Navigation Links
Older Americans suffer serious access limitations to exercise their right to vote
Date:2/1/2008

PHILADELPHIA 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 Penns 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. Due to geographical distances, the lack of transportation to polling sites, and the lack of assistance to absentee ballot applications, it is other people who decide whether or not older Americans with issues of mobility can vote.

Karlawish recommended that the US must develop a model for mobile polling to improve access to voting for older Americans. 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. It also means directly distributing ballots to long-term facility residents, assisting with voting, collecting ballet and ensuring their return to a polling site.

Successful models of mobile polling currently exist in Australia and Canada, where it is the norm. Karlawish also proposed to the US Election Assistance Commission to conduct research to develop a set of best voting practices for long-term care facilities, training for election officials to implement them, and partner ships between the Commission and states to test their feasibility and refine them.

Neglecting the Voting Rights of Seniors

Election officials, said Karawish, have paid limited attention to two key issues: assuring that residents of long-term care facilities have access to the ballot, and preventing unscrupulous persons from exploiting their vote.

Karlawish reported on the results of studies of voting in long term care populations conducted by him and his colleagues. Twenty-nine states do not have voting guidelines to accommodate residents of long-term care facilities. According the Karlawish, the convergence of four trends underscores the need to address this issue:

  1. The 2000 US presidential election clearly demonstrated how very important elections can be won by remarkably small numbers of votes. These razor-thing margins of victory continue to foment concern about the accuracy and legitimacy of every vote cast, said Karlawish.

  2. Older Americans vote in larger numbers than any other age group.

  3. The older American population is growing at an unprecendented rate. It is estimated that between 2000 and 2030, the population over 65 will more than double from 35 to 71.5 million.

  4. An increasingly larger number of Americans with cognitive impairments ranging from mild to severe live in long-term care settings such as assisted living facilities and nursing homes. our surveys of Philadelphia and Virginia show that in states without guidelines for voting in long-term care, access to the polls is largely determined by the practices and attitudes of the long-term care staff, typically social workers or activities directors and those practices are inadequate and they are unacceptable.

Despite the current situation, Karlawish told the Special Senate Committee, You have the precedent of Congressional efforts to facilitate voting by people with disabilities and to promote greater uniformity in state electoral practices. You also have the federal reach into nursing homes through the regulations that govern nursing home inspections and the quality of care.

For more on information on the studies conducted by Karlawish and colleagues, please go to www.pennadc.org and click on Facilitating voting as people age: addressing the challenges of cognitive impairment.


'/>"/>

Contact: Olivia Fermano
Olivia.Fermano@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5653
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
2. Many Older Americans Have Active Sex Lives
3. Good Cholesterol Wont Help Heavy-Drinking Older Men
4. Manor Care, Inc. Announces Record Date for Special Stockholder Meeting
5. Arrow International Urges Shareholders To Vote for Approval of the $45.50 Teleflex Inc. Merger and for the Current Board of Directors
6. Frequent alcohol consumption increases cancer risk in older women
7. Zimmer Holdings Offer and ORTHOsoft Directors Circular Mailed to Shareholders
8. ISS and Glass Lewis Recommend Cholestech Stockholders Vote FOR Merger
9. Glass Lewis Recommends Arrow Shareholders Vote on the White Proxy Card for Merger With Teleflex and for Current Board of Directors at Arrow Annual Meeting
10. Drug-free treatments offer hope for older people in pain
11. United Medicorp, Inc.s Shareholders Approve All Proposals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association ... marketing programs at the annual Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs conference, held ... in Fort Worth, Texas. Nine awards are given out in five categories. They are:, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Boston, MA (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 ... ... Education and Department of Justice jointly issued a letter to withdraw ... in accordance with their gender identity. The guidance issued in May 2016 by ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Los Angeles-based weight loss surgeon Michael Feiz, ... June: From Not to Hot,” which will begin airing on February 24, 2017. The ... millions from the 2012 reality television series, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” The earlier ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Dr. David Mahon leads Siena ... 89052. Dr. Mahon was named a 2017 Top Patient Rated Henderson Dentist ... online directory that recognizes local physicians and dentists who have earned high ratings and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... The Center for Autism and Related ... Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) and Cinemaworld to present Sensory Friendly Films. The ... see films in an environment that accommodates their unique needs. , Launched in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... YORK , Feb. 23, 2017  Genesis Healthcare ... Company. The announcement was made by Bill Monast ... David Hartley and Nathan Feltman , executives ... Genesis Healthcare Services, LLC. This acquisition ... largest provider of technology enabled durable medical equipment (DME) ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017 Nevro Corp. (NYSE: NVRO), a ... for the treatment of chronic pain, today reported financial results ... 2016. 2016 Accomplishment & Highlights: ... 2016, an increase of 228% as reported, over the prior ... an increase of 612% over the prior year ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 Research and Markets ... and Strategies - 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest research Fibromyalgia ... and benchmarks in the global Fibromyalgia market. The research ... key drugs marketed for Fibromyalgia and their clinical attributes? How are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: