This page contains links to resources on the topic of voting rights of proposed wards and wards for attorneys serving as GALs or advocate counsel in guardianship cases. These materials primarily focus on restoring voting rights that were removed in the initial guardianship proceeding but will also be helpful if arguing that voting rights should not be removed when a guardian of the person is being appointed.
If you are interested in being on a referral list to provide pro bono representation to individuals currently under guardianship who are seeking to restore their voting rights, please see the link below.
- Voting Rights Issues for Adults under Guardianship by Attorney Mitch Hagopian, hosted by the State Bar of Wisconsin, recorded October 2022 (Youtube).
- Outline for “Voting Rights Issues for Adults under Guardianship” (accessible PDF).
- Allegations of Incompetency and the Right to Vote by Ellen Henningsen, J.D., published in the Elder Law and Special Needs Journal of Wisconsin, June 2022.
- Restoring the Right to Vote of People under Guardianship by Ellen Henningsen, J.D., to be published in the Elder Law and Special Needs Journal of Wisconsin in 2023.
- Allegations of Incompetency and The Right to Vote: The Legal Standard by Ellen J. Henningsen, J.D., to be published in the Elder Law and Special Needs Journal of Wisconsin in 2023.
- Form 1: Ward’s Petition to Restore Ward’s Right to Register to Vote and to Vote
- Form 2: Petition on Behalf of Ward to Restore Ward’s Right to Register to Vote and to Vote
- Form 3: Order to Restore Ward’s Right to Register to Vote and to Vote
Pro Bono Opportunities
Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) and its Voting Rights and Guardianship Project are recruiting volunteer attorneys state-wide who are willing to be on a referral list to provide pro bono representation to individuals currently under a guardianship of the person who are seeking to restore their voting rights. Although many individuals with guardians of the person retain their right to vote, many others lost that right in the guardianship proceeding.
The focus of this pro bono representation is on amending the existing guardianship order, not full restoration. Individuals who are interested in restoring their right to vote would benefit from legal representation, including filing the sec. 54.64 (2) petition; serving the petition and notice of hearing on the parties designated by the court; preparing supporting evidence; communicating with the GAL and the examining physician/psychologist, if any; advocating at the hearing; and completing and distributing the Order and the Notice of Voting Eligibility. It is estimated that representation will take 20 hours over several months.
For more information or to sign up, contact the DRW Voter Hotline at 844-347-8683 or email@example.com, or the State Bar’s pro bono portal here.
Resources for Community Members
- Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Guardianship and Voting Resource Page
- DRW Voter Hotline: Have a voting question? Contact us year-round:
- Phone Number: 844-DIS-VOTE | 844-347-8683
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org