The Felon Vote

I have a piece today in the Baltimore Sun on the push to let felons vote in Maryland: The criminal constituency. I thought that they had a great title for the piece, though I am disappointed that the term "convict" was changed to "ex-convict" throughout the piece. I changed it back for this posting. Once you have been convicted of a crime, you are convicted of it unless your record has been cleared. These guys may be ex-prisoners, but they are not ex-convicts. Here is the very beginning of the piece:

If you can't win elections, change the rules.

Despite warnings from people such as the chairman of Maryland's State Board of Elections that the new rules are inviting voter fraud, the General Assembly has pushed through regulations weakening safeguards on provisional ballots, absentee ballots and a long early voting period.

Not satisfied, the legislature now wants to make it easier for convicted murderers, rapists, armed robbers and other violent criminals to vote. Overall, 150,000 felons would be eligible.

When asked if the felon voting bill was motivated to defeat Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s re-election bid this year, Del. Jill P. Carter, a Baltimore Democrat, replied, "Of course that's the reason." . . .

I will be on WBAL's Ron Smith radio show this afternoon to discuss this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crime, Punishment and Democracy... Douglas Hurd, (one of) the anti gun home seceretary(s) (law & order minister) under Margret Thatcher, in Britain, had a conviction for armed tresspass...
The first holder of the post I'm aware of with a criminal record.

To compound the contradiction he was trying to get a law passed to stop people with convictions from holding directorships of security companies...

You guessed it, he was a director of a private security company.

To Digress, In the Republic of Ireland, far more public money appears to be spent on prisons than on public hospitals. Why , after all should polititians spend money on facilities that they and their famillies are never going to use?

That polititians in Ireland appear to end up in prison more frequently than their opposite numbers in britain, probably reflects a more open legal system here in ireland, and not a lower level of corruption and criminality in britain's politics. Evidence to support this is simple. People entering politics may be comfortable financially, but their wealth on entry and their political salary does not account for the significant wealth most have accumulated by retirement age.

Someone of a more cynical nature than me might suggest that convicted politicians and none convicted politicians are sub-setts of the larger criminal class, so if criminals are prevented from participating in democracy, we might see voting slips with no names on them...

Or am I dreaming?

another Digression: Blair's "ethical" foreign policy had General Pinnochet placed under house arrest in britain on the request of a Spannish Judge investigating the disappearance of Spanish nationals in Chile.

Has Geordie junior need to fear arrest & detention, next time he's in britain, for the illegal kidnap and probable torture of european citizens, in europe by the US secret police?

2/16/2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger Crimefile said...

Felons are losers and need all of the entitlements the Democrats offer. Democrats see felons as a force of slaves.

The only good news here is felons for the most part are too lazy to vote.

2/18/2006 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a scholar you talk a lot of nonsense. I know I'm just a dumb ex-con or convict or whatever you want to call me to make yourself feel righteous, but please explain how felons can dictate police budgets or budgets for social programs?

As far as I know, and I'm just talking off the top of my head, the only way that constituents have had any say in the budgets is by constitutional amendments. For instance those that mandate that legislators pass balance budgets. I think Florida did this.

With that said, you tell me how a small bloc of constituents and least of all felons would be able to muster up the required number of voters to even get something on the ballot and then go on to get the citizens to vote for it?

And as for electing legislators to go and start passing or trying to pass bills that go way contrary to public safety, well that is so foolish that I won't even comment on it.

You know nothing about prisons, prisoners or what effect they have on society. You don't know the answers to these things because you don't know the right questions. This is why those hard nose people that actually get caught and sent away, like judges for example, come out with a total different perspective on the issue.

3/04/2006 2:03 PM  

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