So much for my proud voting history, Sherri VanMeter told herself. The Galloway resident was stuck in the hospital on Election Day. “I make every general, every primary,” she said. “I got upset about it.” VanMeter, 49, shared her disappointment with her nurse, Jackie Palmer, who happened to know there was a way to bring that cherished part of the democratic process to VanMeter’s fourth-floor room at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital. “I think we can help,” Palmer told her. Voters who are unexpectedly hospitalized — or at the bedside of their minor child — still have the right to vote as long as a request is submitted to the county elections board by 3 p.m. on Election Day. “It’s part of standard election procedure,” said Ben Piscitelli, spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections.
When a hospital notifies the board that it has patients who want to vote, election officials send out two workers — a Republican and a Democrat — to deliver and collect ballots in person.
Republican Gavin Kemmerly and Democrat Carolyn Potter made their way up and down the halls at Doctors, dropping off ballots, answering questions and carefully sealing the votes in an envelope.
“The last presidential election, we got finished at 3 in the morning,” Kemmerly said. “There are a lot of hospitals in Franklin County.”