Monday, November 5, 2012

Get Out and Vote? Maybe Not

The election, the election, the election.

It's all anyone's talking about, but across the country, there are millions who can only talk -- and not vote.

A good editorial in The New York Times this weekend discusses the plight of millions who can't get out and vote tomorrow:  ex-convicts.

The United States maintains a shortsighted and punitive set of laws, some of them dating back to Reconstruction, denying the vote to people who have committed felonies. They will bar about 5.85 million people from voting in this year’s election.

In the states with the most draconian policies — including Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia — more than 7 percent of the adult population is barred from the polls, sometimes for life.
Nationally, nearly half of those affected have completed their sentences, including parole or probation.
Disenfranchisement is a painful and important issue to many FAMM supporters.  FAMM can't tell you how to vote, and we are a nonpartisan organization.  But we encourage those who have a conviction to contact the authorities in your state and find out if you can vote (often, the proper authority is the department of state for your state).  We encourage those who can vote to do so.  Happy election season, all.