SANTA BARBARA– Patients who are in the hospital on Election Day will still have an opportunity to cast their votes, with the help of Cottage Health volunteers.
Absentee ballots will be available to all eligible patients and staff who are at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital and are unable to travel to their respective polling locations on Election Day.
Patients were given the opportunity to submit signed affidavits to request special absentee ballots for registered voters. Nurses will collect the affidavits by 9:30 am on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8.
Patricia Dooley, Director of Volunteer Services for Cottage Health, will lead a team of eight volunteers who will pick up the affidavits and then deliver them to the Santa Barbara County Elections Office in Santa Barbara and Lompoc. Once verified, the ballots will be delivered by volunteers to the hospitals for patients and staff to complete. All ballots will be collected starting at 2:30 pm and returned to the County Elections offices.
Cottage Health hospitals have offered this service to patients and staff for elections over the past 24 years.
“It’s important to us to offer patients and staff the opportunity to exercise their voting privileges while they are in the hospital,” said Dooley. “In the last election, we helped deliver 25 ballots to the election office. We’re expecting to be very busy day this Election Day.”