Senior Citizen Voting Rights as the Kentucky General Election Approaches
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on November 2, 2023
We’re approaching an exciting time of the year as we step in November, and we aren’t talking about Thanksgiving! Kentucky has an upcoming election period where citizens will have the opportunity to let their voices be heard that will take place on Tuesday, November 7. In these times, it’s important to consider senior citizen voting rights, because many of our valuable elders are living in group facilities or with a private caregiver and can easily be overlooked if they do not know how to get their vote in by themselves. But Kentucky wants their vote, and participating in local and state elections can be a wonderful way for seniors to feel connected to their community.
Many nursing homes will assist their able-minded residents send in absentee ballots; however, it’s always a good idea to check in on your loved one yourself to make sure they have the opportunity to participate in the elections available this year, which include:
- Gubernatorial (Governor and Lieutenant Governor) Election
- Attorney General Election
- Secretary of State Election
- State Treasurer Election
- State Agriculture Commissioner Election
- Auditor of Public Accounts Election
- Commonwealth’s Attorney
- Circuit Judge “Family Court” (30th Judicial Circuit, 5th Division)
How Can I Help My Elderly Loved One Vote?
Senior citizens living in a nursing home or other alternate living situation have all of the rights of any other Kentucky citizen by law. This means that they are able to vote in a number of ways, if they are a registered voter, including:
- At the Polls
- ADA-approved voting machines will be available to those with disabilities
- Assistance will be available upon request to every voter
- Voters with disabilities have the opportunity to bring someone to assist them after completing a Voter Assistance Form
- Via Absentee Ballot
If the nursing home or assisted living facility has not already offered these options, as well as transportation to the polls on the day of the election, then you can help your loved one take advantage of their senior citizen voting rights by helping them make sure that they are registered, dropping their mail-in ballot off, or offering transportation to their poll, as well as acting as their voter assistance should you be willing and able to complete the form.
Nursing Home Neglect and Senior Citizen Voting Rights
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services within the Department of Health & Human Services, there are a few rights that nursing home residents have to protect them and their voting rights:
- §483.10(b) Exercise of Rights: The resident has the right to exercise his or her rights as a
resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States.
- §483.10(b)(1): The facility must ensure that the resident can exercise his or her rights
without interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal from the facility.
- §483.10(b)(2): The resident has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination,
and reprisal from the facility in exercising his or her rights and to be supported by the
facility in the exercise of his or her rights as required under this subpart.
- §483.10(g)(7): The facility must protect and facilitate that resident’s right to
communicate with individuals and entities within and external to the facility, including
reasonable access to: (i) A telephone, including TTY and TDD services; (ii) The internet, to
the extent available to the facility; and (iii) Stationery, postage, writing implements and
the ability to send mail
- §483.10(h)(2): The facility must respect the residents right to personal privacy, including the
right to privacy in his or her oral (that is, spoken), written, and electronic communications,
including the right to send and promptly receive unopened mail and other letters,
packages and other materials delivered to the facility for the resident, including those
delivered through a means other than a postal service
If a facility or the facility’s staff impedes or restricts a resident’s ability to vote, or attempts to threaten or coerce a resident in order to get the resident to vote a certain way, this is illegal and should be brought to an attorney.
Contact Cooper and Friedman Today
Cooper and Friedman have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of senior citizens in nursing homes and deal with cases regarding Elder Law and Nursing Home Neglect often. We want to protect the rights of seniors regardless of where they are, especially during times as important as Election season, so that senior citizens can exercise their right to vote just like the rest of us.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of nursing home neglect or elder law violation in the State of Kentucky and are in need of an experienced attorney, give the lawyers at the Cooper & Friedman law firm a call. The attorneys at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of elderly victims. Contact us with questions you might have or schedule a free case consultation with an attorney by calling 502-459-7555 today.