Should Convicted Felons Be Allowed To Vote?
Laws cracking down on rights extended to ex-felons are a controversial topic for this upcoming election, as more and more states are making it difficult and even impossible for those with felony convictions to rock the vote….most of which are black or latino.
Democratic analysts say that these types of laws are just another way to keep minorities (who would more than likely vote democrat) away from the polls.
via Huffington Post:
Four states permanently disenfranchise ex-felons. In Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia, it takes a decree by the governor or a clemency board to restore a person’s voting rights, and only after a predetermined waiting period and all fines and fees are paid can an individual submit an application.
In Virginia, that waiting period is two years. In Florida, non-violent felons must wait five years before applying for reinstatement; violent felons must wait seven years.
Seven other states — Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee and Wyoming — allow some with felony convictions to vote after they are released from supervision. In Arizona, for example, one is not permanently disenfranchised until that person has committed two or more felonies, after which voting rights can only be regained through a pardon or restoration by a judge.
One in every 40 American adults is disenfranchised because of a felony conviction, according to The Sentencing Project, a group that advocates for voting rights. The number of Americans who have lost their vote due to a conviction has spiked dramatically over the decades, from about 1.2 million in 1976 to 3.3 million in 1996, to more than 5.85 million in 2010, according to a report from the group.
Many of those disenfranchised because of a felony conviction are poor, African American or Latino. The impact is acute among the African-American voting-age population, where one in 13 is disenfranchised because of a prior conviction.
Voting rights advocates say that laws that disenfranchise felons go hand-in-hand with such voter ID laws, which Democrats and opponents say are specifically designed to target likely Democratic voters, including the poor, minorities, college students and the elderly.
Do you think these Republicans look for reasons to create laws that specifically aim to keep minorities away from the polls? Or is it up to minorities to do better and stay out of prison in the first place? Or both?