Election 2012: Getting Patients to the Polls


By Laura Liberatore

UPMC  is partnering with the Disability Voting Coalition of Pennsylvania to offer emergency absentee ballot voting services to hospital patients today for Election Day. 

Allegheny County residents who are registered voters and patients at  UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Mercy, UPMC Passavant, UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC St. Margaret, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, UPMC East, and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC can get help voting through this unique partnership.

“Voting is a cherished freedom. The enthusiasm from UPMC physicians, staff members, and volunteers to help patients exercise their right to vote is an example of how we live out the principles of Your Care Our Commitment,” says Mary Duranti, director of UPMC's Disabilities Resource Center.

Here's how it works. UPMC volunteers will help to distribute and gather absentee ballot applications from patients. Volunteers from the Disability Voting Coalition will take the applications to the Allegheny County Courthouse and return to the hospital with ballots for patients. Completed ballots will be signed by a physician - which is required to verify that a voter is hospitalized - then placed in sealed envelopes and delivered to the county elections office for filing. 

Patients who need an emergency absentee ballot should call the following: