October 16, 2020

Supervisor Hahn Takes Steps to Protect Skilled Nursing Facility Patients Right to Vote

Supervisor Hahn Takes Steps to Protect Skilled Nursing Facility Patients Right to Vote

Los Angeles, CA — Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn is concerned that public health measures to protect residents of Skilled Nursing Facilities from COVID-19 may prevent them from being able to vote in the upcoming election. She has sent a letter to the County’s Registrar Recorder County Clerk Dean Logan requesting steps be taken to ensure these residents can receive and cast their ballots.

“These residents have the right to vote, even in the middle of a pandemic,” Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Our Registrar Recorder and these nursing facility operators, needs to take steps to make sure these residents can safely receive and cast their ballots as they get the care they need.”

Supervisor Hahn was contacted by the Gray Panthers Political Action Committee which advocates for the rights of older voters. They expressed concerns that visitation restrictions in place at Skilled Nursing Facilities in LA County during the ongoing pandemic could prevent residents from receiving their mail-in-ballots if they are delivered to their permanent addresses and to be brought into the facility by a family member. Unlike long-term nursing homes, Skilled Nursing Facilities are often temporary residences for people who need extra care after a surgery or other medical issue.

In response, Supervisor Hahn has instructed County Registrar Recorder County Clerk Dean Logan to notify all Skilled Nursing Facilities in Los Angeles County that they should submit a Vote by Mail Hospital Application. This would provide the Registrar Recorder with a list of individuals residing at the Skilled Nursing Facilities during election season so they can ensure these residents are sent a vote by mail ballot directly to the facilities, rather than their permanent addresses. She also urged the Registrar Recorder to take further actions if needed to guarantee these residents’ right to vote.

In addition, at Supervisor Hahn’s request, the LA County Department of Public Health will be sending a letter to all Skilled Nursing Facilities communicating the importance of facilitating their patients’ right to vote through enabling loved ones to safely drop off ballots at the facility.

See letter from Supervisor Hahn to Dean Logan here.

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