SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s election day and that has many people lining up at poling places to vote. But for people who are in the hospital, heading to their polling location may not be possible.
Registered voters who end up in the hospital days or weeks prior to the presidential election are still able to cast their votes. That’s thanks to a national non-partisan organization called Patient Voting.
“It’s fun for us to be able to do something that, that kind of takes any sort of partisanship out of it and just get involved with the community and do what we can to help and make sure people’s voices are heard,” Chris Lucido said.
Lucido, a USD med student, helped establish Patient Voting’s South Dakota chapter. The chapter, made up of local college students and volunteers, is partnering with local health care systems including Sanford Health.
“We have not done this. We have typically just deferred our patients to their local election officials for information about voting, but we haven’t ever been this active in voting for our patients or in helping our patients to be able to vote,” Alison Sahly said.
Sahly is the director of patient relations at Sanford Health. She says partnering with the organization is exciting and important.
“Just because you have become hospitalized, perhaps through no fault of your own, we want to make sure that you have that same right that all other, all other citizens have to vote,” Sahly said.
The process includes obtaining an absentee ballot for the patient, bringing it to county election officials for processing, returning it to the patient to vote, and finally turning it in to county election officials to be counted. Regardless of the process though, Lucido says it feels good to help the community.
“We’re incredibly excited to be able to, to get out and support our community in this way. And it’s been, it’s been fun to see how excited everybody’s been about this,” Lucido said.