Ballots for Patients

Photo of an American Flag in the shape of the Continental United States. On top reads "ELECTION" and overlaid on the flag reads "2016."Dear Friend,

On November 8, you will have the opportunity to make your voice heard by voting at polling locations throughout Pennsylvania. If you knew in advance that you’d be unable to make it to your polling location due to travel plans or long-term hospitalization, you’ll have already sent in your absentee ballot by mail. But what about people who were admitted into the hospitals a day or two before the election? It’s impossible to predict when your baby will be born, or when your appendix will burst, or if you’ll be in a car accident and be unable to make it to your polling location on election day.

Ballots for Patients is an initiative started by people with long-term disabilities to help people temporarily disabled and in the hospital still vote. We collect applications for emergency absentee ballots from patients, file them with the Judge of Elections, and get the ballots back to the hospitals to be filled out by said patients. It is a non-partisan effort, and nobody will be excluded from their right to vote, regardless of race/ethnicity, religion, gender/sexuality, or political affiliation.

We are looking for volunteers to help with this effort. In particular, we are currently looking for people who can drive or bus applications back and forth between a designated hospital and the Judge of Elections in Downtown Pittsburgh, but we also need volunteers to go into some hospitals to collect applications. We are also looking for two drivers each from Westmoreland and Butler counties to assist patients who’ve been admitted into UPMC East and Passavant Hospital.

All volunteers must be able to attend either one our training sessions, or else teleconference with our trainer. The training is being offered on November 2 at 6 PM at the Squirrel Hill Public Library or on November 5 at 10 AM at the Carnegie Mellon University Center’s Wright Room.

If you are free to give some of your time to helping people exercise their Constitutional right to vote, please send me an email accessmobpittsburgh@gmail.com ASAP and I’ll add you to our list! If you’re not able to but know someone who might be, PLEASE boost the signal and send this out to everyone you can think of! If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer to them!

Best,
Alisa & Paul