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More reports of disabled voters coached to support Obama

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 31, 2008 01:21 PM

Not again.

We’ve already had reports from south Georgia and California of disabled voters coached into casting their ballots for Obama.

There’s a new allegation from Iowa:

Reports that an 87-year-old Council Bluffs woman was allegedly pressured to vote absentee by a Democratic campaign volunteer raise suspicions that some people who have diminished mental capacity are being targeted, a Republican official said Wednesday.

The allegation by Chris Taylor, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, refers to claims by Angela Murphy-Hayes, who said her 87-year-old mother, a dementia patient, was coerced to cast a ballot about two weeks ago.

“This is happening everywhere, but nobody wants to stand up and say anything,” Murphy-Hayes said Wednesday. “I’m so mad. It’s not right.”

Secretary of State Michael Mauro said it appears the signature on the mailed ballot matched other legal documents that Murphy-Hayes’ mother had signed.

Even so, the ballot has been challenged by Murphy-Hayes, which means it will not be counted until a special precinct board can meet and consider her challenge.

The case comes amid nationwide questions about the security and veracity of the U.S. election system.

In San Joaquin County, Calif., parents of developmentally disabled patients are outraged at how their children were exploited:

Parents of developmentally-disabled adults in San Joaquin County say staff members at a care facility overstepped their bounds by registering clients to vote.

“I have an issue with them going behind my back. It was wrong,” said Rod Homen. Homen’s daughter Shelley, 26, spends the day at CAPS PLUS in Manteca but lives at home with him in Escalon.

Homen said Shelley has the intellectual capacity of a seven-year-old. He discovered she had voted absentee after paperwork arrived at the house from the county registrar.

The mother of another CAPS PLUS client was equally outraged. “It really made me mad,” said Diana Hanson.

“She doesn’t understand it. She’s not mentally capable of voting,” said Hanson of her daughter Kara, 23, who has Down Syndrome.

CAPS PLUS assistant program director Nicole Gowan said all 70 clients were offered the opportunity to register, but fewer than half chose to do so.

“As adults we have the right to vote and those individuals who were interested in registering to vote were provided with the materials necessary to do so,” Gowan told News10.

A similar issue came up earlier in the week at a care facility in Sonora. Some parents of clients at the Thumbs Up! center objected to their adult children voting without their consent.

Although clients at both facilities appeared to have voted overwhelmingly Democratic, staff facilities insisted they did not coerce clients into registering and did not influence their votes.

“That would be unethical,” said Gowan at the CAPS PLUS center.

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