5 Options for Senior Voting
Election day is coming up on November 8 and every United States citizen deserves the chance to participate in our country’s democratic process. For seniors who no longer drive or have other mobility challenges though, getting to the polls can be a challenge.
Don’t let the difficulty keep you from practicing your right as a U.S. citizen. You have options.
First, check where the closest polling place is. A lot of cities work hard to provide polling places throughout the city so no one has to travel too far. There’s at least a chance that your closest polling place is within walking distance, which for some seniors solves the problem.
If your polling place is too far to walk, or if walking isn’t an option for you, then one of these five options for senior voting should do the trick.
- Vote with an absentee ballot.
Absentee voting isn’t an option for everyone, but it’s one available to most seniors. The law allows you to vote by mail if:
- You’re 65 or older
- You have a sickness or disability
- You’re out of town during both early voting and on election day
An absentee ballot is your easiest option. The ballot will be sent to your home where you can fill it out and send it back.
The only catch? You have to request your absentee ballot in time, and right now you really can’t procrastinate.
The deadlines to apply for an absentee ballot vary by state, and some are fast approaching. You can find the deadline for your state here, then access the request form by clicking on your state name.
- Check with neighbors.
Chances are, lots of your neighbors are heading to the polls on voting day. Talk to the neighbors you know to see if someone is willing to help you out.
If you find knocking on the door of neighbors you haven’t met yet too awkward, you can try the website Nextdoor, a social media site specifically for connecting with your neighbors. Post a message on the website about your need for a ride to the polls and see if anyone chimes in to offer help.
- Check with local churches and assisted living facilities.
Most assisted living facilities will be providing transportation to residents on voting day. If you’re currently an assisted living resident, check with the staff to see if something’s been set up already. If they don’t already have a plan to provide transportation, make your interest clear and encourage them to set something up.
If you live in a house but close to an assisted living facility, you may be able to piggyback on their transportation for the day, so get in touch and see what they say.
Many local churches may also be willing to help seniors get to the polls as well. Call up some of the churches close to you and ask if they have members or staff that would be willing to give you a ride.
- Contact a political party.
Political parties have lots of volunteers that care about making sure people vote. If you call one of the local offices of your political party and let them know you need a ride, they can likely point you toward available resources they know about in the area or put you in touch with a volunteer willing to help.
- Look into local ridesharing options.
First, check out Carpool2Vote, an app specifically designed to help people find free rides to the polls. If there aren’t enough people offering rides through that app in your city, then it’s probably time to consider taxis and paid ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
You may even find one of the local cab companies or ridesharing businesses offers free rides to the polls on Election Day in your city, so check out your different options before settling on one.
No one should feel like they’re unable to vote on Election Day. A lot of people are working to make it possible for people like you to participate in the democratic process. Know your options and get out and vote!