The right to vote is one of the fundamental rights of every citizen – Inclusion Europe calls all its supporters to help protect it.
In Spain, the Constitutional Court has recently declined a request from a family to allow their daughter, Mara, to vote.
This is unacceptable. It violates her right to participate in a democratic process in her country and to take part in deciding her and her country’s future. It is also a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Spain signed and ratified. Article 29 states clearly: “States Parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others (…) Ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, (…), including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected.”
Our Spanish member Plena Inclusión is co-organising a protest this Wednesday at 11am (Spanish time) to demand a change of the current law. You can learn more about the protest in our press release. Inclusion Europe fully supports this protest – and we would strongly encourage you to join us too.
This is significant not only for Spanish people who are denied the right to vote. There are hundreds of thousands others across Europe in the same situation, persons who are not granted legal capacity which comes with a number of rights including the right to vote. We should demonstrate the scale of the issue and show our Spanish friends our solidarity.
There are several ways you can participate:
- Spread the news with your friends, members and colleagues.
- Retweet and share what we will be publishing on our Twitter and Facebook.
- Encourage others to express their solidarity with Mara and support the right to vote on social media.
Use the hashtag #MiVotoCuenta (“My vote counts”) when posting (copy-paste the hashtag and put it at the beginning or end of your post). As an idea, you could take a picture of yourself holding a placard with “#MiVotoCuenta” written on it to accompany your post.
Some suggestions for posts or tweets:
#MiVotoCuenta – I demand voting rights for people with an #intellectual #disability in Spain and all over Europe! http://bit.ly/2jYsd8y
Mara wants to vote – why does the Spanish state keep her from doing it? #MiVotoCuenta: Voting rights for everyone! http://bit.ly/2jYsd8y
Voting rights are for everyone! How would you like to be tested before casting a vote? #MiVotoCuenta – My vote counts! http://bit.ly/2jYsd8y
Let’s make Europe hear our voice on this important issue. Let’s help our friends in Spain and show them our solidarity.
Your action counts!
Letter of Senada Halilčević, President of EPSA, in support of Spanish self-advocates
The demonstration in front of the Spanish Constitutional Court was attended by more than 1000 people. Demonstrators displayed banners reading “Don’t mess with our rights” and chanted “We want to vote”. A statement entitled “Manifesto for persons with disabilities’ right to vote” was read out.
Santiago López, President of Inclusion Europe’s member Plena Inclusión, said “the easiest way” to ensure the right to vote for all people with disabilities would be to eliminate from the law article 3, the provision that limits the exercise of the right by people who are under legally-authorised guardianship.