Help for Voters Who Can't Make it to Polls

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Say you break your leg the day before the election and getting to the polls is impossible. It doesn’t mean you can’t vote.

Sacramento County Assistant Registrar Alice Jarboe says all you need is a little help from your neighbor, a grandson or your caregiver.

“You can help them vote by having them fill out the absentee ballot request form and also a short letter that says something to the effect of, ‘I citizen voter am requesting my citizen neighbor to pick up my ballot for me.’”

They pick up a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter fills it out and sends it back with the neighbor. Jarboe says if the voters’ signature matches what’s on file, the vote counts.

This is how many of the residents at the Emerald Gardens Nursing Center in South Sacramento vote. Rosalee Busch, says if she didn’t have help getting her ballot in… 

“I wouldn’t vote.”  
She says it’d be too hard to leave the nursing home – so someone from the facility will turn it in for her.

“Well because I have to be in bed a certain time.” 
Rayna Septinelli will be the one dropping off her ballot. She’s the activities director at the nursing home.

“I want to make sure that they’re not left out and that they do feel the spirit of everything that’s going on.”

This is the way some people in jail awaiting trial or hospital patients can vote as well.And just like other vote-by-mail ballots, they must be returned to the area elections office or a polling place by 8:00 on Tuesday night.