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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 (31-40):
norwgnwood
by Bronze Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:25 AM
Mentally handicapped... Still smarter than your average republican.
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deadlights86
by Bronze Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:25 AM
The article said a worker helped her. Maybe they read all the options to her. I dont see how 1 vote will make much of a difference.
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romalove
by Roma on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:25 AM


Quoting SWasson:

It's not the center's job to decide whether or not a resident has the right to vote; it's the state's, and the state already decided.

I don't understand why they bother to label someone incompetent if they can do everything anyway.  We don't let kids vote (or execute contracts or get married) because we don't consider them competent to make those decisions.  Why is it different if an adult is incompetent?


romalove
by Roma on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:26 AM


Quoting deadlights86:

The article said a worker helped her. Maybe they read all the options to her. I dont see how 1 vote will make much of a difference.

I agree.

One vote won't make any difference.

I'm more worried about people who are incompetent being taken advantage of.

Reading the options to an illiterate, developmentally disabled incompetent person doesn't make them any more knowledgable.

TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:28 AM
I think legal, and/or marriage, contracts are very different than voting and I would want see a mentally incompetent person have a guardian that genuinely looks out for their well being and best interests.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

That's really it. If we start putting intellectual stipulations on the ability to vote, it is no longer a "right", but a privilege.



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!


I'm actually more concerned that a person who is illiterate, developmentally disabled and has been determined to be legally incompetent can execute a contract or choose to marry.  I think such a person should have a legal guardian of some kind, and thought they did.  If their legal guardian takes them to vote or approves marriage or contracts then I would have no problem.  But to let someone in this sort of condition make decisions when they have been determined to be unable to make decisions leaves a situation ripe for manipulation and I think it's dangerous for the person.

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romalove
by Roma on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:31 AM


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I think legal, and/or marriage, contracts are very different than voting and I would want see a mentally incompetent person have a guardian that genuinely looks out for their well being and best interests.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

That's really it. If we start putting intellectual stipulations on the ability to vote, it is no longer a "right", but a privilege.



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!


I'm actually more concerned that a person who is illiterate, developmentally disabled and has been determined to be legally incompetent can execute a contract or choose to marry.  I think such a person should have a legal guardian of some kind, and thought they did.  If their legal guardian takes them to vote or approves marriage or contracts then I would have no problem.  But to let someone in this sort of condition make decisions when they have been determined to be unable to make decisions leaves a situation ripe for manipulation and I think it's dangerous for the person.

You've given up on expecting competence in voting?

LOL

SWasson
by Bronze Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Hey, I have no clue. Obviously states have some leeway here. 

Quoting romalove:


Quoting SWasson:

It's not the center's job to decide whether or not a resident has the right to vote; it's the state's, and the state already decided.

I don't understand why they bother to label someone incompetent if they can do everything anyway.  We don't let kids vote (or execute contracts or get married) because we don't consider them competent to make those decisions.  Why is it different if an adult is incompetent?



TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:35 AM
Well, not everyone is a political junky. Lol

I think once we have intelligence requirements for voting, we're making it an elite privilege, rather than a constitutional right as a citizen.


Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I think legal, and/or marriage, contracts are very different than voting and I would want see a mentally incompetent person have a guardian that genuinely looks out for their well being and best interests.



Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

That's really it. If we start putting intellectual stipulations on the ability to vote, it is no longer a "right", but a privilege.





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!


I'm actually more concerned that a person who is illiterate, developmentally disabled and has been determined to be legally incompetent can execute a contract or choose to marry.  I think such a person should have a legal guardian of some kind, and thought they did.  If their legal guardian takes them to vote or approves marriage or contracts then I would have no problem.  But to let someone in this sort of condition make decisions when they have been determined to be unable to make decisions leaves a situation ripe for manipulation and I think it's dangerous for the person.

You've given up on expecting competence in voting?

LOL

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
romalove
by Roma on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:37 AM


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

Well, not everyone is a political junky. Lol

I think once we have intelligence requirements for voting, we're making it an elite privilege, rather than a constitutional right as a citizen.


Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I think legal, and/or marriage, contracts are very different than voting and I would want see a mentally incompetent person have a guardian that genuinely looks out for their well being and best interests.



Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

That's really it. If we start putting intellectual stipulations on the ability to vote, it is no longer a "right", but a privilege.





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!


I'm actually more concerned that a person who is illiterate, developmentally disabled and has been determined to be legally incompetent can execute a contract or choose to marry.  I think such a person should have a legal guardian of some kind, and thought they did.  If their legal guardian takes them to vote or approves marriage or contracts then I would have no problem.  But to let someone in this sort of condition make decisions when they have been determined to be unable to make decisions leaves a situation ripe for manipulation and I think it's dangerous for the person.

You've given up on expecting competence in voting?

LOL

I think in this case I am letting my own emotions get away with me.

We don't have literacy requirements for voting, or intelligence requirements (as is obvious, see who we've been electing???).

I guess my overall concern for a person in this condition's wellbeing and my fear of their being manipulated and being taken advantage of is overwhelming the more rational part of she should be able to vote.

I guess she can't do worse than the rest of us.

TCgirlatheart
by TC on Dec. 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM
I agree with you, having someone take advantage of her legally should be a bigger concern.
I think whoever took this to the press focused on the wrong issue.


Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

Well, not everyone is a political junky. Lol



I think once we have intelligence requirements for voting, we're making it an elite privilege, rather than a constitutional right as a citizen.




Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

I think legal, and/or marriage, contracts are very different than voting and I would want see a mentally incompetent person have a guardian that genuinely looks out for their well being and best interests.





Quoting romalove:


Quoting TCgirlatheart:

That's really it. If we start putting intellectual stipulations on the ability to vote, it is no longer a "right", but a privilege.







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!


I'm actually more concerned that a person who is illiterate, developmentally disabled and has been determined to be legally incompetent can execute a contract or choose to marry.  I think such a person should have a legal guardian of some kind, and thought they did.  If their legal guardian takes them to vote or approves marriage or contracts then I would have no problem.  But to let someone in this sort of condition make decisions when they have been determined to be unable to make decisions leaves a situation ripe for manipulation and I think it's dangerous for the person.

You've given up on expecting competence in voting?

LOL

I think in this case I am letting my own emotions get away with me.

We don't have literacy requirements for voting, or intelligence requirements (as is obvious, see who we've been electing???).

I guess my overall concern for a person in this condition's wellbeing and my fear of their being manipulated and being taken advantage of is overwhelming the more rational part of she should be able to vote.

I guess she can't do worse than the rest of us.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
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