Nina Kohn Discusses Elder Disenfranchisement: States Must Act Now to Protect Voting Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Nina Kohn (‘03), Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law, and a faculty affiliate with the Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute, contributed a perspective to The Washington Post discussing the threat of disenfranchisement facing nursing home residents as states withdraw voter assistance in long-term care facilities and restrict family visits over pandemic concerns (“Coronavirus Isolated Nursing Home Residents. Now It Might Keep Them from Voting,” Oct. 14). “Fortunately, it is not too late to help nursing home residents who want to vote in the presidential election. . . . But for it to happen, states must make it a priority: Officials must treat it as truly essential work. . . . Voting is the only remaining source of political power for most nursing home residents. They can’t knock on doors or march; many can’t even mail a letter, send an email or make a telephone call without assistance. And the casual, all-too-tolerated disenfranchisement of nursing home residents sends the message that they are not full citizens worthy of respect.” Additionally, Nina was quoted in Ms., The Detroit News, and WHEC-TV discussing nursing home residents’ voting rights and best practices operators should employ.