Voting Rights Are Automatically Revoked for Some Disabled People

A pile of pins with in red white and blue that read "vote." Article by nonspeaking RPM speller Kwame R. Brobbey

Autistic people should have the right to vote. I have voted. I voted for President. I answered questions on the ballot. I watch the news and ads and make up my own mind. Guardianship takes away the right to vote in 4 states.

This is against The Constitution. Spellers like me who have to have guardianship for protection should not be denied the right to vote. I have a sound mind.

All U.S. citizens have a federally guaranteed right to vote, but those under guardianship (or conservatorship) may not have that right. Although things are slowly changing, some states still deny citizens the right to vote if they have been declared mentally incompetent, and this automatically includes anyone under guardianship, whether or not they actually lack the mental capacity to vote. 

Many people with special needs who are perfectly capable of voting have appointed guardians – usually their parents – so that they can continue to be cared for into adulthood.  But, depending on the state, being under guardianship may mean that in the eyes of the law they lack mental capacity and can’t vote.

The rationale for the denial of voting rights is that people with mental incapacity do not understand the nature of voting and are vulnerable to being manipulated.

However, with better understanding of the nature of certain disabilities and the advent of civil rights advocacy, these “mental incapacity” laws are now being called into question as unfair and unlawful restrictions on the rights of voters with disabilities.  More people with disabilities now have the right to vote and the right to choose a person to assist them with voting, and cannot be barred from voting by anyone other than a judge.

Gilsoul Associates, 2019. Retrieved 6/29/2021 from


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5 Responses

  1. A silly question perhaps, but what do you mean by “spellers like me”?

    1. It is at end of this at bottom of article, “Kwame R. Brobbey My name is Kwame R. Brobbey. I am 19 years old. I enjoy swimming, basketball,track, the beach, cartoons, roller coasters, and movies. I use a letterboard to spell to communicate.”

  2. Voting rights are being revoked for so many of us and I am deeply disturbed by it. It is unconstitutional and egregiously wrong, and we must somehow figure out how to stop our rights from being infringed. Write to your representatives, be vocal in whatever way possible, including blogs like this one. Write, write and write more!

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