The Detroit News Speaks to Professor Nina Kohn About Voting & Michigan Nursing Homes
COVID-19 restrictions threaten to curb voting at Michigan nursing homes
(The Detroit News | Sept. 28, 2020) In a non-pandemic year, Thursday would have marked the start of early voting and for political campaigns to visit Michigan nursing homes and assisted living centers to pitch their cause while voters listened with ballot in hand.
But the coronavirus has changed that. The opportunities for candidates to campaign in nursing homes ahead of the Nov. 3 election are virtually non-existent.
The delivery of absentee ballots by clerk assistants or the help a family member might give in the voting process is limited amid visitation restrictions.
And experts fear those restrictions could curb voting at Michigan's nursing homes and assisted living facilities, a development that injects more uncertainty into a key election where battles are being fought over absentee and mail-in ballots ...
... Many nursing home and assisted living residents rely on family to help in the voting process, especially if a resident has vision or muscular disabilities, said Nina Kohn, a law professor at Syracuse University and distinguished scholar in elder law at Yale Law.
“When family are limited in their ability to go into the nursing homes, they may not be able to provide that critical help,” Kohn said ...