Darlene Pearson has the legal right to vote despite being declared "incompetent". But the fact that she voted without her guardian’s knowledge despite being illiterate suggests someone may have coerced her vote.
Cecil Pearson is “shocked” his daughter voted for Barack Obama in November, but not for a typical reason: Darlene, Pearson’s daughter, is intellectually disabled and functionally illiterate, and lives with five other women in a group home operated by Easter Seals.
“We are here to support the individual’s rights and we help them exercise their rights as adults,” Jeff Smith, Easter Seals chief communication officer, told The Daily Caller.
“We we were providing the support for those individuals based on their community involvement and desires, and in this case their desire was to vote.”
In the state of North Carolina, Darlene can vote, marry and enter into contracts, despite a court ruling in 1995 declaring her incompetent.
“Its not my role to refute law or otherwise,” Smith told TheDC, “They are individuals and they have the same rights. … They were fully in their right to vote.”
But Darlene’s father said that as her legal guardian, he should have been notified.
“My wife and I became her legal guardians in 1996 to prevent exploitation like this,” Pearson told the Carolina Journal. “We were not consulted. She is not capable of making an informed choice, and as her guardians we would not have approved it.”