The HSHS hospitals in central Illinois are working with their respective county clerks’ offices to help hospitalized voters get information on how to cast their ballots in the upcoming primary election at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville.
According to Illinois law, a qualified voter who has been admitted to a hospital not more than 14 days before an election is entitled to delivery of a vote-by-mail ballot in the hospital by a legal family member or someone who is registered to vote in the patient’s precinct.
“Our right to vote is important, and we want to make sure our patients have the opportunity to exercise this right even if they are in the hospital,” said E.J. Kuiper, MHA, DPT, FACHE, president and CEO of HSHS Illinois Division hospitals. “Our patient experience teams will be working to inform our patients on the proper way to do this, so their votes can be counted in the upcoming election.”
The process the hospitals will help to facilitate includes the following steps:
1. The patient, family member or registered voter who lives in the same precinct as the patient and patient’s physician, advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant must fill out a form attesting to the patient’s reason for being in the hospital and that he or she will not be able to go to the polling place on election day, March 17, 2020.
2. The family member or registered voter who lives in the same precinct as the patient must take the form to the county clerk’s office for review, to be notarized and to receive the patient’s ballot.
3. The family member or registered voter who lives in the same precinct as the patient will bring the ballot back to the hospital to be filled out by the patient.
4. The family member or registered voter who lives in the same precinct as the patient will then return the ballot to the county clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on election day.
“We are glad that HSHS is working with us to educate hospitalized voters on this process, so their voice can still be heard,” said Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray. “If a patient or their family member has any questions about this process or how to fill out the form, I would encourage them to call their local county clerk’s office.”
According to HSHS policy, employees will not be not making statements during this process that supports or opposes any candidate for public office.