Every Vote Counts, Even When You Are In The Hospital

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This was the motto at MCES's inpatient psychiatric unit the week of this year's Presidential Election.  Under the direction of Jessica Celestin, Director of Allied Therapy, all patients who were registered voters and hospitalized on Election Day were given the opportunity to vote. 

Pennsylvania law allows any voter who because of illness or physical disability is unable to attend his/her polling place to apply for an absentee ballot.  Emergency absentee ballots are also available in cases of medical emergencies that occur after 5:00 P.M. on the Friday before an election. 

The Allied Therapy Department staff worked together with patients who wished to vote and who were expected to be in the hospital on November 6 to ensure that their votes were cast and counted on Election Day. 

The patients requested applications for emergency absentee ballots.  After the Emergency Absentee Packets were received, they were completed and submitted to the Montgomery County Department of Voter Services on Election Day. 

Patients who participated were grateful for the opportunity to vote and MCES was happy to help people make their vote count.  Voting provides a sense of community connection and integration as well as personal empowerment.  These factors are helpful in recovery.