Vote for America's Mental Health in 2012
With all of the changes in health care and voting laws happening at the state and federal level, it’s more important than ever for the mental health community to be involved in this year’s election. We have prepared this voter guide to help mental health advocates ensure that people with mental health and substance use conditions feel empowered and able to vote; that candidates at the federal, state, and local levels are considering the concerns of the mental health community; and to encourage all voters to ultimately Vote for America’s Mental Health in 2012. This guide provides:
Know Your Rights: Voting Registration Information
Over the past three years, troublesome restrictions have been placed on the voting process including barriers to registration and voter identification requirements. The Brennan Center for Justice warns the wave of new state voting laws and requirements have the potential to substantially affect the 2012 electoral map. Knowing your voting rights will help make sure you can vote in November. Since more than 20 percent of Americans have some type of mental health condition during any given year, it is crucial that members of our community understand that individuals with mental health and substance use conditions and other disabilities have the right to vote and have the right to assistance in voting. The National Disability Rights Network has compiled two useful informational fact sheets for voters with behavioral health conditions and disabilities that can be obtained by clicking here and here.
Mental health consumers need to be aware of the significant new voting laws that have been established. These laws are estimated to make it significantly harder for more than 5 million eligible voters to register or vote in the upcoming election. The Brennan Center’s report “Voting Law Changes in 2012” outlines the primary changes in voter laws for the upcoming election, which include:
Legislation is still pending in many states, however, and several other states are already facing legal challenges to the laws. It is essential that behavioral health consumers, community stakeholders, and YOU are actively aware of changes in voting laws in your state!
For the latest updates on YOUR states voting laws, visit The Fair Elections Network whose mission is to remove barriers to voting and improve election administration across the United States.
Deadlines to register before the general election vary state to state, but most are coming up within the next several weeks. For specific information on registering to vote, re-registering, and registration deadlines in YOUR state, visit:
Tell Your Friends and Stay Informed
Tell your friends to cast their vote for America’s mental health this November.
Sign up for breaking news and action alerts on important mental health issues.