The Mentally Retarded & the Right to VotePolity
AbstractThe question of whether the mentally retarded should be allowed to vote is of immense interest and practical importance since it bears on the more general questions of personal rights and dignity. Recent moves to relieve the disabilities of the mentally retarded have focused on their right to vote and participate as full citizens in the political system. The authors of this article set out to justify the restoration of political rights to the mentally retarded by analyzing the reasons for granting political participation to the common man. Applying the same criteria to the mentally retarded they find the relevant differences insufficient to justify their political disqualification. They see the root of the problem in certain wide-spread feelings and prejudices. The remedy, they conclude, lies in the presumption of everyone's right to vote in a democracy.
Citation InformationBarbara B. Green, Nancy K. Klein. (1980). The Mentally Retarded & the Right to Vote. Polity, 13, 2, 184-206.