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******9th Nov 2017 until further notice.********
We are currently experiencing problems with our phones. 0161 474 7323 (Office) defaults to answerphone. 0161 477 1640 (Helpline) defaults to answerphone. You can leave messages on these numbers, or to speak to us during office hours, please use 0161 480 3668. We apologise for this temporary inconvenience.

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An Expert Guide to Mental Capacity and the Right to Vote

We have just received what appears to be a pretty definitive guide to learning disability, mental capacity, and the capacity and right to vote in the upcoming election.

This may be useful to you or someone you care for. Written by Lucy Series, it is a blog posting entitled ‘It’s that time again’.

If you read it, it will quickly become clear that she wants us to remember the mantra ‘ mental incapacity is not a legal incapacity to vote’ with the slightly less memorable addendum  ‘thanks to s73 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006′. 

The posting begins: Yep, time for our regular reminder here at the Small Places that when it comes to voting (on paper or at the ballot) you don’t need to demonstrate to anybody that you have mental capacity. Anybody who tries to stop you voting on the grounds that you lack mental capacity is unlawfully interfering with your democratic right to vote. If you are a care provider, or doctor, or social worker or whatever, and you’re used to using the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to make decisions for other people, and you’re about to start assessing people’s mental capacity to vote, stop right there because it doesn’t apply to voting. This isn’t about the ‘presumption of capacity’, this is about mental capacity having nothing to do with voting. If a person is expressing a desire to vote, then let them vote, or better still, support them to. If you care for people who might have difficulties voting, you don’t need to assess their mental capacity to vote, just ask them if they want to and (ideally) give them the help they need and want. It’s very simple.” 

Read on. It’s all highly informative, and thought provoking. And note the ‘PS’ on the Cabinet Office cock-up re voter registration!

RESCARE

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with Learning Disabilities and their Families

 

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Rescare - Registered Charity no. 1112766