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Should developmentally disabled Adults...

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Should developmentally disabled have the right to vote?  Or should they lose this right if they are determined to be mentally incompetent?  

Group-home staff took illiterate, developmentally disabled resident to vote

Cecil Pearson is “shocked” his daughter voted for Barack Obama in November, but not for a typical reason: Darlene, Pearson’s daughter, is intellectually disabled and functionally illiterate, and lives with five other women in a group home operated by Easter Seals.

“We are here to support the individual’s rights and we help them exercise their rights as adults,” Jeff Smith, Easter Seals chief communication officer, told The Daily Caller.

“We we were providing the support for those individuals based on their community involvement and desires, and in this case their desire was to vote.”

In the state of North Carolina, Darlene can vote, marry and enter into contracts, despite a court ruling in 1995 declaring her incompetent.

“Its not my role to refute law or otherwise,” Smith told TheDC, “They are individuals and they have the same rights. … They were fully in their right to vote.”

But Darlene’s father said that as her legal guardian, he should have been notified.

“My wife and I became her legal guardians in 1996 to prevent exploitation like this,” Pearson told the Carolina Journal. “We were not consulted. She is not capable of making an informed choice, and as her guardians we would not have approved it.”

According to the North Carolina Board of Elections records, Darlene has been registered to vote since 1995 but November’s election marked the first time she has actually voted. Staff from Darlene’s group home took her to a Division of Motor Vehicles office in 1995 to get a photo identification card.

That day, with the assistance of the Moter-Voter law, she also registered to vote.

“Our job is to support them in living a full and active life,” Smith told TheDC. “We didn’t single out voting. It was just something else they wanted to do in the community.”

On Nov. 2, Darlene and other women in the group home were transported in a van to an early voting site in Roanoke Rapids. Assisted by a Halifax County election board employee, Darlene cast her vote curbside.

Pearson claims Darlene is incapable of making this important decision on her own, so someone else must have decided how she would vote.

But Smith insisted that Easter Seal’s staff did not help their residents vote, nor were they present when they cast their ballots.

“We didn’t influence them, nor did we know who they voted for unless they chose to share that,” he said.

Halifax County Elections Board Chairwoman Marilyn Harris explained to the Carolina Journal, “We had a registered voter who presented herself to vote. She asked for assistance and she was allowed to vote.”

Pearson wrote in an email to Easter Seals President Connie L. Cochran, “I know who my daughter voted for and I also know that when I asked who else she replied that she did not know. … [A]lso of interest to me is the fact she CANNOT read other than ‘a dog, cat and such simple words.’”



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/12/04/group-home-staff-took-illiterate-developmentally-disabled-resident-to-vote/#ixzz2EOISL1ox

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM
Replies (11-20):
MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't disagree that the developmentally disabled are ABLE to function and lead normal lives, but in this case her father seems to paint her as being not very capable.  I'm left to wonder if what his real issue is?  Is the voting in general or the fact she voted for Obama.  And he shouldn't be in the know of whom she voted for anyway. 

Quoting katy_kay08:

they could have read the ballot to her.  There are quite a few functioning illiterate adults in the United States that are quite intelligent and capable of making informed decisions.  

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

If this young lady can not read then either someone had to tell her who to vote for, or she just picked one.  Either case is problematic. 



romalove
by Roma on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM


Quoting Nicoleb9:

I'm wondering how they pick and choose which things they're able to decide for themselves on and which things they're not.


Quoting romalove:

In the state of North Carolina, Darlene can vote, marry and enter into contracts, despite a court ruling in 1995 declaring her incompetent.

^^^^^^  quoted from the article

THIS is the problem.  If someone is declared incompetent they should not be able to do ANY of these things without legal guardian allowing such.  Should someone declared incompetent be able to vote?  No, but I'm more concerned that they can be duped into marriage and contracts that they don't understand.


I can't imagine what "incompetent" declarations mean if the person isn't given any restrictions or oversight.

romalove
by Roma on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:28 PM


Quoting katy_kay08:

It appears they did want to vote, but regardless, that isn't the question posed.  Should their right to vote stand if they have been declared mentally incompetent?  

Quoting Aivlys_:

They should want to vote....


Quoting katy_kay08:

If they are registered to vote why shouldn't the center take them to exercise their right?  


Quoting Aivlys_:

Smh..that's shameful! Taking them to vote, when they probably have no clue what they are doing!




How does someone who is illiterate and developmentally disabled to the point of being declared incompetent know that they want to exercise their right to vote?

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:29 PM
2 moms liked this

Sounds like her parents are pissed she voted for Obama, seriously.

And with the electoral college her vote isn't going to really count anyway, so why are they so pissy?

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:31 PM

The undertone of this seems to be who she voted for.  

However, considering she was declared incompetent, she should not be allowed to vote, marry or otherwise, without the consent and guidance of her legal guardians.

Some may view it as her losing her rights.  It is to protect her.  Not to strip her of any thing.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Maya Angelou

stormcris
by Christy on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:34 PM
1 mom liked this

I need more information to make a determination. If someone had taken my cousin to vote given his disability I would know it was a farce. However, my other cousin is incompetent as well. She is perfectly capable of being able to decide who president should be. Many people are declared incompetent each year to require medication be forced upon them or to give another person the right to place them in a treatment facility. These people have the ability to decide who the president should be but perhaps due to illness not the ability to take care of their condition. Sometimes to get them admitted to certain facilities they must have this declaration.  A person's ability to read does not and should not make them ineligible to vote either. 

katy_kay08
by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:38 PM


Quoting romalove:


Quoting katy_kay08:

It appears they did want to vote, but regardless, that isn't the question posed.  Should their right to vote stand if they have been declared mentally incompetent?  

Quoting Aivlys_:

They should want to vote....


Quoting katy_kay08:

If they are registered to vote why shouldn't the center take them to exercise their right?  


Quoting Aivlys_:

Smh..that's shameful! Taking them to vote, when they probably have no clue what they are doing!




How does someone who is illiterate and developmentally disabled to the point of being declared incompetent know that they want to exercise their right to vote?

They hear someone talking about the process  and/or watch the news?  While is clearly Just a guess, I don't think it would be all that difficult for one to hear and ask questions.    

romalove
by Roma on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:40 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting katy_kay08:


Quoting romalove:


Quoting katy_kay08:

It appears they did want to vote, but regardless, that isn't the question posed.  Should their right to vote stand if they have been declared mentally incompetent?  

Quoting Aivlys_:

They should want to vote....


Quoting katy_kay08:

If they are registered to vote why shouldn't the center take them to exercise their right?  


Quoting Aivlys_:

Smh..that's shameful! Taking them to vote, when they probably have no clue what they are doing!




How does someone who is illiterate and developmentally disabled to the point of being declared incompetent know that they want to exercise their right to vote?

They hear someone talking about e process and/or watch the news?  While is clearly Just a guess, I don't think it would be all that difficult for one to hear and ask questions.    

My guess is that someone who is declared incompetent and is functionally illiterate and developmentally disabled is a person who is ripe for manipulation.

My stand is they don't have the right to vote without approval from their legal guardian, as well as marry or sign contracts.  


meriana
by Platinum Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting romalove:

In the state of North Carolina, Darlene can vote, marry and enter into contracts, despite a court ruling in 1995 declaring her incompetent.

^^^^^^  quoted from the article

THIS is the problem.  If someone is declared incompetent they should not be able to do ANY of these things without legal guardian allowing such.  Should someone declared incompetent be able to vote?  No, but I'm more concerned that they can be duped into marriage and contracts that they don't understand.

That would also be my biggest concern. I wonder why her legal guardians were not informed of her apparent wish to vote, seems to me as legal guardians, they should have been.

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

I think if they choose to vote then the legal guardian should take them to vote. I agree with PP about being more worried about the marriage and contract end of it

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