Stephanie Lopez – www.nbclosangeles.com
Days after receiving a heart transplant, a Cedars-Sinai patient from Palmdale, was excited to find out he wouldn’t miss the opportunity to vote because he could cast his ballot from his hospital bed.
A 65-year-old patient, Delander Moore, was happy to know that receiving a new heart wouldn’t prevent him from taking part in this year’s election and exercising his right to vote.
“When I got the call that they had a heart for me, I thought I would have to sacrifice my vote,” Moore said. “But now I get to have my say.”
In an election where every vote is vital, neither a medical procedure nor a global pandemic was able to stop patients from voting.
Moore is one of the dozens of patients who participated in a two-day process that allowed them to cast their ballots from Cedars-Sinai. The hospital’s employees distributed the application to vote on Monday, so that the county registrar’s office could determine their eligibility.
“This is a great moment,” said Moore. “If you vote, that’s your power and I want to use mine.”
To be eligible to vote, a patient must live in Los Angeles County and be registered to vote. The patient must not already have voted by mail or have had a name change or address change since they registered.
Cedars-Sinai staff then took the patients’ completed applications to the county registrar’s office for processing. On Election Day, they picked up the ballots for the eligible patients and delivered them to each patient’s room.
Each patient had time to vote in private before the staff picked up the completed ballots and returned them to the registrar for counting.
“In every election, we work to help our patients have their voices heard and their votes be counted,” said Camille Camello, director of Volunteer Services, who organized the project. “This year was complicated by COVID-19, but we are committed to helping our patients exercise their right to vote.”