Navigation Links
Often Disenfranchised, People With Mental Disabilities Can Assert Their Voting Rights
Date:10/7/2008

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Vote. It's Your Right." So states the title of a guide for people with mental disabilities issued today by two national advocacy groups. The booklet written for voters with mental disabilities and their advocates also informs elections officials and mental health providers about laws that affect voting by individuals with mental disabilities.

"There is a widespread myth that people with mental disabilities shouldn't vote," said Jennifer Mathis, deputy legal director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and a principal author of the guide.

"Such arbitrary disenfranchisement violates federal law," Mathis added. "We produced this guide to provide needed clarity and ensure that people with mental disabilities can exercise their right to vote like every other citizen."

The guide was developed by the Bazelon Center and the National Disability Rights Network, national nonprofits representing people with mental illnesses and intellectual disabilities. It focuses on four main areas: 1) voter-competence requirements, 2) state photo-ID laws, 3) voter challenges and 4) providing help to voters with disabilities. It explains which federal laws apply and includes a list of key legal principles (see http://www.bazelon.org/newsroom/2008/VoterGuide10-2-08.htm#principles) and a chart citing each state's laws that affect the voting rights of people with mental disabilities.

All but 11 states have some type of law limiting voting rights based on competence, although more than half allow a court to take away someone's right to vote only if it specifically finds that the person lacks the capacity to vote. However, even in states without such laws, actions by election officials or staff at hospitals, nursing homes or group homes often deprive residents of access to the ballot. The guide cites the example of a Veterans Administration nursing home that refused to permit volunteers to help residents register (noting that the VA recently modified that policy).

"Only a court can decide that someone is not competent to vote," the guide points out. It recommends that a voter who is told by a poll worker that he or she may not vote "ask to vote a provisional ballot before leaving the polling place."

Accompanying the guide are two flyers: one explaining their voting rights to people with mental disabilities and another informing election officials and service providers how help can be provided to a voter with mental disabilities, and by whom.

Vote. It's Your Right. And the flyers are available as PDFs to download from the Bazelon Center's website at http://www.bazelon.org/issues/voting. Print copies can be purchased online via a link from that page, with bulk discounts available, or by contacting pubs@bazelon.org for information.

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (http://www.bazelon.org) is the leading national legal-advocacy organization representing people with mental disabilities. It promotes laws and policies that can enable people with psychiatric or developmental disabilities to exercise their life choices and access the resources they need to participate fully in their communities.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Heart Attack Care Often Delayed for the Poor
2. Students with food allergies often not prepared
3. Men Often Not Told of Severity of Wifes Cancer
4. Erectile dysfunction lower in men who have intercourse more often
5. Newborns in Intensive Care Often Exposed to Pain
6. Current screening test for prediabetes in children misses the diagnosis too often
7. Poor spellers with good phonetic skills are more often right-handed
8. X-rays often repeated for patients in developing countries
9. Stroke Victims Often Suffer From Lack of Nutrients With Undiagnosed Disorder
10. Heart Device Recipients Often Not Aware of Recalls
11. Female sex offenders often have mental problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... June 25, 2017 , ... CareSet Labs released the ... New Orleans. This is a new, greatly improved version of the Doctor Referral teaming ... requests by Fred Trotter and subsequently called the the “Doctor Referral Dataset” as released ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2017 , ... ... Dental365 family. Located at 217 Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma, Dental365 offers patients ... and weekends so that visits to the dentist fit into their patients’ busy ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... By scoring 100% for fiscal ... four-star rating from premier online charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, validating ANRF's work as a ... all charities reviewed by Charity Navigator and earns ANRF a spot on their “ ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Military Connection ... denied entry to the JFK Virgin Atlantic lounge. , Bensko is no stranger ... six years ago, Bensko dedicated her life to supporting our wounded veterans. A world-class ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... Breast Cancer Conference from Sept. 18 to 20. , The two-day conference is ... subtype with the goal of improving patients’ lives and eliminating racial breast cancer-related ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/13/2017)... WARSAW, Ind. , June 13, 2017 Zimmer ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that the U.S. Food and ... Letter dated June 3, 2015 relating to its ... "The successful clearance of ... China manufacturing facility is a measure of the ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... diabetes. In a further effort to help spread lessons ... this condition, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Eli ... come together for the second phase of the Bringing ... (BRIDGES 2), reaffirming their commitment to helping people with ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... June 7, 2017  Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: NVAX ... Phase 2 trials of its RSV F protein recombinant nanoparticle ... age have been published in the journal Vaccine ... shared in prior scientific conferences). The Company previously announced ... Novavax is developing the RSV F Vaccine with the goal ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: