MANITOWOC, Wisconsin (WBAY) – Increasing hospital stays during the pandemic mean more people may need help to cast their votes. Attorney Aurora Health has prepared to help voters who will not be able to vote this year.
“We are honored to make this available to our patients,” said Cheryl Stoeckigt Parra, chief nursing officer who works at Aurora Medical Center in Manitowoc County.
Under Wisconsin law, people who are hospitalized can still vote.
Attorney Aurora Health has planned how to help in this process, given the increase in hospital stays during the pandemic.
“The patient himself will contact us and ask for a request for a postal vote, and then they will name their representative,” said Stoeckigt Parra.
A person in hospital has a specific section to fill in on the application and can request it in the seven days leading up to or on election day.
This year, due to the pandemic, the Wisconsin Elections Commission expanded the qualifications of a hospital voter to include anyone quarantined by a doctor.
The voter can choose anyone as his agent. Photo ID is still required for voters in the hospital, so patients should include photo ID.
“You fill out these documents and then your agent takes these documents to the clerk, and then we get them back from the agent, resume them with the postal vote, the voting is then completed and then brought to you to deliver the agent,” said the agent Stoeckigt Parra
At Aurora Health, due to pandemic safety rules, hospital staff will run the forms and ballots between the voter and the agent to keep as many people out of the hospital as possible.
Staff also provide witness signatures on a patient’s voting slip if required.
According to Stoeckigt Parra, every employee who supports a COVID-positive patient wears the correct PPE and disinfects the pens used.
“The election has generated a lot of interest and it is our duty to serve and enable our patients to do so while they are here,” said Stoeckigt Parra.
It is currently unclear how many patients will use this option, but Parra says they wanted to be prepared.
“A little extra service that helps you focus on a few things that we can alleviate for you,” said Stoeckigt Parra.
To view the application form: CLICK HERE
For more detailed instructions on the hospital election process: CLICK HERE
You can also find more information directly on the Wisconsin Elections Commission website.
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