Rally To Protect Voting Rights Of Mentally Ill

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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October 18, 2010

Wichitans attended a rally in support of Question 2 on the ballot to guarantee those with a mental illness with the right to vote. The amendment would eliminate three words, "mental illness or" from the Kansas Constitution.

"Regardless of my chronic condition, I should have the same given rights from a state government as anyone else," said Kerry Franklin, speaker living with a mental illness. She was diagnosed as criminally insane at the age of 13 and has since been treated.

If a majority of voters say yes to Question 2, then it will eliminate mental illness as a voting disqualification. Conditions like attention deficit disorder, post depression, and anxiety are classified as mental illnesses.

"Mental illness can affect everybody, including themselves. One in five Kansans will have a mental illness in any given year. But that's not a reason to preclude people from voting," said Michelle Sweeney, rally organizer from Topeka.

Organizers staged six rallies across Kansas to educate voters before Election Day on Nov. 2.

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