One of my favorite new sources of pertinent information is my weekly newsletter from www.pediastaff.com. It seems like every edition has something extremely helpful in regards to Noah’s current issues.
Today’s edition had an extra special newspaper article link in it, though, and I wanted to share it with all of you.
I admit, until I checked it out today, I wasn’t sure when Election Day 2012 was, but I knew it was coming up and I knew I’d participate. (It’s Tuesday, November 6th – the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.)
There’s one guy out there who knows exactly when Election Day is, and he has fought quite a battle to be able to cast a vote.
Meet Clinton Gode. Clinton is a 25-year-old man with Down syndrome who has won the right for people with disabilities who have a guardian to vote in the state of Arizona. In some states, one of the rights an adult with disabilities loses when a guardian is appointed for them is the right to vote. Lawmakers do not want those with undue influence to be able to use the voting rights of a person with a disability to further their cause.
The problem is that there are thousands of people out there whose best interests it is in to have a guardian even though they are completely competent to understand and be a part of the voting process.
Clinton Gode is one of those people.
If you think about it, of all the people whose lives are affected by our elections, people with disabilities are at the top of the list. Our politicians and legislation enacted by those politicians affect their medical care, their employability, their housing, their income, their rights, their very place in our society.
Clinton Gode and his family know that, and that’s why they banded together with a group of advocates, met with lawmakers, and eventually Clinton became the spokesman for House Bill 2377 which allows people who have guardians due to physical or intellectual disabilities, to have the opportunity to vote in Arizona.
What I love the most about this law is that this is not just a case of a state throwing a bone to the special needs special interest groups. Because of the concern of competency and undue influence, these people with special needs with guardianships who want to vote have to come before a judge and prove their intellectual capacity is commensurate with the decision level of casting a vote.
Clinton Gode has that capacity.
So as you go about the next few days tempted by the difficulties that might keep you from the polls on Tuesday, think about just how many difficulties Clinton Gode has overcome to exercise his right to vote. His vote counts and so does yours.
See you at the polls!
- Voting Rights Denied To People With Disabilities (pattidudek.typepad.com)
- People with Disabilities are Now a Voting Bloc (pattidudek.typepad.com)
- UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (timesofmalta.com)