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Transcript of Voting rights
-the equal protection law protects the right of qualified citizens to vote
15th Amendment; Section 2
-Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.-Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this
article by appropriate legislation
Article 1; Section 4
-The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the place of choosing Senators. Voting rights in the United States democratic nation Current Florida Voting Procedures + Approximately 2.5 percent of the total U.S. voting age population – 1 of every 40 adults – is disenfranchised due to a current or previous felony conviction.
+ Ex-felons in the eleven states that disenfranchise people after they have completed their sentences make up about 45 percent of the entire disenfranchised population, totaling over 2.6 million people.
+ The number of people disenfranchised due to a felony conviction has escalated dramatically in recent decades as the population under criminal justice supervision has increased. There were an estimated 1.17 million people disenfranchised in 1976, 3.34 million in 1996, and over 5.85 million in 2010.
+Rates of disenfranchisement vary dramatically by state due to broad variations in voting prohibitions. In six states – Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia – more than 7 percent of the adult population is disenfranchised.
+ 1 of every 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised, a rate more than four times greater than non-African Americans. Nearly 7.7 percent of the adult African American population is disenfranchised compared to 1.8 percent of the non-African American population. African American disenfranchisement rates also vary significantly by state. In three states – Florida (23 percent), Kentucky (22 percent), and Virginia (20 percent) – more than one in five African Americans is disenfranchised. Current Felons that are not able to vote + 1100 BC - 16th Century; in ancient Rome, the related punishment of infamia [loss of public rights] could be imposed on criminal offenders. +1764 - 1776; Public Debate Ensues in the British Colonies over Whether Voting Is a Right or a Privilege +1787 No federal voting standard—states decide who can vote + Apr. 19, 1792; Kentucky Constitution Is First among US States to Establish Criminal Disenfranchisement + Dec. 3, 1838; Florida Constitution Establishes Criminal Disenfranchisement +Feb. 3, 1870; 15th Amendment to the US Constitution Gives the Vote to Former Slaves and Prohibits Racially Based Disenfranchisement + 1901; New Alabama Constitution Expands Criminal Disenfranchisement in Effort to Maintain White Supremacy +September 9, 1957; President Eisenhower Signs the Civil Rights Act of 1957 +August 6, 1965; President Johnson Signs the Voting Rights Act Section 2 of the Act, which closely followed the language of the 15th amendment, applied a nationwide prohibition against the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on the literacy tests on a nationwide basis. + June 13, 1967; The New York Supreme Court rules in Green v. Board of Elections that criminal disenfranchisement statutes are constitutional + June 24, 1974; US Supreme Court Rules That Disenfranchising Convicted Felons Does Not Violate the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution +Apr. 16, 1985; US Supreme Court Rules That Criminal Disenfranchisement Is Legal If there Is No Racially Discriminatory Intent The Florida Rules of Executive Clemency were amended by Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Board of Executive Clemency on Apr. 5, 2007. The new rules now permit disenfranchised felons to have their ability to vote automatically restored once they have completed their full sentences, including "imprisonment, parole, probation, community control, control release, and conditional release [and] has paid all restitution." Additional requirements are also mandated. Previous rules required at least five "crime-free" years before such restoration. Pro Voting Rights for Convicted Felons Against Voting Rights for Convicted Felons Under the constitution all U.S. citizens have the right to vote EXCEPT those that are mentally incapable according to a state licensed appointee. SHOULD WE LET CONVICTED FELONS VOTE?? Roger Clegg, JD, President and General Counsel at the Center for Equal Opportunity, stated the following in his Oct. 18, 2004 article "Perps and Politics, Why Felons Can't Vote," published in National Review:
"Individuals who have shown they are unwilling to follow the law cannot claim the right to make laws for the rest of us. We don't let everyone vote, not children, for instance, or noncitizens, or the mentally incompetent. W have certain minimum standards of trustworthiness before we let people participate in the serious business of self-government, and people who commit serious crimes don't meet those standards. John Conyers, Jr., LLB, Member of the US House of Representatives (D-MI), stated the following during a Mar. 16, 2005 congressional address:
"The United States may have the most restrictive disenfranchisement policy in the world. Such prohibitions on the right to vote undermine both the voting system and the fundamental rights of ex-offenders." "Clemency is working very well, as 89 percent of convicted felons granted a second chance have not re-offended," said Reggie Garcia, a Tallahassee lawyer who has helped felons navigate the complicated clemency process for the past 17 years. Regaining Clemency as a convicted Felon September 2012
Total Pending Clemency Cases 27,846 Wait 10 years after completing:
Complete their sentence and supervision
• Have no pending charges or detainers
• Pay all victim restitution If you are an ex-felon and current Florida resident, you have probably lost your civil rights if:
You have a felony conviction in the state of Florida and have not had your civil rights restored by the Governor and the Board of Executive Clemency.
You were convicted of a felony in another state while you were a Florida resident.
You were convicted of a felony in another state and did not have your rights restored in that state before moving to Florida. 1.Submit the Restoration of Civil Rights application
2. Reference Letters 2011 Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently reversed course on a policy enacted by his predecessor that expanded voting rights for felons, while the state simultaneously introduced some of the most restrictive voting policies in the country, including massive voter purges of suspected non-citizens, the elimination of early voting and limitations on third-party voter registration groups. “What we have here is a situation where politicians have total control over who and which American citizens can vote and what kind of American citizen can’t,” Meade (convicted felon trying to reinstate rights) said. “That’s definitely an issue because when you look at voting, that’s something that every American citizen should be able to do. Everybody should have a voice.” When someone is kept from voting because he has been convicted of a felony, this does not "result in a denial or abridgement of the right … to vote on account of race or color" (to quote the law); it results in the denial of the right to vote because that person has chosen to commit a serious crime against a fellow citizen.