Why Felon Voting Rights Matter, by the Numbers (Rick Scott's Worst Nightmare)

Categories: Crime, Politics
RickScotteyes.jpg
Rick Scott was elected by a very small margin -- one that ex-felons could destroy.
We've told you about Rick Scott's new ban on felon voting rights, which returns Florida to a racist era of stamping out African-American votes. Many people have suggested that by prohibiting felons from voting for five years after completing their sentences, Scott is trying to cut down on Democratic voting power.

Whatever his motivation, the numbers speak for themselves:

In last November's gubernatorial race, Scott won by a scant 61,550 votes.

Attorney General Pam Bondi, who championed the new felon voting ban, won by 701,491 votes.

According to the advocacy group the Sentencing Project, the estimated number of disenfranchised felons who could not vote in Florida's 2004 presidential election (before Gov. Charlie Crist made it easier to have their voting rights restored) was 960,000.

Any questions?

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9 comments
Charles Aissen
Charles Aissen

Rick Scott is a disaster like a tornado in Florida.  He is heartless uncarring and only in this job   for himself.  It is now time to throw out the trash (Rick Scott) and make Florida a friendlier state and allow the citizens even felons who have served their sentences to get back in to society and be able to vote. 

Maverick
Maverick

Recently, an extreme right-wing rabid Republican made a comment that firmly linked Florida's felon class with Florida's black population. No, wait: that wasn't a Republican, that was Lisa Rab. I quote: "We've told you about Rick Scott's new ban on felon voting rights, which returns Florida to a racist era of stamping out African-American votes." If any Republican had written such a racist comment, you would have excoriated him loudly and repeatedly.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Yes, I have a question.

Who on Earth is that frightening looking alien in the suit?

Dday25
Dday25

I don't get your argument. Pam Bondi won by over 700,000 votes and that is counting the 960,000 you say Gov. Crist restored. Let's say the elections were held in 2004 when that group could not vote. Pam Bondi would still be the Atty Gen. and the chances Alex Sink would have beaten Scott would have improved but it still would be highly unlikely. Basically she would have needed a 10% turnout and 60% of the vote from convicted felons. I would guess voter apathy amongst criminals is very high and even a 5% turnout for that group (<50,000) would be an estimate on the high side.

There are more than enough reasons not to like this governor, but this is not one of them. Why should a felon recently released from prison have the right to vote before he/she has proven they are reformed? Is five years too long? Maybe, but it is not unreasonably long if you ask me. If you were to ask me, the waiting period to restore a felon's right to vote should coincide with the probation period they receive when released.

RogerClegg
RogerClegg

The policy of disenfranchising felons is not illegal discrimination and it's not about race: It's about common sense. If you aren't willing to follow the law, then you can't claim to make the law for everyone else, which is what you are doing when you vote. The right to vote should not be restored automatically, but carefully and on a case by case basis, after it's clear that the person has turned over a new leaf. And, by the way, the people whose votes will be diluted the most if criminals are allowed to vote will be law-abiding folks in high-crime areas, who are themselves disproportionately poor and minority. Somehow the liberals always forget about them. We have a section on our website devoted to this issue: http://www.ceousa.org/content/...

lifelongyankfan
lifelongyankfan

If an American citizen made a mistake in judgment, committed a felony, then served his debt to society in a state prison, his slate is wiped clean -- unless he's a sexual predator, whose location we need to have a record of. What would be his motivation to avoid criminality if he didn't get his rights of citizenship back. This sounds like a violation of federal discrimination laws, legislating against a class. Somebody needs to sue in federal court.

nanook5
nanook5

if that argument in anyway applied to non-poor people, like say, our governor, i'd almost agree.

Lady Bird
Lady Bird

Wouldn't it have to be a Class Action lawsuit because it discriminates against a class of people, ex-felons? Can ex-felons even be considered a "class"? Sorry, it's been over 20 years since I sat thru a intro to laws class... Something about a B.F.O.Q. (Bona Fide something something). Anyway, whether it be a class action or an individual, the lawsuit will take years to wind through the court system; by then, Tyrant-o-sour-pus Rex and his cronies will have had plenty of time to rake the state and its residents over the coals again and again and again and again and....

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