August 20, 2020 5 minute to read ∙ 1100 words

Guardianship and the Right to Vote

By Charles P. Sabatino

Reprinted with permission from Human Rights, Volume 45, Number 3, 2020, at 16-17. ©2020 by the American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

Today under federal election law, there are only two groups that states may exclude from voting—felons and persons categorized in some way as having mental impairments. Restoring the right to vote to felons who have served their time has gained much-needed attention in recent years, but access to the polls by persons having mental impairments who are under guardianship is rarely seen as a priority inquiry. The inattention is inexcusable.

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