Policy & Politics
Coalition of AIDS Organizations Launch Online Absentee Ballot Drive
August 26, 2004
A coalition of U.S. AIDS organizations, including POZ magazine, the National Association of People with AIDS, Housing Works, Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project and AIDSVote.org, has launched an online absentee voter drive on the Web site POZ.com, according to a POZ release. Visitors to the site can use interactive technology to request an absentee ballot, register to vote or change a registration address. First, visitors must answer a questionnaire customized for their state of residence. Then, the program generates a completed absentee ballot request form and customized envelope. The forms are printable and can be either mailed or dropped off at a local voter registration office. Visitors in some states and territories -- including American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Marshall Islands, Nevada, North Carolina, Northern Marianas Islands, South Carolina, U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington state -- cannot use the site to print an absentee ballot because of state laws. Terje Anderson, executive director of NAPWA, said, "People with HIV/AIDS are all too aware how politics affects our lives directly because day-to-day survival can depend on access to medication and housing supported by federal funding," adding, "But the reality of living with HIV is that sometimes our health can interfere with our ability to make it to the polls." Charles King, president and CEO of Housing Works, said, "For anyone who thinks that they might not be able to vote due to drug side effects, a medical appointment or hospitalization, limited mobility, fatigue or lack of access to transportation, this technology can help make sure your vote isn't missed" (POZ release, 8/24).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.