NC Group Home Registers Down Syndrome Resident to Vote Without Guardian’s Permission
(ORRUM) – A Roberson County man is outraged because a group home registered his mentally challenged sister to vote without his knowledge. Tim Farabaugh is a retired pipefitter and a Civil War re-enactor living in Orrum, North Carolina with his sister Ruth Maria Farabaugh, 54. He is her legal guardian. The sister has Down Syndrome and Mr. Farabaugh says she has no capacity to make decisions on her own. He demonstrated that while the sister worked in a coloring book in their kitchen:
Maria Farabaugh was registered as a Democrat in 2006 but her brother didn’t find out about it until 2011. Mr. Farabaugh describes himself as a conservative Democrat. There is still a McCain-Palin sign in their front yard.
Mr. Farabaugh removed his sister from the McDuffie Group Home in Fayetteville and then tried to convince an official at the Cumberland County Board of Elections to remove his sister’s name from the voter rolls. He says the official balked:
He was finally able to remove Maria’s name from the rolls. The brother worries there could other similar cases. In fact such an allegation was made in 2011 in the Washington County Sheriff’s race. David Hassell lost to incumbent Sheriff James Ross. Based on testimony from staff at a group home, the Roanoke Development Center, Hassell claimed residents were given unsolicited help to vote. The center was run by the County Democratic Party Chairman.
The counsel for the State Board of Elections, Don Wright, says Farabaugh’s case appears to be a felony. “Only a voter’s near relative or legal guardian can aid the voter in a care home as to registering and voting,” says Wright. He says a violation of that statute is a felony. Still Wright says the board receives four to five complaints every year from families saying their relatives are being assisted with voting without the family’s consent.
“I am unaware of any district attorney that has chosen to prosecute such violations,” Wright says. “Many care homes are not aware of this statute.”
The fear for some is the group homes could be turned into voting blocs from some candidates, as was alleged in Washington County. Read the rest at the link below: