Saturday, July 14, 2012

Swingless Florida

Do the crime. 
Do the time. 
And keep on paying for politics.

From The Daily Beast...
Laws that keep felons and others away from the polls “have their roots in Jim Crow laws, and were passed along with relics like literacy tests and poll taxes,” says Lee Rowland, counsel for the NYU Brennan Center for Justice Democracy Program.

Statistics show that felon disenfranchisement disproportionately affect African-Americans, with 7.7% of the total African-American population denied the vote as a result, according to the Sentencing Project. That’s 1 out of every 13 black Americans. Rowland says stricter felon disenfranchisement laws are often made as a “political calculations” that “skew the electorate.”
And then there's this from Mother Jones...
In what amounts to a modern-day version of Jim Crow-era statutes, felon disenfranchisement takes a substantial bite out of the black vote. According to the report, nearly 8 percent of voting-age black Americans (1 in 13) is disenfranchised, compared with roughly 2 percent of their non-black counterparts. In three states—Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia, at least 1 in 5 black Americans will be out of luck come Election Day. In the cases of Florida and Virginia, the numbers are sizeable enough to change the outcome in November. As Desmond Meade of the nonprofit Florida Rights Restoration Coalition put it to us last week: If these people were able to vote, "Florida would no longer be a swing state."

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