The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

3 October 2004

In which precinct is the Greybar Hotel?

This Newsday story (from AP) perplexes me somewhat.

Coretta Scott King, addressing the Portland, Maine chapter of the NAACP on the occasion of its fortieth anniversary, called for an end to the disenfranchisement of convicted felons. And I can see the sense to this: once you've paid your debt to society, as it were, you return to the outside world, where you are once again entitled to the privileges — and subject to the responsibilities — of full citizenship. I don't think anything is gained, other than a measure of petty vindictiveness, by keeping people off the voter rolls once they've served their time.

But Mrs King lost me when she, as the story reports, "[praised] Maine and Vermont as the only states which allow prison inmates to vote." No doubt these two states have their reasons, and supposedly this is the general rule among European nations, which probably impresses some people more than it impresses me. I'll happily — well, at least not grudgingly — support a measure to restore the franchise to felons once they've completed their sentences, but that's as far as I'm willing to go for now.

(Via Politopics)

Posted at 12:27 PM to Political Science Fiction


The widow Cha-ching should have avoided calling any observers' attention to the next few yards of that slope she's trying to get us on. The first step isn't so bad but lordy look how much ice has collected on it!

I'm against automatically restoring the vote to ex-felons. Let them get out into the real world and demonstrate they've learned their lesson -- and then apply to the Governor or the Paroles and Pardons Commission for re-enfranchisement.

And frankly, I'm a little taken aback that she wouldn't have minded letting James Earl Ray vote while serving his sentence for murdering her husband. Oy!

Posted by: McGehee at 7:09 PM on 3 October 2004