Helping Quincy seniors cast their ballots

City effort brings the polling place to nursing homes and assisted-care facilities.

“You vote for the right man, now.” It’s not quite an order, more a firm, if friendly, suggestion from one woman in the long-term care facility to another. “Oh, I know who to vote for,” the other says, waving away the entreaty. It’s a Friday in mid-October, in the lobby at Kindred Transitional Care & Rehabilitation of Quincy, and voting is already underway. Because many residents of nursing homes and assisted-care facilities can’t visit polling places, Quincy, like other communities, brings the polling place to them. So Maureen Keane (above left) and Mary Burke, on behalf of the Quincy Election Department, have been going around the city helping seniors fill out absentee ballots; they planned to visit eight such centers leading up to Election Day. On this morning, they hover over a table with a peach tablecloth, taking each resident through the ballot race by race. Turns out this is quite a battleground: I hear votes for Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Scott Brown, and Elizabeth Warren, and yeas and nays both on the three statewide ballot questions. These house calls by election workers underscore that age-old maxim: Every vote matters.

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