Original SDMB thread - Do the mentally ill have voting rights?


I'm psychiatrically diagnosed and not only do I vote, I vote as a highly politicized schizzy. (What's your position on outpatient commitment, informed consent, the right to sue in cases of harm from forced treatment, senator?)

In general, your voting rights cannot be taken from you unless you are proven incompetent, which is not something that can be established simply from establishing that you have a psychiatric diagnosis, or even that you are a danger to self or others. Competency is a legal, not a medical standard, not even a psychiatric medical standard. For this reason, in fact, inmates in New York who are involuntarily held in psychiatric bins for being a danger to self or others have the right to say "no" to the needle unless also found incompetent in a competency hearing. Of course it is a right that is blithely ignored in many venues here in the staten of New York, which also passed outpatient commitment laws that are probably unconstitutional and in violation of the beforementioned recognition of competency, but you don't always find consistency among the sane.

I've never been asked any question other than my social security number and address when I went to register to vote. If they are doing a check to see if I am a convicted felon, they aren't being very obvious about it. There is not, as of yet, a registration requirement, so there is no way to check to see if a given person has ever been incarcerated as a psychotic. We certainly hope to keep it that way.

 The SDMB Posts