Conference to Explore Voting in Long-Term Care Facilities in Virginia

from UVA Today :

October 2, 2008 — The University of Virginia's Institute on Aging will host a conference focusing on the problems and issues of voting by seniors in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. This conference will be held Friday, Oct. 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Caplin Auditorium at the U.Va. School of Law.

The conference will bring together leaders from several fields to review the challenges faced by individuals with cognitive and physical impairments and to recommend policies and procedures that can maximize voter participation while avoiding fraud and exploitation of this vulnerable population. The goal: Find  a way to facilitate voting rights for the elderly in Virginia that can serve as a national model for improving the voting system.

Norman DeLisle, MDRC
"With Liberty and Access for All!"
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Older Americans Suffer Serious Access Limitations to Exercise their Right to Vote

The US Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing yesterday in Washington, DC, on older Americans and the significant barriers they face in exercising their right to vote.

Jason Karlawish, MD, associate professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, testified before the Committee, citing results from a series of his studies examining voting rights for the elderly.

Karlawish, a member of Penn's Institute on Aging who specializes in older adult health care and related issues, recommends that to help break down the logistical and geographical voting barriers many older Americans face, the United States must develop a model for mobile polling.

"Elderly voters -- especially elderly voters who live in long-term care settings -- are at the mercy of others when it comes to exercising their right to vote," said Karlawish.

"Mobile polling means election officials or equivalent groups visit long-term facilities in their district prior to registration deadlines to encourage and solicit registrations," said Karlawish.