Former Felons Could Get Voting Rights Reinstated with New Bill
Matt | On 20, Dec 2011
Ahead of what seems like a contentious 2012 voting season, a bill has been introduced in Congress that would give back some rights to disenfranchised citizens.
The Democracy Restoration Act, introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), is aimed at former felons who have completed their sentences and have moved back into regular society. In many states, they are not welcomed home with the same privileges they left with. Many of them are unable to vote in elections because of their felonious records.
According to Think Progress, felons in Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia permanently lose their voting rights after receiving any felony. In Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and Wyoming, they lose those rights depending on which felony they committed.
Whatever the case is, this law could positively impact a section of the community that is often overlooked when it comes to voting rights. It also will have effects on the black community, since a large percentage of felons fall into this ethnic group.
This bill comes at an important time of continued disenfranchisement of the larger population before the presidential election. Certain forces are hellbent on curbing the amount of people who may vote in the election and not support a popular conservative candidate or their causes.
If you look around, you may see increased pressure on Latinos, African-Americans, and student populations in particular because of their changing addresses, lack of strong participation, and/or lack of knowledge about overall voting rights.
I would expect that this bill will meet some strong opposition from some conservatives!