facilities throughout the state have made little or no efforts to assist residents” to vote by mail in “what may be the most important election in their lifetimes,” representatives of a dozen community advocacy groups wrote to Pennsylvania health
This story was published in partnership with The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy.
Long lines due to expected record voter turnout amid a global pandemic. Ongoing concerns about online misinformation. Hundreds of lawsuits over voting. Poll workers facing changing election rules. An incumbent president who won’t guarantee a peaceful transfer of power.
In the lead-up to the November 3 election, there is an unprecedented onslaught of election-related news. At the center is President Donald Trump, who continues to lie about the overall security of mail-in voting and preemptively cast doubt on election results. He claimed without evidence during the first presidential debate that there could be rampant voter fraud during the election.
“He’s gaslighting and lying for a reason,” said Jena Griswold, the Democratic secretary of state in Colorado, about the president. “He’s trying to tilt the election in his favor by either