AP Exclusive: Disabled often banned from voting

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Updated: 7/09 11:08 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An advocacy group says thousands of people with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities have been banned from the voting booth by Los Angeles County courts, in violation of federal law.

A complaint to be filed Thursday with the U.S. Justice Department by the Disability and Abuse Project says adults with those disabilities, which can include cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, routinely lose the right to vote in court proceedings.

The complaint says Los Angeles Superior Court is violating federal voting and disability laws in those cases. It seeks to restore eligibility for adults who have lost the right to vote.

The dispute surfaces as election officials in the country have been struggling to entice more Americans to vote.

Los Angeles Superior Court spokeswoman Mary Eckhardt Hearn declined comment.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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