Navigation Links
Often Disenfranchised, People With Mental Disabilities Can Assert Their Voting Rights

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 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 Print copies can be purchased online via a link from that page, with bulk discounts available, or by contacting for information.

The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law ( 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:
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... To help ... its charitable donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The National Breast Cancer ... breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services. , The annual campaign ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... SQM Group ... a contact channel benchmarking study. Be a part of this insightful ... for improving customer experience, customer journey, contact channel execution and intelligence, workforce optimization, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... ... Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery and MedSpa, PLLC (“Holcomb – Kreithen”), one of ... Surgery University,” an educational series of mini seminars covering aesthetic and plastic surgery options, ... Saturday, October 24, 2015. , The goal of the event is to provide hands-on ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... The Asthma and ... Engagement Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for a new project ... , The project, entitled “Training Patients with Asthma to Understand and Participate in ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... International law firm Greenberg ... with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) reported to be ... ReCell® Autologous Cell Harvesting Device under a U.S. mass casualty preparedness program. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... New York , October 12, 2015 ... (FMI) delivers key insights on the global vital signs monitoring ... Devices Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015-2025." The ... at a healthy CAGR of 9.5% and 9.2% in terms ... to factors, regarding which FMI offers major insights in detail ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Oct. 12, 2015 Beginning October 1, 2015 ... Partner, the fastest growing practice management system for therapists, ... easily converts all patient diagnostic codes from the former ... --> --> Therapy Partner has ... mental health practitioners to easily understand the conversion to ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015 Indivior PLC (LON: INDV) ... of Delaware granted the Company,s motion ... Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) No. 205299 to market a ... and naloxone) Sublingual Film (CIII) in the United ... Since August 2013, Indivior has received Paragraph IV certifications ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: