Election Season Question: Can Political Candidates Access Older Adults in Aging Services Communities?

It's not just the weather heating up: election season is upon us, and candidates seeking elected office in November are hitting the pavement to meet potential constituents. Under Minnesota law, political candidates should be granted access to multi-unit dwellings used as residences, including nursing homes, assisted living buildings, and independent living. Candidates are also permitted to leave materials behind, though nursing homes may require that materials are left at a central location.

There are exemptions and other considerations to granting access, including requiring an appointment, limiting the number of visits, or under specific health reasons. Providers are permitted to require any candidate to abide by your infection control and covid practices as required by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This week, MDH provided guidance for settings to utilize the current visitation guidance for candidate visits, including wearing a mask, screening candidates, and other infection control actions. If candidates request to visit individually with residents, providers should ask residents if they would like to have the visit.

Providers who anticipate a high volume of candidate outreach may want to consider offering to host a forum where all candidates are invited to speak to residents. If this interests you, reach out to Erin Huppert, Vice President of Advocacy, for assistance. LeadingAge has also created a toolkit on candidate and voter activities permitted by nonprofit settings.

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