Election 2016: Voting for Travel Nurses

In recent elections, the U.S. has been notorious for low and declining voter turnout. Data shows that fewer than 60 percent of eligible voters turned out for the 2012 presidential election, and even less participated in the primaries.

Securing the Travel-Nursing Vote

With several hot-button healthcare issues on the ballot for 2016, the upcoming presidential election is crucial for medical professionals nationwide. Between polarized stances on Obamacare, soaring drug prices, and disagreements over Planned Parenthood, the public is in need of the travel-nursing vote. No matter where you stand on the issues, the election is bound to affect not only your career, but the lives of your patients as well. Think civic duty crossed with career vitality.

Time, Place, and Politics

Registering to vote may be the easier part of your long 12-hour shifts, yet finding the time to actually cast those votes can be a challenge. As travel-nursing assignments can last as little as 8 weeks or stretch to a year or more in some cases, it may be unclear when you’ll return to your permanent residence.

With this post coming already well into the primary election season, you may find yourself in a political pickle. Have you been assigned to a state with closed primaries while your home state has yet to vote? Considering a move right before Election Day? Don’t fret! Luckily, absentee ballots provide the flexibility to exercise your voting rights no matter where you happen to be practicing in the U.S. Using your permanent address as confirmation of residence in that state, a ballot can be mailed to the temporary address provided. Most states also allow a 60-day grace period to use your old address if you have moved recently.

Absent, But Not Unaccounted For!

Although participating in elections is a right granted to all U.S. citizens, each state varies slightly in how it deals with residency and your voting registration’s expiration. Photo ID laws can also be very different, even non-existent from one state to the next. States like Alabama, Kansas, Ohio, Texas and several others have strict regulations on which forms of identification can be used for absentee ballots. In many of these states, a driver’s license, military ID, or passport are accepted, along with social security information and even bank statements in places like North Carolina.

Great ways to receive state specific information on how to ensure your voting experience goes smoothly is by calling your state or county elections agency or elections board. To confirm your registration you may need to speak directly with your county or city election board, otherwise the state office for voter affairs can help you find the right number to call. Checking with a non-partisan services like canIvote.org also make it easier to confirm your registration.

The freedom to travel and practice a career you love is one of the many things that make America great. With over 3.1 million nursing professionals nationwide, the medical community’s vote is vital to the future of our country. Don’t wait until the opportunity passes; request your absentee ballot today!

Author: Connor Smith

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