People with disabilities are an often forgotten group of people. Yes, there are laws in place that are supposed to protect the disabled but as a whole the general population does not consider disabled people when talking about or deciding issues. While this is a wide sweeping statement it is also clearly true as demonstrated by the voting laws in over half of US states.
In around 30 states there are laws in place that enable discrimination.
These laws make it so that people considered mentally disabled can be prevented from voting. The court generally has to determine that they are “mentally incapacitated” but that definition allows for leeway in interpretation. If someone needs a guardian to make medical or financial decisions it can be an automatic determination of “mental incapacity” and therefore an inability to vote.
These laws are highly discriminatory against the mentally disabled. Mental disability can often be a short term disease caused by undue stress or life circumstances. It can frequently be controlled with medication and simply because someone is mentally disabled does not make them insane or unable to vote. By depriving the mentally disabled their natural right to vote as citizens of the United States of America we are categorically denying them the right to express themselves and stand up for what they need.
Disabled people are full citizens of our country and should not, under any circumstances, be treated like second class citizens. It is important for disabled people to vote because it is an opportunity for them to have a voice. With the rest of the population primarily focused on their needs and the needs of their families – who will speak for the disabled? Granted there are many organizations that do fantastic work to help people of all disabilities. I applaud their work in providing housing, job training, education, and support. While they do their best and make a positive impact by helping disabled people across our country – these organizations do not take the place of a disable person in expressing their needs.
Some issues that are important to the disabled is the ability to qualify for disability and medical insurance. Laws have passed in this country over the last year that impact Medicare. During this election cycle choices will be made that have a direct impact to our countries health care, Medicare included. They deserve to be able to vote on these issues. Those that are having their rights trampled upon should consider contact an attorney that specializes in working with disability cases such as the Disparti Law Group.
Disabled people need to have a voice. Without it laws and regulations may pass in this country that harm them – not because the laws are intentionally harmful but because non disabled people do not know any better. Someone that does not suffer from a disability can never fully understand what it is like to walk in those shoes. We can guess but there is no need to guess when disabled citizens can speak for themselves. All we need to do is allow them to do so by ensuring they have a right to vote just like everyone else.