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States Are Growing More Lenient in Allowing Felons to Vote

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carzen Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:58 PM
Original message
States Are Growing More Lenient in Allowing Felons to Vote
Legislatures in 16 states have loosened voting restrictions on felons over the last decade, according to a new report, a trend hailed by some rights advocates as a step toward democratic principles and fairness, especially for black Americans.

Because of their high incarceration rate, blacks are most affected by the voting bans that vary widely among the states, with many barring current inmates and parolees from voting until they have fulfilled their sentences, and some barring felons for life.

In recent years, Iowa, Nebraska and New Mexico have repealed their lifetime bans on voting by people who have been convicted of felonies, and several other states made it easier for freed prisoners or those on probation to vote, according to the report, issued yesterday by the Sentencing Project, a liberal advocacy group in Washington.

The recent changes have restored voting rights to more than 600,000 individuals, the report said. But because the countrys prison population has continued to rise, a record number of Americans, 5.3 million, are still denied the vote because of criminal records, it concluded.



http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/12/us/12felons.html?_r=1...
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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. But Florida under Jeb has made it harder
Who would have thonk :grr:
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Florida has in place to have Inmates rights restored.
the process is begun while they are still incarcerated. Can you please direct me to where you got your information from?
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Here's details from Greg Palast:
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. After reading that article, it seems to me that Jeb Bush is to blame
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 02:26 PM by William769
Not Florida. I believe if this was as bad as the article has made it out to be, a court challange would rectify the problem. As I stated in another post here, I spent my adult life working with DOC and one of the first things I would advise a newly released inmate to do was ensure his civil rights have been restored.

ON EDIT: thanks for the link.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. The courts ruled, the purging continued.
iirc, the situation still hasn't been fixed.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. Here's a pertinent thread:
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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. He has cut the staff of the office and other things
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. I can understand removing voting rights while one is incarcerated...
but this banning all ex-cons from ever voting against is just absurd, IMHO.
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BattyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I totally agree
They did the crime and they served the time ... why aren't they allowed to vote? That doesn't make sense. They PAID their debt to society!
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Greeby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. As Greg Palast always says - they committed the ultimate crime in America
VWB - Voting While Black
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. Banning while incarcerated cost $0.00 to implement, Jeb spent $3million
to purge for 2000 alone.
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
5. As someone who is retired from the Florida Dept of Corrections
I believe that once an inmate is released he should have all of his civil liberties reinstated with the exception of the use of firearms (depending on his felony).
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beyurslf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. If it is safe for them to be my neighbor, why can't they vote?
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. The word 'lenient' seems to imply that a favor is being done for them,
instead of them lawfully regaining their right to vote.
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Porcupine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. The Felony lists get longer and longer. US= Prison Nation
if you don't believe it look at the incarceration rates of the US vs. any other first world nation. Then look at how hard it is to leave the US and get permanent residency somewhere else if you aren't rich.

Every year legislatures classify a larger number of crimes as felonies. This is to keep the prison-industrial complex happy. We are no safer.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
13. "ex-felons" is the correct term. People aren't felons after they are done
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 02:47 PM by w4rma
serving their sentence.

Authoritarians like to confuse this point and combine those who are serving with those who have served.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
14. ex-felons
Youy are not a felon anymore once you have completed your sentence, hence, your civil rights should be restored.
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greeneyedboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
18. exactly. they have paid their debt to society, period.
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retread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. The felons in office are the ones that worry me. n/t
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seasat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
20. These were orginally part of the Jim Crowe laws.
They took away a felon's right to vote since African-Americans were more likely to be charged with a felony in those days. It is time to get rid of these racist laws once and for all.
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HuffleClaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
21. i don't understand why they'd lose such an essential right at all
seems a gross violation of their rights.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
22. The folks running the states are desperate to get voters to turn
the bums and pedophiles and criminals out of congress. But that is just my speculation.
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