Although the next major election is more than a year away, it’s not too early to focus on who is eligible to vote. This issue is important because the total number of voters, in general, and the groups of people eligible to vote, could determine the result of that election.
I am saying this while watching a struggle in Florida. A struggle about who may be eligible to vote in November 2020 and beyond.
As the number of candidates for the 2020 election continues to grow, the State of Florida is considering whether to prohibit individuals convicted of a felony who have not yet paid court fees and fines from voting, a position that I strongly oppose. I also strongly oppose a recent decision by the State of Florida to prohibit anyone convicted of a felony sex offense from voting.
There is a long and sad history in the United States of America regarding an individual’s eligibility to vote. The earliest prohibitions to voting flowed from the U.S. Constitution which barred some men and all women from voting. These wrongs were subsequently corrected with the passage of the 15th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution.
Unfortunately, after the Constitution was amended many states and local governments created new prohibitions to voting through the creation of obstacles such as poll taxes, the ability to read and felony convictions. Most of those obstacles have been successfully challenged in court, however, one of those obstacles – felony convictions – continue in many states.
This obstacle has caused great harm to many individuals and to entire families whose members have been denied the right to vote for more than 200 years. This obstacle is not based upon justice or even common sense. Instead, this obstacle is based, in part, upon an unfounded notion that giving the right to vote to felons may provide an advantage to one political party as compared to another.
What nonsense! No one can predict the future votes of those convicted of a felony.
The individuals in that group are just that….individuals….who have their own points of view and belong to a variety of political parties. The smart thing for every political party to do is to support voting rights for all felons. If that should happen, then the new voters would not feel an allegiance to only one party, the party who supported their voting votes.
It is time to stop this injustice! Individuals must be given the right to vote regardless if they have been convicted of a felony. Any felon. Including conviction of a felony sex offense.
What I find most interesting is that many felons and the general public just assume felons cannot vote in any state including CA. It would be great if funds could be obtained to start an advertising campaign to let felons know of their right to vote in many states.
A person imprisoned, on parole, on probation, subject to any kind of supervision, or etc is still a citizen. Are they afraid we might have a different view than others? I believe so.
Thank you again, Janice for once again bringing this to attention of readers, existing and new. Everyone who can vote, should vote. Doing so is not only our right, but our civic duty.
What is the point of a court mandated sentence? Isn’t it supposed to be to punishment for the crime committed?
If so, then why are felons continued to be punished “after” they’ve completed their sentence with denials of the right to vote or being placed on a registry which has no empirical evidence to back up it’s claims of “keeping the public safer”?
How is all this “punishment after the fact” even legal?
Watch Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Voice Support For Voter Rights For All
VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!
I heard a 2020 candidate say she opposed those in prison voting because they could be pressured by guards to vote for one candidate or another. That’s absurd! Your rights are abridged because someone else might break the law & violate those rights? So by extension, for example, people cannot go out after dark or ride public transportation because someone might mug them? (And that was from a former State attorney general!)
As if all convicted felons would vote for A FROG!
(Anarchists For Radical Overthrow of Government ….. a political party which does NOT exist.)
We are scum to all EXCEPT if they can use us to get more votes. Well, I for one don’t care about ever voting again. The politicians will turn their backs on us as soon as it suits their agenda, and since everything today is about social perception and not logic or fact, the agenda will be to please the public. Sure you can vote, it just won’t make a difference in the long run. Since I am single now, and my life has been reduced to only caring about myself and those not living in U.S. that I care for, I could really care less about anything that happens in this country. I will make my money, not get involved, and get out as soon as I am financially able. Sorry 😐
Obviously voting is very important all these unconstitutional pc290 laws that make people’s lives a living hell people actually voted those laws into existence
I live in San Jose Cal I work at the polling pleces. It’s alot of hard work but it’s reward is that I’m helping in our democracy n them who might not know they can vote or are afraid to I help them to vote EVERY VOICE needs to be heard