Skip to comments.New Voters: Powerful and Mysterious? (registering people with developmental disabilities)
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 years 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 ...
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.
Didn't the million mom marchers collect institutionalized people to swell their numbers back when they first started doing their thing?
"I'm an excellent voter...ex, exe, excellent voter..."
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.
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.
I am sure a "freindly" Democrat will "help" them to "choose" their candidate.
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. ;-)
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.
I know that's why I listed Down's Syndrome and mental retardation. Who makes the call?
Thank you. I'm sorry I spelled it wrong.
"Intent of the voter"...
Do I need to remind you that HALF of the people vote for the party that wants to tax them into oblivion.
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.
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.
I understand that. What of the others?
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.
Will their vote be challenged if they show up with a guardian?
Too many syllables. "Retarded" works just fine.
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.