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Protecting Senior Votes

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Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

Here’s good advice for everyone to remember as we enter election season:

“Never trust a stranger with your ballot.”  This comes from Ken Blackwell, the former Mayor of Cincinnati.

It’s particularly timely because, this November, universal Vote By Mail will take place in more than the few states where it’s already practiced. This differs from absentee voting in which a voter requests a ballot to mail back by election day. Universal Vote by Mail means ballots are sent to addresses without being requested. Countless ballots will land at addresses where residents have moved or passed away.

Of the risks posed by such a system, the worst distortions can occur in institutional settings, like nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The average stay for a resident of senior housing is just 24 months.

In an article for The American Spectator, Ken Blackwell points out that “It would be easy for dishonest staff or party-affiliated vote harvesters to fill out and return ballots of former residents with their own preferred candidate marked.” He says, “There are many documented cases of such fraud.”

Ballot harvesters collect ballots and deliver them to polling stations or mail them in. Even where ballot harvesting is legal, the opportunities for its abuse are obvious.

The American Constitutional Rights Union has launched a needed initiative: www.protectelderlyvotes.org The organization has sent letters to nursing home directors in seven key states and another 1000 facilities across the country explaining the need to ensure that the votes of their residents should not be suppressed or stolen. These directors will receive follow-up phone calls.

This is urgent. Currently, the ACRU is acting on a tip that the League of Women Voters and the ACLU are attempting to ballot harvest at assisted living facilities across the state of Florida.

To protect your loved ones and the facilities they live in there’s a voter fraud hotline at 877-730-ACRU.

Check out www.protectelderlyvotes.org.penna's vp small

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