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Let Everybody Vote, Even If They're Incarcerated

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/13/let-everybody-vote-even-if-theyre-incarcerated

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Felony disenfranchisement is yet another fine American tradition with its roots firmly planted in racism. I understand why Republicans don’t want felons to vote, but why Democrats, especially after the horror of G.W. Bush, haven’t done anything meaningful to change it is a mystery.

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Absolutely. It makes no sense to bar the incarcerated from voting. About half the voting age public in the US doesn’t want to vote anyway, so why make it so difficult for those that do.

It has been common practice in the United States to make felons ineligible to vote, in some cases permanently. Over the last few decades, the general trend has been toward reinstating the right to vote at some point, although this is a state-by-state policy choice.

~https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights.aspx

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How could it even be legally justifiable to take away citizenship rights from a person who is serving a specific punishment for a specific legal infraction. This also applies to legal non citizens, in the millions, who reside and pay taxes in the US, but are note allowed to vote. This also applies to public housing programs and other support programs that are denied to the formerly incarcerated. It is a much broader problem than the vote itself.

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
ALL should be able to share their thoughts.

Vote eligibility should be simple. If you are an 18 years old US citizen at the time of an election you have the right to vote, period, full stop.

We routinely take away not only voting rights but also the right to own firearms from anyone who commits a felony , or even some misdemeanors. IMHO, it is hypocrisy to support restoring only voting rights. Rights are rights.

Another reason the “felon” tag is applied overwhelmingly to black and brown people.

Good article. Other advanced industrialized nations allow their incarcerated to vote. In America with the exceptions of Vermont and Maine they don’t. The kicker here is that prisoners are counted for representation in Congress and state assemblies even though they can’t vote. Shades of 3/5 representation. Prison Gerrymandering. If they can’t vote they should not be counted for electoral representation. Another reason for white conservative rural areas to push for prisons in their districts and push for law and order and broken glass policing. More slaves for the prison industries (13 Amendment allows it) and more representation for white rural red districts. If you wish to help returning Florida exconvicts get their voting rights restored go to wegotthevoteorg. Helps pay off court costs and fees before they can vote.