Reid and his friends will vote someday... not just as a privilege but as a right
About 16 years from now... on the eve of the election of 2028 I fully anticipate sitting in our living room having a good discussion with Reid about the candidates before us and the policies and laws he will have a hand in casting a vote for. It will be his first of many elections he will be able to take part in. There isn't any reason why he will not be able to vote, or any reason he will not be able to understand the principles and agenda each candidate stands for. I also anticipate proudly driving him to the voting booth if he isn't able to drive himself... and standing outside waiting for him extremely proud of him. I anticipate Reid getting a kick out of this experience and being fully passionate about whoever his candidate of choice is...
But for now.... my smarty pants is only 5 and on the eve of this election 2012 he tells me he is the best candidacy choice and that if he was elected president he would... well, play with his buddy Daniel A.!
Unfortunately tomorrow there are going to be some friends with intellectual disabilities that may be given a hard time when they show up to vote... I hope not, but if they do I hope they are armed with the information below:
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 http://www.ndrn.org/