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Published October 05, 2012, 10:26 AM

Minnesota judge rules man with guardian may vote

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Hennepin County judge has ruled a man under guardianship is entitled to vote.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Hennepin County judge has ruled a man under guardianship is entitled to vote.

Judge Jay Quam says the Minnesota Constitution's ban that prevents people with court-appointed guardians from voting violates the U.S. Constitution. Quam says there are simply too many people under guardianship who are fully capable of exercising their right to vote. He says the language in the Minnesota Constitution is too broad. It conflicts with a state statute that guarantees the right to vote unless a judge revokes that right.

Quam says the individual involved, Brian Erickson, is a high-functioning schizophrenic. An estimated 22,000 Minnesotans have court-appointed guardians because of dementia, mental illness or other disabilities.

The Star Tribune reports Robert McLeod, the attorney for Erickson's guardian, says the ruling acknowledges the varying aptitudes of people with disabilities.

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