'I always intended to vote'
A non-voter's story

When I turned 18, nearly two decades ago, I was very into politics. I do not recall for certain whether I registered to vote at that time or not, but before the next election came around, I was institutionalized.

When I got out, I was more concerned with not being re-institutionalized than with anything else, including voting; I was well aware that it would take very little to get me stuck back inside. Ultimately I vanished off the radars of the people who had the power to keep me in that system.

Eventually I decided to try registering to vote.

I tried a couple of times, in different states. In every case, I was asked whether I'd ever been institutionalized. I have; but I've never been *under guardianship* I've answered honestly, along with telling them it's none of their damned business. But I've been consistently refused the registration form. (I've also witnessed people being asked about IQ scores when attempting to register.)

I know that groups like centers for independent living are supposed to make voter registration available to you, but none were ever available at the ones I went to.

I know there are opportunities for things like online registration, but I have never been able to find the instructions, in an accessible online format, for where to go and what to do *after* you register so it's kind of irrelevant to me.

Scholars tell Supreme Court that states continue to violate Constitutional right to vote

Dismal access statistics

Secret ballot? What secret ballot?

Other voters' stories


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