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COVID-19 changes voting for nursing home residents

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- For most residents voting is simple, whether you vote early or head to the polls on election day. But if you're a nursing home resident, there is a new obstacle when it comes to voting during a pandemic.

Good Samaritan CEO and Administrator Chuck Newton said before COVID-19, his facility used to be a polling place.

“But with COVID, we just can’t have the public coming in like they once did to vote here. Matter a fact, it’s becoming tricky for our own residents to be able to vote, said Newton.

Newton said all residents will vote by mail this year with the help of their social services department.

“Those residents that can fill it out by themselves do. If there are residents who cannot fill out by themselves we have two social workers assist. One assists in filling it out for the resident and the other one is a witness," said Newton.

Adams County Clerk and Recorder Ryan Niekamp said he's been working with all nursing homes to make sure residents can exercise their rights.

“It’s paramount that even though these residents live in nursing homes that they have every option given to them when it comes to casting their ballot. Their vote is just as important as anybody else's vote, and their opinion definitely matters," said Niekamp.

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Jayda Hill

Jayda Hill is a Multimedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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