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In the hospital? You still may be able to vote

Dan Gorenstein Nov 7, 2016
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Patients at hospitals in more than a dozen states can access emergency absentee ballots.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tomorrow, millions of us are planning to go to churches and schools, and cast our ballots on Election Day.

But what if you get sick and end up in the hospital?

In at least 13 states — including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Texas — patients can access what’s called an emergency absentee ballot, said Debra Cleaver with the nonprofit, nonpartisan Vote.org.

Cleaver said regardless of where you live, patients should “call your local election office. That is actually the only thing you can and should do.”

Cleaver recommended people use U.S. Vote Foundation and click on the “Election Official Directory” tab.

It appears just a few hospitals around the country including Meritus Medical Center in Maryland and Sutter Health’s hospitals in northern California have programs for patients.

Cambridge Health Alliance Psychiatry resident Jennifer Okwerekwu — who plans to help patients in Boston tomorrow – would like to see that change.

“It’s not something that we think about very often,” she said.

“So nobody really knows how to execute this procedure.”

Okwerekwu said part of delivering health means seeing patients as the full person they are and helping them exercise their constitutional right to vote.

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