Kansans to vote on eliminating mental illness as voting disqualification

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May 3, 2010

TOPEKA, Kansas: Another measure has been added to the Kansas ballot, as the Kansas House of Representatives voted unanimously, 122-0, to send a voting disqualification proposal to the November 2, 2010 ballot. The measure, if enacted by voters, would eliminate mental illness as a voting disqualification. The Senate Judiciary Committee introduced the measure.[1]

According to sponsors of the amendment, a "mental illness" category is too general and affects as much as 25 percent of Kansas residents. Proponents also are arguing that disqualifying those with mental illnesses violates the United States Constitution and other laws that prohibit discriminating the disabled.[2]

The measure, a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, was previously approved by the Kansas State Senate on February 16, 2010 by a vote of 38-1. A 2/3rds vote in both chambers of the Kansas State Legislature is required to refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot. Kansas is one of 17 states that requires this process. The amendment joins the Kansas Right to Bear Arms Question also slated for the November ballot in the state.

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