Promoting Health Equity Through Voter Support Activities for the Inpatient Psychiatric Population

Julie Graziane, Katharine B. Dalke, Cezary Mikoluk, Thomas Laux, Sandeep Pradhan, Junjia Zhu, David Zug, Jason Noel, Joy L. Bowen, Elisabeth J.S. Kunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Individuals with mental illness often face barriers to voting. One of the primary barriers is not being registered to vote. This paper describes voter support activities (VSAs) provided to hospitalized adults on the acute inpatient psychiatric units at Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute. During the six weeks preceding the 2020 general election, adult inpatients were offered six VSAs and an optional survey examining previous voting behaviors and barriers encountered to voting. VSAs included checking voter registration status and polling location, completing a paper or electronic voter registration application, and requesting a mail-in ballot. Of 189 patients approached, 119 individuals participated in the survey and 60 individuals utilized at least one VSA. This project demonstrates that VSAs are a welcome and feasible resource for psychiatrically hospitalized adults. Psychiatric providers can serve an important role in promoting access to voting-related activities for their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-506
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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