Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New Voters: Powerful and Mysterious? (registering people with developmental disabilities)
Burke Connection, VA ^ | October 14, 2004 | David Harrison

Posted on 10/14/2004 11:42:07 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

FIRST-TIME VOTERS like Raput and Maples are emerging as the most mysterious and possibly the most crucial group of voters in this year’s hard-fought election. Over the summer, both campaigns mounted extensive voter registration efforts targeted primarily at young people who were either too young or too indifferent to cast a ballot in 2000. Registration drives have recruited absentee voters, immigrants who recently became citizens and, for the first time, people with developmental disabilities. That has led to record numbers of registered voters. In Fairfax County, 6,723 new voters registered in the month of September, according to the State Board of Elections, a 6.9 percent increase.

In Loudoun County, the number of new voters increased 31.8 percent. Much of that increase is due to Loudoun's explosive population growth, said Diana Price, secretary of the Loudoun County Electoral Board.

In both Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the number of voters who registered in the past four years is higher than the margin of victory in the 2000 election.

Statewide, 382,248 new voters registered between the 2000 election and Oct. 1 of this year. In 2000 Bush carried the state by 220,200 votes.

(Excerpt) Read more at connectionnewspapers.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: election; fairfaxcounty; loudoun; registration; specialneeds; voters; voting
Am I wrong to wonder if it's right to register developmentally disabled people to vote?

Can people with down syndrome and mental retardation make an informed decision about choosing an elected official.

True there are many people who will vote who aren't informed but registering developmentally disabled people doesn't seem proper.

1 posted on 10/14/2004 11:42:08 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Didn't the million mom marchers collect institutionalized people to swell their numbers back when they first started doing their thing?


2 posted on 10/14/2004 11:44:15 AM PDT by cripplecreek (The economy won't matter if you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

"I'm an excellent voter...ex, exe, excellent voter..."


3 posted on 10/14/2004 11:44:49 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks ("I don't worry about Muggers. My biggest fear is Poachers." - Elizabeth Edwards)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

My sister has Down's Syndrome, and I wouldn't dream of letting her anywhere near a polling booth. She doesn't understand either the issues or the responsibility.


4 posted on 10/14/2004 11:45:24 AM PDT by 6323cd ("It is prohibited to make use of such emotional signs in a cellphone!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I attended a meeting (social) recently at an Independent Living Center where they were signing up persons with disabilities. I had to wonder if they would pick up these folks and "help" them vote.


5 posted on 10/14/2004 11:45:33 AM PDT by sarasota
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I am sure a "freindly" Democrat will "help" them to "choose" their candidate.


6 posted on 10/14/2004 11:46:05 AM PDT by MisterRepublican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Developmentally disabled doesn't necessarily mean mentally retarded. I serve on the board of a human services organization with a developmentally disabled indivdual - who has a B.S., works as a magazine editor, has been married and divorced - basically just like you and me. ;-)


7 posted on 10/14/2004 11:47:46 AM PDT by 12GA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 12GA

then she is capable of adult functioning and of registering herself to vote, and people like her always have been. In their cases it wouldn't even be an issue.


8 posted on 10/14/2004 11:53:12 AM PDT by heartwood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: 12GA
Developmentally disabled doesn't necessarily mean mentally retarded. ...

I know that's why I listed Down's Syndrome and mental retardation. Who makes the call?

9 posted on 10/14/2004 11:56:12 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: 6323cd

Thank you. I'm sorry I spelled it wrong.


10 posted on 10/14/2004 11:56:46 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: heartwood
He is unable to do many things due to his physical disabilities - which include aphasia and the inability to move his arms or legs on his own. How would he register vote?
11 posted on 10/14/2004 11:57:05 AM PDT by 12GA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

"Intent of the voter"...


12 posted on 10/14/2004 11:58:47 AM PDT by LRS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Can people with down syndrome and mental retardation make an informed decision about choosing an elected official.

Do I need to remind you that HALF of the people vote for the party that wants to tax them into oblivion.

13 posted on 10/14/2004 11:59:00 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (God is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

This is not a new development. I was taught this trick thirty years ago while taking Special Education classes.

Fortunately, it is not new, and should already be factored into all elections.


14 posted on 10/14/2004 11:59:37 AM PDT by js1138 (Speedy architect of perfect labyrinths.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I was responding specifically to your statement that, "registering developmentally disabled people doesn't seem proper."

I feel as though it's entirely proper, and I am supportive of the effort.


15 posted on 10/14/2004 12:02:23 PM PDT by 12GA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: 12GA

I understand that. What of the others?


16 posted on 10/14/2004 12:06:43 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

BTW- I recall FRee Republic covering this topic back in my lurking days, after the last election. Couldn't find the thread, but here is an excerpt and link to an old Boston Globe report touching on the subject:


Voting Rights Of The Mentally Ill
December 11, 2000

BOSTON (Boston Globe) — In Maine, if a resident has a guardian because he or she is mentally retarded, has Alzheimer's disease, or is severely brain damaged, that person still can vote. But if they have a guardian because they are mentally ill, the right to vote is denied.

Maine is not alone in its restrictions. Forty-three other states - including Massachusetts - also in some way prohibit the mentally ill from voting. Most state constitutions restrict voting rights of people who have guardians or have been declared incompetent, but 12 restrict the rights of people using arcane and ambiguous 19th-century definitions such as "idiots" and "lunatics." In New England, only New Hampshire allows every mentally ill person to vote; in Massachusetts, anyone who has a guardian cannot.

Nationally, the exact number of people affected by these restrictions is unknown, but the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill estimates it to be as high as the tens of thousands.

As the election saga in Florida reminds Americans just how much one vote can count, fundamental questions over whether the mentally ill should retain the right to vote is beginning to enter the public arena.

More: http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/EMIHC000/333/333/305674.html


17 posted on 10/14/2004 12:09:50 PM PDT by LRS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LRS

Thank you.

Will their vote be challenged if they show up with a guardian?


18 posted on 10/14/2004 12:19:04 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
What "others" are you talking about? I'm talking about the developmentally disabled?
19 posted on 10/14/2004 12:23:34 PM PDT by 12GA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Too many syllables. "Retarded" works just fine.


20 posted on 10/14/2004 12:24:23 PM PDT by Hank Rearden (Never allow anyone who could only get a government job attempt to tell you how to run your life.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

My (limited) understanding is, and the details of the law vary from state to state, is that if the guardian is present, then there can be no challenge. Now, how this applies to individuals in group homes, is beyond me. I have been told that the residents of a home in my location, are bussed to the poll, and someone is there to help them (individual guardians?, or, as I have heard of cases where this has happened, simply the bus drivers?, or, someone from the facillity?). In any event, some of these poor people don't know the day of the week...


21 posted on 10/14/2004 12:36:59 PM PDT by LRS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: 12GA

Post #9: *** Down's Syndrome and mental retardation***


22 posted on 10/14/2004 12:44:35 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: LRS

That is wrong.


23 posted on 10/14/2004 12:45:11 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Let me answer your question with a question: What about individuals with Infantile cerebral palsy or Spina bifida? Your statement that you don't think that developmentally disabled individuals should recieve assistance to register to vote would include these individuals as well? Do you propose some sort of IQ test before allowing Americans to enter the voting booth? Or, should we ignore the rights of 4 milllion Americans because you're not comfortable with it?


24 posted on 10/14/2004 12:56:11 PM PDT by 12GA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: 12GA

I'm sorry if my post has offended you somehow. It was not my intent.


25 posted on 10/14/2004 1:01:58 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

No apology is necessary. Rights of the disabled is a topic that I am somewhat passionate about. Perhaps some of that passion came across as anger - also not my intent. I think we must agree to disagree on this topic. ;-)


26 posted on 10/14/2004 1:50:04 PM PDT by 12GA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

> Registration drives have recruited absentee voters,
> immigrants who recently became citizens and, for the
> first time, people with developmental disabilities.

First time? I thought that that was the Democrat's core constituency.


27 posted on 10/14/2004 1:56:28 PM PDT by jrpascucci (Terrorae delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

I take care of a 16 yr old autistic boy and I have actually considered registering him absentee when he turns 18 and helping him vote.I could do it and get away with it BUT ITS JUST WRONG.


28 posted on 10/14/2004 2:24:58 PM PDT by edchambers (Where are we going and why am I in this hand-basket?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: edchambers

In my opinion, there needs to be clearly defined lines of which people with disabilities should exercise their right to vote. A 34 year old with the mental capacity of a 3 year old certainly should not be at the polls, however, someone with a physical disablilty and not a mental impairment should be assisted in whatever way possible at the booth, or given an absentee ballot to cast from home. Voting, like many other parts of being an adult is a huge responsiblity, and if someone is not capable of handling responsibility, then he or she should not be entrusted with this very important one. There is a world of difference between someone with a physical problem, and someone with a mental problem. Anyone that is close to a person with mental redardation knows that.


29 posted on 10/14/2004 2:35:07 PM PDT by SASsySIGster (SAS CT Chapter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Well, it's wrong to register them as Democrats, when you read how the Democrats make fun of the retarded, as the Tennesse Congressional candidate did and the way Al Gore made fun of Downs syndrome back in 1994.


30 posted on 10/14/2004 2:38:26 PM PDT by Eva (W)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson