Supervisor Janice Hahn Thursday sent a letter to the Los Angeles Registrar Recorder/County Clerk’s office, asking officials to assist skilled nursing facilities in ensuring their residents are able to vote in the Nov. 3 general election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These residents have the right to vote, even in the middle of a pandemic,” Hahn stated in her letter to Registrar Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan. “Our Registrar Recorder and these nursing facility operators need to take steps to make sure these residents can safely receive and cast their ballots as they get the care they need.”

There are three ways to vote in Los Angeles County this election: in person at one of the voting centers, submitting a pre-marked ballot at a drop-box placed in the county or to vote by mail.

Hahn said she was contacted by the Gray Panthers Political Action Committee, which advocates for the rights of older voters.

The supervisor said the committee voiced concerns that visitation restrictions in place at nursing facilities could prevent residents from receiving their mail-in-ballots if they are delivered to their permanent addresses.

Unlike long-term nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities are often temporary residences for people who need extra care after a surgery or other medical issue, Hahn said.

Hahn said she has requested the RR/CC to notify all skilled nursing facilities in Los Angeles County that they should submit a Vote by Mail Hospital Application. This would provide the RR/CC with a list of individual residents of the facilities to notify them.

Hahn said the county Department of Public Health will send a letter to all skilled nursing facilities to emphasize the need to help residents safely submit their ballot.

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