REPORT: Health Equity Depends on What Happens at the Ballot Box

August 15, 2022 by TWN Staff
REPORT: Health Equity Depends on What Happens at the Ballot Box
Election workers prepare to register voters on Election Day at a polling place, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The Tennessee Justice Center has authored a policy brief that explains the cyclic relationship between voting and health, as well as the impact of politics on health care.  

According to the brief, voting creates a sense of belonging to the community, which leads to happier and healthier lives and empowers people to advocate for better health policies.

The brief goes on to point out there are significantly lower voting rates among marginalized groups due to accessibility, voter suppression laws, and unmet basic needs – like affordable housing. A vicious cycle is created that results in underserved communities not getting the help and resources they need, translating to poorer health conditions and lower voter turnout.

Providing more people with access to the ballot box can lead to better health. The paper notes, for example, that after women gained voting rights with passage of the 19th amendment, maternal and infant mortality rates decreased significantly. COVID brought attention to the relationship between public health and voting, as accommodations were made that ensured everyone, including people with disabilities and medical conditions, could vote safely, which contributed to 66.8% of eligible voters participating in the 2020 election—the highest turnout rate of the 21st century.  

Matia Powell, Executive Director of Civic TN, said in a press release, “Voting is one of the most important ways that people can shape policies that have a direct impact on their lives and their communities. This paper explains how voting impacts not just health care itself, but all the social determinants of health in a clear message that every person who cares about preserving our democracy should receive. In working to engage voters, Civic TN recognizes the barriers they face, such as disenfranchisement efforts and lack of access to basic needs, that leads to lower voter turnout and the vicious cycle that TJC highlights in this paper. It is particularly important for marginalized communities to understand the connection, push against the barriers, and vote to bring about the changes that are necessary to achieve health equity.”   

A+
a-
  • health
  • Tennessee Justice Center
  • voting
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Research

    June 21, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    New Report Finds Energy Use Surging, While Green Transition Sags

    LONDON — Global energy consumption, fueled for the most part by fossil fuels, surged to an all-time high in 2023,... Read More

    LONDON — Global energy consumption, fueled for the most part by fossil fuels, surged to an all-time high in 2023, according to a new report from the London-based nonprofit Energy Institute. The numbers contained in the 73rd annual edition of the Statistical Review of World Energy... Read More

    June 4, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Using ‘White’ as Racial Benchmark May Obscure Health Data

    DURHAM, N.C. — The use of “White” as a benchmark when comparing racial and ethnic health disparities is far too... Read More

    DURHAM, N.C. — The use of “White” as a benchmark when comparing racial and ethnic health disparities is far too broad and fails to account for variations among easily identifiable subgroups, according to a study out of Duke University. As a result, says study author Jen’nan... Read More

    May 1, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Clinical Trial Links Frequent Anger to Increased Risk of Heart Disease

    WASHINGTON — Recurring bouts of anger may increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease, according to a study published... Read More

    WASHINGTON — Recurring bouts of anger may increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The study, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is the first to... Read More

    April 24, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    FDA Approves New Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections

    WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration approved Pivya (pivmecillinam) tablets for the treatment of female adults with uncomplicated urinary... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration approved Pivya (pivmecillinam) tablets for the treatment of female adults with uncomplicated urinary tract infections.  “Uncomplicated UTIs are a very common condition impacting women and one of the most frequent reasons for antibiotic use,” said Dr. Peter Kim, M.S.,... Read More

    March 27, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    One-Time Treatment Could Revitalize Immune Systems in the Elderly

    PALO ALTO, Calif. — A new study suggests that a one-time treatment that modulates the composition of a type of... Read More

    PALO ALTO, Calif. — A new study suggests that a one-time treatment that modulates the composition of a type of immune cell could potentially revitalize the immune systems of the elderly, helping their bodies better react to viral and bacterial threats. The research was carried out... Read More

    March 13, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    Researchers Identify Brain Connections Associated with ADHD

    WASHINGTON — After examining more than 8,000 functional brain images of young people with ADHD, researchers have discovered their systems... Read More

    WASHINGTON — After examining more than 8,000 functional brain images of young people with ADHD, researchers have discovered their systems are tied to atypical interactions between the brain’s frontal cortex and the information processing centers deep inside the brain. The research into attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder was conducted... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top