The one question addition to the Social Hx:
“With all that’s going on with COVID-19, I want to make sure you can vote in a safe and healthy way if you’re able to this election. Are you ready to vote in the upcoming election?“
When the patient initiates the conversation.
What’s up with your lanyard?
Great question. I want you to be able to vote in the upcoming election in a safe and healthy way. You can use your phone right now to check your voter registration and request your ballot to vote from home.
I’ve got to run, but all you have to do is point your camera at this QR code, or you can text this number. The platform will walk you through all the steps and if you get stuck there’s even a helpline that can answer your questions.
Well, who are you voting for?
I’m voting for you and your health. In fact, I’m voting for all of my patients. I would love if you could support me and my colleagues in healthcare by making sure to vote this fall.
*Alternative – Your Response:
As your doctor, I can’t advise you on who to vote for. But regardless of who you support, I think it’s vital we all make our voices heard by voting.
When you initiate the conversation.
With all that’s going on with COVID-19, it can be hard to keep track of the normal things we typically do. One of those things is registering to vote. Are you ready to vote in the upcoming election?
*Alternative – Your Statement:
With all that’s going on with COVID-19, I really want to make sure that you can vote in the safest and healthiest way possible. And the best way to do that would be to vote from home. Do you have your absentee ballot?
Common Questions from Colleagues and Responses
We have heard themes among the thousands of providers who use healthy democracy kits in the way colleagues react to the use of the kits. Below are some of the common examples and potential responses.
Q: I am way too busy to help people register to vote, I bet you are too; why do they want us to do this?
Your Response: With the VotER lanyard, I have just been directing my patients to the VotER online voter registration website. They actually have a live person and a helpline that the patient can use if they get stuck. I have not had to sit down with any patient and help register them to vote; the platform takes care of that part. I am mainly a billboard and it takes me less than 10 seconds to show my patients the badge backer and let them get to the website.
Q: Why is it our responsibility to help others to vote?
Your Response: We both have cared for patients whose primary issue was not medical. The social determinants of health are largely set by local, state, and national decisions and leaders. I view it as part of my professional responsibility to include patient voices in those decisions. It will make your and my lives easier if people had the resources they need and we could focus on their health care.
Q: You’re really just trying to help the Democrats aren’t you?
Your response: My goal is to help patients use their voice. VotER is a nonpartisan organization, and our goal is simply to help patients register to vote. If a patient starts discussing partisan topics, I don’t engage with them and instead discuss the importance of voting participation for all citizens.
Q: Do patients get upset with you?
Your response: That doesn’t typically happen. Actually, most patients have been happy to have the opportunity to exercise their voice. Of course, if they choose not to register, I respect that decision and don’t pressure them.
Q: What’s up with your lanyard?
Your Response: Great question. I’m working with an organization called VotER that is working to help patients vote in the upcoming election in a safe and healthy way. They can use their phone to check their voter registration and request a ballot to vote from home. I’d love to help you sign up for a Healthy Democracy kit, too – are you interested?
Common Questions from Patients and Responses
Q: I don’t know if I am registered to vote, how do I check that?
Your Response: The VotER platform will walk you through exactly how to check your registration. Scan this QR code or text this code to this number and the website will help you to check your registration and update it if need be.
Q: How do I request my mail-in ballot?
Your Response: If you go to the website here (showing QR code or text code). They will ask if you would like to receive text or email updates about upcoming elections. Depending on your preference, they will then be able to text or email you the application for a mail in ballot.
Q: Oh no, I don’t vote.
Your Response: I understand that registering, voting, and keeping up to date with election dates has been really confusing in the past. Also it doesn’t always feel that our vote makes any difference. Luckily, this website walks you through all the steps of registration up until casting your ballot. They will even send you texts or emails to keep you informed about election dates and locations. If you are interested, I want to make sure that you have every opportunity to have your vote heard, whether in your local community or on the national stage.
Q: Will you be tracking whether I vote or know who I’m voting for if I scan your code?
Your Response: No, the decision to register to vote is completely yours to make, and once you follow the link, you’ll be sent to a secure voter registration platform called TurboVote. Neither myself nor my clinic will have the ability to track whether you registered, or who you vote for.
Q: How is this going to affect my care?
Your Response: This will not affect your care at all; whether you register to vote or choose not to, I will continue to provide you the highest quality of care. I see voting as one way that you can let our leaders know what is not working for you and I wanted to give you the opportunity to have your voice heard. If you decide not to register to vote, that is fine by me but I want to provide you the option.
Q: My vote won’t change anything!
Your Response: Often when we talk about voting, we all focus on national elections. Even in those, each vote matters; some presidential races are won by around 500 votes. More importantly in local and state elections your voice really matters. Those people went into public office to support their communities. They want to hear from you about what needs to change. Voting is a great first step in telling them what is working and what’s not.
Q: Are you registered to vote? Isn’t this partisan?
Your Response: I am all about participation; I want to make sure you have the opportunity to vote. Whether you vote democrat, republican or any of that doesnt matter at all to me as long as you are making your voice heard. Are you registered to vote?
Q: Voter ID / specific process questions
Your Response: The details of voter registration can be a little complicated, but luckily the website I’m sending you to has a text hotline where a real person can help answer questions you have about the process!