Elections Officials Exclude Voters With Down Syndrome, Assembly
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 12, 2004
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND--Northern Ireland's Electoral Office is excluding people with Down syndrome from the voting process -- even though they had been allowed to vote in the past -- an Assembly member said.
Online.ie reported Monday that Patsy McGlone, an Assembly member with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), accused the Electoral Office with refusing to place a constituent with Down syndrome on the electoral roll even though he had been on it as recently as last November and had voted in the past.
"The Electoral Office is now saying that because he has Down's syndrome he is not entitled to vote," said McGlone, who added that hundreds of other people were in the same situation.
"This fellow wants to go out and vote with everyone else and I know fine well that he knows who he wants to vote for."
McGlone said he has contacted the Equality Commission and may bring it up to the Human Rights Commission.
"The Electoral Office has made a quite arbitrary decision and I think it is very, very unfair," he explained.
"I don't think anyone ought to be allowed to make that sort of decision."