June 23, 2004

Gypsy Jackson doesn't want to dump felons from voter rolls

Jesse Jackson accused FL Governor Jeb Bush of conductiong "disenfranchisement schemes" by asking local officials to remove felons from voter rolls.

"This is a typical South (tactic), denying the right to vote based on race and class," Jackson told those at a rally in Miami. "You see classical voter disenfranchisement. These schemes to deny or suppress voters are not new schemes."
In most municipalities, convicted felons are not permitted to vote legally.

Jackson, in an appearance in Miami this week, said that his Rainbow-PUSH Coalition would conduct voter registration drives and turnout drives across the state in retaliation to Bush's "tactics."

Bush responded angrily, callng Jackson "past his prime."

Posted by mhking at June 23, 2004 12:30 AM

"In Florida, your civil rights, including your right to vote, are suspended when you are convicted of a felony. You may have your civil rights restored by obtaining a full pardon, conditional pardon, or restoration of civil rights from the Governor of Florida."

No room for misunderstandings there. I adore gov't websites when they give easy to read explanations. Each state makes up its' own rules regarding the issue of convicted felons' voting rights.

I was surprised to learn that here in Illinois the only restriction for convicted felons is they may not vote while incarcerated. wheee.

Posted by: Deb at June 23, 2004 01:53 AM

Illinois' rule is the way it should be. Certainly folks in prison shouldn't be allowed to vote. However, I don't see why those who've paid their debt to society should be denied the franchise (I'd even go for "they get to vote again after 1 year out of prison" compromise). As a moderate-conservative, even I question whether the increasingly popular tactic is being deployed to suppress black votes.

Posted by: molotov at June 23, 2004 11:13 AM

Personally -- and speaking as someone whose brother lost his right to vote after a minor conviction in California -- I don't have a problem with the way Florida does it, and do in fact prefer it to the way Illinois does it.

The problem with automatically restoring the vote to all ex-felons is that I really don't want murderers and rapists and child molesters having a say in the making of the laws, whether by electing lawmakers or by contributing to campaigns, or by voting on initiatives or referenda.

I wouldn't mind a middle ground, though, where people with minor convictions like my brother's could have the right restored administratively simply by applying and having an instant background check such as is used for buying guns under the revised Brady law. But the worst offenders should have to go through the whole gauntlet of applying to the Governor or the Board of Pardons.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: McGehee at June 23, 2004 11:49 AM

instant background check

To clarify, this would become available after a year, say, and if there are no entries after release then a "restoration of voting rights" notation would go into the record. This could be expanded to two years and then three, as the seriousness of the crime increases, but would not extend to any violent crime.

Maybe I need to post about this on my own blog...

Posted by: McGehee at June 23, 2004 11:52 AM

Apparently all the felons are now working for Americans Coming Together in an attempt to register new voters.

Posted by: J_Crater at June 24, 2004 12:28 AM

I think that not letting felons vote is similar to taxation without representation and that is not a good thing seeing as how a large percentage of the population is considered felons as well as taxpayers. So if I perceive things correctly we will take their money but we won't listen to them sounds pretty unfair to me.
But that's just one man's opinion

Posted by: C J arias at October 15, 2004 04:19 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?