Thursday, October 9, 2008

October: Down syndrome Awareness Month (post #6)-Will Reid vote?

People with Mental Disabilities Have the Right to Vote . 

My last post was just for fun (Luke got such a kick out of seeing his name up on the billboard as the "unkown presidential candidate" on the video clip if you took a look!!) but it got me wondering what the voting rights are for individuals with mental disabilites...will Reid be able to enjoy this right just as everyone else? Here is what I found;

You do have the right to vote! If you are a person with a mental disability and understand what it means to vote, federal law protects your right to vote. The laws that protect that right: The Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132; Doe v. Rowe, 156 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.Me.2001).

You have the right to get help from a person you choose. If you can’t read or need help voting because of your disability, you can have someone help you vote. You can bring a friend, family member or someone else you trust to help you. You can ask the poll worker to help you if you didn’t bring anyone with you. The law that gives you that right: The Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§1973aa-6; The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132 

If you have a problem, you can get help by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE Lawyers are available to give voters with disabilities and other voters advice and help with voting problems, so call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). The law says everyone gets to cast a ballot, so don’t leave without voting!

Even if someone says you cannot vote, the law says the poll worker must allow you to vote a special ballot called a Provisional Ballot. Later, an election worker will decide whether you are allowed to vote in the election. If you are, your vote will be counted. The law that gives you that right: The Help America Vote Act, 42 U.S.C. § 15482

For more information about the rights of voters with disabilities visit


Nan P. said...

Obviously the details you give applies only to the US, and is not much use to us in Ireland, but your idea of posting this is EXCELLENT.

It got me thinking: What about our Little Prince once he reaches 18? We have time to see it coming, Cathal is only 7 months today (today?! whoa, almost missed that), and I am sure that he has the same rights here. But my main train of thought here is, yet again: "we take SO much for granted, until we are faced with a situation"... even the most basic of rights!

Kele said...

Absolutely!! I love how passionate Dan Drinker is about politics.
Heck, so much about who is in office determines a lot of the lives regarding people with special needs, they deserve their voice to be heard as much, if not more, than everyone else.
Thanks for sharing this Cheri!!

Genny said...

That picture of your son and that great cake is precious!

The Loux Family said...


You left a post on my blog and that gave me the privledge of checking your blog out!

Your story is very moving and your family is beautiful! Your two sons are such a blessing from the Lord, I'm sure of this! The Lord's plans are so much greater than ours. He trusts us with so much more than we trust ourselves with. What priceless treasures you've carried in your womb, and now have the blessing of raising. The Lord has great faith in you and has entrusted you with these two little angels. His plans for you are great (Jeremiah 29:11)!

Thanks you for making a difference in this world where many only see the glass as half empty.

Blessings and hugs to you all,

Renee' and Derek Loux and tribe :)

Andy and Ellen Stumbo said...


You are right, it is amazing how a small chromosome can bring people together. Our children are in the business of building bridges for our families. And like you said, even if you do not know someone face to face, the bond that we have is strong, and very special.

Thanks for the comment on my blog.

Jodi said...

My son turns 18 in January and I've been really looking forward to supporting him to register to vote. BTW, your sons are sooo handsome!

Jeanette said...

I am SOOO glad that you wrote this. It is something that honestly never came to mind (shame on me). This was very useful information. I just love blogging! It has shown me such amazing families like yours.