Eric Holder on Felons' Voting Rights

Attorney General Eric Holder wants states to grant the franchise to convicted felons once they've served their time in prison. Holder asserted on February 10th that "[i]t is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision." Holder alleged that ex-Confederate states enacted laws disenfranchising felons as a way of denying the vote to blacks. He also said that in states that allow ex-felons to vote their recidivism rate is lower. Holder claimed that being permanently disenfranchised perpetuates opprobrium and isolation in ex-felons, and results in the commission of new crimes. Before proceeding, consider the following. First, most statutes governing the franchise exist at the state level. One exception is the 1965 "Voting Rights Act," which has been extended and modified on several occasions. Others are the XVth (blacks' suffrage), XIXth (women's suffrage), and XXVIth (18-20 year-olds' suffrage)...(Read Full Article)

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