Voting rights in our country is a hotly disputed issue. Once upon a time, only land-owning men were allowed to vote in elections. Over the course of many years and fights for progress, we have broadened this fundamental right to including women, minorities, and citizens over the age of 18.
But still, lawmakers and politicians try to find a way to subvert the will of the people by crafting convoluted voting rules. They create odd voting districts, pass laws that make it hard for certain groups to vote or register, or try to rig the ballots by getting unqualified people to vote.
One of the more recent fights along these lines relates to the voting rights of convicts. In most states, if someone goes to jail for a serious crimes, they are never allowed to vote. Never again.
It’s a deeply divisive issue. Should someone lose a fundamental right, just because they broke the law? Are convicts no longer American? Will giving them back the right to vote help them return to normal society?
Those are some of the questions people are asking. In California, steps are being taken to restore convicts’ rights to vote in elections.
From The Political Insider:
Despite widespread opposition from law enforcement, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that will allow thousands of felons in county jails to vote in California elections as part of an effort to speed their transition back into society.
Through a representative, Brown declined to comment on the bill by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), who said it would reduce the likelihood of convicts committing new crimes.
“Civic participation can be a critical component of re-entry and has been linked to reduced recidivism,” Weber said when the bill was introduced.
Some might say this is an attempt to get more votes for Hillary Clinton. Although no one can predict how they will vote.
It’s very unlikely that a handful of criminals could sway the election in any state. Perhaps this really can help these convicts transition into a better life, once they serve their time.
The fact remains that our criminal justice system has many flaws, the biggest is reforming criminals and preventing them from returning to crime. Should this move work it might help reduce crime across the state of California.
All that remains to be seen.
Source: The Political Insider