Barbara Fradkin – One Senior Place
Reader: I am very nervous about voting in person this year because of the pandemic. But I’ve also heard negative things about voting by mail. Can you explain the process?
Response: Seniors have power! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 71% of Americans over age 65 voted in the 2016 presidential election, compared with 46% among 18-29-year-olds.
That statistic probably doesn’t surprise you. But this year, seniors have a new concern about exercising their constitutional right to vote.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made many seniors apprehensive about going to their precinct to vote in person. Others are worried about the vote by mail controversy.
Communications Director for Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, Kimberly Boelzner, shared some information about voting in person and by mail.
Voting by Mail: Floridians have been voting safely by mail for nearly 20 years. In Brevard’s Aug. 18 primary election, 58% of all ballots tallied were sent by mail.
Even the majority of the staff for the Brevard Supervisor of Elections vote by mail.
You can request a ballot be mailed to you by calling (321) 633-2127 or by visiting VoteBrevard.gov [in Seminole County call 407-585-8683 or visit VoteSeminole.org and in Orange County call 407-836-2070 or visit OCFelections.com].
When sending back your ballot, the United States Postal Service recommends you anticipate a minimum of eight days for your voted mail ballot to reach the elections office. So don’t delay.
Voting in person and early voting: Multiple measures to ensure your health and safety will be in evidence at polling sites throughout Brevard.
Automatic hand sanitizing dispensers will be front-and-center.
Poll workers will wear a mandated mask or face shield — and masks are encouraged for all voters.
Likewise, voters will be asked to practice social distancing. Each polling location and Early Voting site will have a “Sanitizing Specialist,” who will sanitize voting booths between voters. Ten locations up and down our long county have been designated for Early Voting.
VoteBrevard.gov is where you can find all the information you need to cast your vote at home or in-person.
Check the website for a list of Early Voting locations. You can also view a sample ballot, update your voter registration information, track the progress of your mail-in ballot and view the full COVID-19 safety protocols.
Oct. 1 — All domestic ballots mailed.
Oct. 5 — Last day to register to vote in Nov 3 election .
Oct. 19 thru 31 — Early voting at designated locations.
Oct. 24 — Last day to request a mail-in ballot.
No matter whether you choose to vote at home or in-person, remember to VOTE. Your voice matters.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. To submit a question, send an email to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com.
Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director for One Senior Place, Viera.