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Freeman patients exercise right to cast ballots

Joplin, MO – Thanks to Freeman Health System, Social Service workers and volunteers from the Jasper County Clerk’s office, a dozen patients were able to cast ballots despite being in the hospital.

“I’m so excited because voting is so important to me,” said 81-year-old Elizabeth Edwards of Joplin. “I was very concerned I wouldn’t get to vote,” Edwards said “It would be the first time I’ve missed an election. I’ve always thought if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”

Patient Debbie Reed from Carthage shared Edward’s concern. Both have voted since they turned 18, and now at 72 years old, Reed said it’s a personal privilege that she appreciates.

Neither woman expected to be in the hospital on election day.

Becky Keeler with Freeman Social Services says the staff also arranged for Newton County voters to be able to vote while in the hospital and created packets with appropriate paperwork for affidavits to allow families of patients from Oklahoma and Kansas to get ballots for their loved ones to be able to vote, as well.

“It’s so important to many of these patients,” says Keeler. “And it’s important to Freeman to make sure they get that opportunity when possible.”

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