The Latest GOP Voter Suppression, the Mentally Challenged

The GOP in Californai, led by Chuck Bell, the State’™s GOP Attorney, wants to question the votes of ten developmentally disabled adults who were helped in their voting by their caretaker. He thinks they were coerced. The real case is that the voters didn’™t vote for Republicans, but 9 to 1 for Obama. As one said, when asked, the black guy.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I suppose there are legitimate reasons that one might want to pass a mental acuity test to qualify voters in this country. Given how many people voted for George Bush, and how many people think Sarah Palin is qualified, it would seem the Republican Party would be dead set against such a law. But, no! They are challenging the votes of six developmentally disabled adults in Tuolumne County, CA. This is too stupid to be believed. From ABC 7 in San Francisco:

Michael Rascon voted in his first presidential election. He and nine other developmentally disabled clients at the Thumbs Up adult care home in Tuolumne County recently cast their absentee ballots. All but one voted for Barak Obama.

‘œDid someone help you vote?’ asked the ABC reporter.

‘œDave did,’ said Michael.

David Simerley is the home’™s director. He admits to helping any client with his ballot who asked.

‘œNo one’™s vote should be coerced, I think that’™s the bottom line,’ said Chuck Bell, the State’™s GOP Attorney.

The state Republican Party now questions the validity of the Thumbs Up votes. They want the Secretary of State to investigate.

‘œIf they haven’™t been declared incompetent to vote and they’™re a citizen of the United States and they’™re over 18 and they’™re a legal resident, they’™re entitled to vote,’ said Professor Pamela Karlan, from Stanford University School of Law.

Karlan says legally, someone like Director Simerley can fill out a ballot for his clients, if they’™re illiterate or incapable. Freedom of speech even gives Simerley the right to share his political opinions.

Chuck Bell, the GOP State’™s Attorney thinks there is some kind of coercion? First, you have to wonder what he would say if the guys voted for McCain. He’™d probably crow about his expanding base in California. Second, it is obvious the guy is on the wrong side of the law, so one might wonder why he is in the position he is, as a defender of the law. Finally, I have never met a more honest group of people in my life than the people who work with the mentally disabled. Never. Not ever. To impugn their motives is frankly just another ugly whine on the part of the Republicans.

Thursday, October 30th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

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