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I am caring for my mother Esther, who is 95 years old, living in a nursing home.

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Are you serious. The answer is no. Of course no.
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Bootsielou Sep 19, 2020
I agree with you totally. The answer is no. Of course no.
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POA is either for financial affairs,health care, or both. It does not apply to voting!
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disgustedtoo Sep 19, 2020
To back caroli1 up, here is the definitive answer from lawhelp.org again:

"Some powers cannot be given to an agent. Those include:
* the power to vote in public elections;"

Assisting someone by help them get/return ballot requests and ballots, answering questions they might have, ensuring the sign properly, etc is fine, BUT, you also have to sign as having assisted the person. Guessing who/what they might have voted for, were they competent, or prompting them how to choose is NOT legal. Whether you know their political convictions or not, that isn't assisting, that is guessing and is not legal.
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No. Absolutely not.
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In my opinion No. The principle has Dementia and is not competent to make that decision. I would consider that fraud.
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Geaton777 Sep 16, 2020
JoAnn29, it is not about "opinion" it is about what each state allows. Each PoA needs to research what their LO's state allows.
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I think you have to clarify what you mean by "on behalf of". If "on behalf of" you mean to help your mom in the way AnnReid described, then yes, that's legal. If "on behalf of" you mean to request an absentee ballot in mom's name and fill it out on your own with your own preferences, then no.

A POA cannot vote for another person. Actually, no one can vote for another person. A POA CAN request an absentee ballot for the person they're caring for.

Another person can assist someone in filling out an absentee ballot. I even believe you can have someone assist you in casting your ballot in person at a polling location (I'm not 100% cure about that), especially if you have some sort of physical impairment that makes voting difficult, You don't have to be a POA to be allowed to do that. There should be a place to sign on the absentee ballot as "person assisting" or "agent" or some such language that you would sign.

As far as competency is concerned, I'm not aware of any laws requiring a voter to prove mental competency before they are allowed to cast a ballot. Maybe laws such as that differ from state to state, but certainly here in NY I've never heard of anything like that.
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MountainMoose Sep 19, 2020
Everything you wrong is exactly right, notgoodenough. [I've been an election judge for 12 years in Wyoming though other states may other requirements / restrictions.]
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This is considered voter fraud and is a felony in this state. We do all voting by mail in this state and a signature is required. Several years back it was discovered a widow was voting for years on behalf of her very dead husband. Her excuse was he was a lifelong Democrat and she knew how he would have voted. ARGHH! Use your brain people. You know it is wrong.
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gdaughter Sep 19, 2020
I think I love that woman, bless her heart.
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NO
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Here is what my state (MN) says about this:

"ASSISTANCE FROM OTHERS You can bring anyone to assist you while you vote or you can get assistance from election judges. You cannot get assistance from your employer or your union. Your assistant can participate in all parts of the voting process. ** Assistants cannot influence how you vote or mark the ballot for you if you cannot communicate to them who you want to vote for. **

SIGN IN ORALLY You have the right to orally confirm who you are and to ask another person to sign for you if you cannot sign your name.

VOTERS UNDER GUARDIANSHIP You can vote while under guardianship unless a judge specifically has taken away your right to vote in a court order. "

(source: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/media/3955/voter-assistance-2020-rev.pdf)

My husband and his brother are durable PoAs for their mom (my MIL). She has short-term memory loss and some dementia. As time has passed we realized she has forgotten how to write, including signing her name. She cannot even copy from a word that you write. Last election we got her the absentee ballot and she still knew how to sign her name and could comprehend the election basics, and she read the ballot. I think she still can understand the election basics and still read but this time won't be able to sign her name on the ballot. She is bedridden and frail so taking her outside to vote in the MN winter is not an option. One of her PoAs will get her oral vote and fill out the absentee ballot for her.

Therefore, it may be possible to assist your LO to vote if they can give oral direction and meet any other qualifications required, so check with their state rules. In my state it does not appear you can cast a vote on behalf of another who cannot communicate their choice to you.
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JoAnn29 Sep 16, 2020
In my opinion, if MIL has Dementia she is not competent to make decisions concerning who she wants as president. I would think in this instance a POA filling out her ballot is fraud. I really would check this out with your local voting board.
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Do the NH not arrange postal votes for their residents? If not you could apply for a postal vote for her. If she has dementia then my personal view - and I emphasise it is personal - is that she should not vote nor should someone else vote for her, as this is like the person doing her voting having two votes. You need to consider her mental capability.
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Thanks for asking this question. I have been struggling with it for my mother who is no longer able to make her own decisions. I know her views and who she would want to vote for but am uncomfortable with the legality of it. Especially as this year I am working as a poll worker whose job is to examine and verify voter identification. As much as I want to carry out her wishes I have decided not to.
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Bootsielou Sep 19, 2020
It would be fraud and you are correct.
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