Friday, April 06, 2007

Florida to allow felons to vote?

My dear friend and nearly constant critic, Tobacco Joe at Cadillac Tight is now blogging under his real name, at least of most of it -- D.G. Hall. He reminds me I've been wanting to remark on the push in Florida to restore voting rights to felons. Although D.G. is a [former*] unrelenting Republican, unsurprisingly, he supports the bill. I say I'm unsurprised because he's one of the most reasonable and polite conservatives I've ever known, hence our ability to form a friendship. I loved his take on it.
Oh, boy, is it about time for this. It's yet another strange facet of life in the deep South that although I'm no felon (nor even guilty of any misdemeanors), I have quite a few family members and friends/acquaintances who are. Now, there are a few of these folks I'd willingly have denied their right to swill liquor and/or carry handguns in the future, but I really can't see what harm it would be to allow them to vote again. OK, wait. They would probably vote for Democrats, but other than that, no harm, no foul.
As they say, read the rest of the post for yourself, but I'd agree that this is long past due. As D.G. notes, for one thing, they have paid their debt to society and shouldn't be disenfranchised from the electoral system for a lifetime and for another, so many of our present day felons found themselves on the other side of the law not for violent crimes, but for violations of the drug laws which many of us consider to be wrongheaded and downright destructive in the first place.

In effect, disenfranching drug defendants is just one more way the prohibitionists protect their territory. It seems unlikely that anyone who has been victimized by these unjust laws would vote for those who enact and support them.

UPDATE: *D.G. emails to note he forsake the Republican party when Bush nominated Miers is now a non-doctrinaire libertarian.

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I'm actually impressed with Governor Charlie Crist for pushing this measure. To be sure, it's flawed because it does not apply to certain crimes, but it's a great step forward and a repudiation of the lynch mob mentality that pervades the Sunshine State.

It's said that denying voting rights to ex convicts in perpetuity ( the legal procedure for restitution of rights is long and difficult) was designed in the Jim Crow era to keep as many black voters off the rolls as possible and indeed it has done that.

4:01:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I'm impressed myself Capt. I think it's a giant step in the right direction.

4:52:00 PM  

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