In Crow Wing County, Minnesota voting for the mentally handicapped instead of allowing them to vote for themselves is apparently like “instructing a young child on how to stay between the lines when coloring.” At least that is what a staffer for a facility for the mentally handicapped was heard saying at an early voting poll place last Friday. The staffer was seen filling out ballots for people that hadn’t the slightest idea why they were in the polling place.
Brainerd resident Montgomery Jensen witnessed this absurdity as he participated in early voting himself on Friday and filed an affidavit with County officials about the incident.
Jensen said that he saw “a large group of mentally handicapped people were told whom to vote for by mental health staff members and that staff filled out the ballots themselves without the disabled voters close by.”
Voter Jensen thought that it was inappropriate that these handicapped people were allowed into the polling place without proper supervision and decried that they were clearly unable to grasp their purpose there.
“(These handicapped individuals should not be able to vote) on an individual basis, no. Or with someone that is completely outside of … guardianship or something. No I don’t believe it should be happening that way,” Jensen said.
Jensen also reported that poll workers told him that the group of mentally disabled voters he observed was the fourth such group that Clark Lake Group Home facility staffers had ushered through that day.
Minnesota state election law states that no single person may help more than three people at a time at the polls but witness Jensen saw this staffer assisting some 20 folks.
One thing about some of the reporting of this story, however. It is being pinned on a “union staffer.” I called the Clark Lake facility in Minnesota and the administrator there told me that their facility is not unionized.