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Forced To Vote For Obama? Concerns raised over possible exploitation of mentally disabled voters

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Jimmy Green’s stepdaughter had never voted before. The 57-year-old is mentally disabled, and Green said she doesn’t understand the concept of casting a ballot.

But this week, she called her parents to say she had voted for President Obama. The care home in Fayetteville where she lives registered its residents to vote and drove them to the polls, Green said.

“My concern is that somebody told her who to vote for,” he said. “She didn’t even know there’s two different parties.”

Complaints of uncomprehending voters being ferried to cast ballots surface every election. And in a presidential race as close as this year’s, with huge levels of early voting, any perceived irregularity is falling under intense scrutiny.

But federal and state laws are very clear – there is no competency test for voting.

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“The law specifically says that anyone with a disability is allowed to have assistance from anyone that they choose,” said Terri Robertson, director of the Cumberland County Board of Elections. “As long as they can communicate to us in some way that they need assistance and who they wish to have assistance from, the law allows it.”

In 2010, Gary Bartlett, the state elections director, issued a memo to county boards clarifying the law.

“In the absence of evidence of systematic fraud,” Bartlett wrote, “the presumption should work in favor of the opportunity of the voter to vote.”

via FayObserver.com – Concerns raised over possible exploitation of mentally disabled voters.

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