Columbus, OH,
21:27 PM

NBC4: How to Vote While Hospitalized

10.28.20 TV4 Voting-Jeff Kasler

As the November 3 election approaches, one question that is being asked is "can I vote if I'm in the hospital and can't make it to the polls?"  The answer is yes - local hospitals and the Board of Elections have partnered together to continue to make voting while hospitalized a possibility.  

While 2020 isn't the first year that patients have been able to vote from their hospital rooms, there are new measures in place to make it happen safely in the age of COVID-19.  

"It's a pretty robust effort, both from the Board of Elections and from our internal communications, so I think we feel pretty good about where we sit right now," said Jeff Kasler, OhioHealth director of government relations.  

Voters hospitalized after 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 will need to submit a special absentee ballot form to their Board of Elections.  Voters who are hospitalized before that time are encouraged to submit an absentee ballot request as soon as possible. Central Ohio hospitals will also be sending a list of names of patients who want to vote to the Board of Elections ahead of Election Day. OhioHealth hospitals will also make sure that associates are aware of the process and will provide PPE for bi-partisan election workers to wear while on-site.  

But what about COVID-19 patients who need to be isolated?  They will still be able to vote from their rooms with election workers witnessing from a distance, outside the room.  

"We've done everything we can to make sure that if we have a hospitalized voter that wants to cast a ballot that we're prepared to execute that seamlessly, in partnership with the Board of Elections," said Kasler.