Man with Down Syndrome to Cast First Ballot Under New Arizona Law
[Source: Special Ed Post]
All his life, when Clinton Gode wanted to do something — learn to swim, ride a quad, show goats in 4-H — his parents helped him figure out how to make it happen. No matter that he has Down syndrome.
But when he turned 18, his parents became his legal guardians in order to handle his health care and his finances — “Clinton would give you his last nickel if you asked for it,” his dad says, chuckling. And Arizona law had been clear since statehood: If you can’t manage your own affairs, you can’t vote.
Clinton’s parents had explained it to him. But it didn’t sink in until the moment in a Mohave County court when a judge approved the guardianship.
“It made me feel really, really bad,” Clinton says.
He turned to his dad on the bench next to him and said, “I want the right to vote.”
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