Cognitive Impairment and the Right to Vote: Rethinking the Meaning of Accessible Elections
Canadian Journal of Elder Law, Vol. 1, p. 29, 2008
24 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2009
Date Written: December 15, 2008
Persons with cognitive disabilities can face formidable barriers to voting as a result of their disabilities. While some of these barriers are the unavoidable result of those disabilities, others are constructed by third parties. Given the deleterious effects that these constructed impediments may have on the civil rights of the cognitively disabled and on the democratic system of governance, democracies should take affirmative steps to increase the cognitive accessibility of voting systems. Just as democracies have found ways to make voting more accessible to persons with physical disabilities, democracies can and should design voting systems that make voting more accessible to those with cognitive impairments. This article identifies several approaches to doing so and recommends further research to guide such reforms.
Keywords: Voting, elections, disability, cognitive impairment, civil rights
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