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Monday, August 28, 2006

Clinton And Kerry Work To Make Sure Felons Can Vote

Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, writes in today’s Wall Street Journal, “With the exception of Maine and Vermont, every state disenfranchises criminals -- some while they're in prison, others while they're on parole or probation, and still others after they've served their full terms. But that's beginning to change in some states. Governors in Iowa and Virginia have unilaterally restored voting rights to many felons, while legislatures in Maryland and Nebraska have liberalized their laws. At the federal level, a bill supported by Sens. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, among others, would force states to allow felons no longer under sentence to vote. That bill is on hold, at least while the Democrats are out of power. But lawsuits in federal courts in Florida, Washington and New York have claimed that depriving felons of the franchise violates the Voting Rights Act. This movement is in the wrong direction. We should have fewer felons voting, not more.”