The Misue of the Disabled

November 2, 2008 at 2:55 am Leave a comment

This is just amazing. It is very disheartening to see the disabled being taken advantage of by caregivers “helping” them vote. While it may be the right of every citizen of age to cast a vote, it should also be true that they should be competent to make that choice for themselves. The point of individual voting is not to make it a tool to be manipulated. If a person is not of mental capacity to even register, comprehend, etc then it should be up to their parents or loved ones to deal with their right to vote, NOT to the caregiver at whatever facility they are residing at. The family may have a different view of what is best for their loved one AND the family should be the final say so in this instance.

Here are cases of such situations – that could bordering on being voter fraud:

Brenda in Iowa writes:

My son was politicized!! I live in Iowa. I have a disabled 26 yr old son. I have never registered him to vote because 1. He is not mentally capable and 2. He couldn’t read a ballot. He lives in a group home with others like him. They the homes staff registered my son to vote. When I found out I told them that he is NOT allowed to vote. I find out today they took him to vote and a home staff member told him who to vote for (Obama) and was actually the person who helped him vote. I am livid. They tell me it is his right and the law. They knew I would probably ‘get him’ on election day so they took him to vote early. I am shaking so bad right now. The staff used my son and others for political gains.

Michelle Malkin reports of more instances in Georgia, California, and Iowa.

Here is one of the California stories:

The California Republican Party is asking the secretary of state to investigate an organized voting campaign involving developmentally disabled adults in Tuolumne County.

As many as ten clients of the Thumbs Up! adult care center have already cast absentee ballots under the supervision of center director David Simerley, and nearly all of them were for Barack Obama.

“We all registered to vote and we all sat together as a group and went over our ballots and voted,” Simerley told News10.

Among those voting was Michael Rascon, 56, whose father described him as having the mental capacity of a 5-year-old.

“What kind of people would do this to somebody like that,” asked Sam Rascon, who discovered his son had registered and voted only after seeing him with an Obama button last Thursday. “He wouldn’t know one candidate from another.”

News10 spoke to Michael Rascon at the Thumbs Up! center about the election. When asked which candidate he’d voted for, Rascon answered “the black man.” He was unable to remember Obama’s name.

Simerley said the absentee voting followed field trips to both local Republican and Democratic party headquarters.

“When we register people to vote, we try to be totally non-partisan,” Simerley said. He insists he exerted no influence over his clients despite the fact nearly all of them voted Democratic in an otherwise Republican county.

“I think maybe Obama would appeal to people with disabilities,” he explained.

Sad. This would be wrong no matter which party the votes were for. People being taken advantage of is just wrong.

Not to mention the curiosity of inmates voting. The curious part being exactly how it is done. Absentee with ballots sent to their place of residence outside of the prison, sent to the prison directly, polling done in the prison in person, etc. There is a lot of room for gray in this. How hard would it be to imagine – a ballot being sent to the home where the inmate lives and it magically getting filled out for them without the inmate ever actually seeing it? Vermont and Maine are the only two states where convicted inmates can actually vote, with the only exception being if they are in for murder. In the other states it varies, but seems that if they are in prison awaiting trial then they are eligible.

Virginia: The Law ‘Stinks’
National: Voting rights confusion, education, history
California: Accessible Resources at Prisons for Families, Inmates
Georgia: Those yet to be Sentenced Can Vote
Alabama: Several Voting Rights Suits Challenge Constitution, Political Party, Antiquated Law
Tennessee: State Reports Increase in Registration of Individuals with Felony Convictions
New York: Voting Rights Must Not Be Denied; State Officials Must be Educated to Educate Others
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