Proudly afflicting the comfortable [and collecting shiny things] since March 2003

Send Magpie an email!


RSS Feeds
Click button to subscribe.

Subscribe to Magpie via Feedburner  Magpie's RSS feed via Bloglines
Add to Netvibes

Need a password?
Click the button!


Bypass 'free' registration!


Cost of the Iraq War [US$]
(JavaScript Error)
[Find out more here]

Hooded Liberty


BLOGS WE LIKE
3quarksdaily
Alas, a Blog
alphabitch
Back to Iraq
Baghdad Burning
Bitch Ph.D.
blac (k) ademic
Blog Report
Blogs by Women
BOPNews
Broadsheet
Burnt Orange Report
Confined Space
Cursor
Daily Kos
Dangereuse trilingue
Echidne of the Snakes
Effect Measure
Eschaton (Atrios)
feministe
Feministing
Firedoglake
Follow Me Here
gendergeek
Gordon.Coale
The Housing Bubble New!
I Blame the Patriarchy
Juan Cole/Informed Comment
Kicking Ass
The King's Blog
The Krile Files
Left Coaster
librarian.net
Loaded Orygun
Making Light
Marian's Blog
mediagirl
Muslim Wake Up! Blog
My Left Wing
NathanNewman.org
The NewsHoggers
Null Device
Orcinus
Pacific Views
Pandagon
The Panda's Thumb
Pedantry
Peking Duck
Philobiblon
Pinko Feminist Hellcat
Political Animal
Reality-Based Community
Riba Rambles
The Rittenhouse Review
Road to Surfdom
Romenesko
SCOTUSblog
The Sideshow
The Silence of Our Friends New!
Sisyphus Shrugged
skippy
Suburban Guerrilla
Talk Left
Talking Points Memo
TAPPED
This Modern World
The Unapologetic Mexican New!
veiled4allah
Wampum
War and Piece
wood s lot
xymphora

MISSING IN ACTION
Body and Soul
fafblog
General Glut's Globlog
Respectful of Otters
RuminateThis


Image by Propaganda Remix Project. Click to see more.


WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

If you like, you can send Magpie an email!



WHO LINKS TO MAGPIE?
Ask Technorati.
Or ask WhoLinksToMe.


Politics Blog Top Sites

Progressive Women's Blog Ring

Join | List |
Previous | Next | Random |
Previous 5 | Next 5 |
Skip Previous | Skip Next

Powered by RingSurf



Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Check to open links in new windows. Uncheck to see comments.


Friday, November 7, 2003

Do the crime, keep doing the time (for life).

Five million people in the US have been denied the right to vote, and almost nobody cares. The group we're talking is ex-felons — people who've committed a crime for which the punishment is a year or more in prison. A significant number of these people were convicted for nonviolent crimes, such as selling drugs or embezzling. Especially with drug crimes, some people were convicted of a felony upon their very first encounter with the law.

In The Nation, Rebecca Perl looks at the movement to restore voting rights to ex-felons, who make up the largest single group of people denied the right to vote in the US. While all but two states bar prisoners from voting, most states restore that right when a person finishes their sentence. Thriteen states, however, never allow an ex-felon to vote again.

In the United States the laws affect large numbers of people, and black people in particular. Across the country, one in eight African-American men is barred from voting. In Florida and Alabama, it's one in three. Sometimes felon disenfranchisement laws take the vote away from whole communities. In New York State, 90 percent of prisoners serve their time upstate, yet overwhelmingly these prisoners come from just seven poor, minority neighborhoods in New York City.

Perl also points out the political dimension of the fight to restore the vote to ex-felons: Former felons vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. It doesn't take a math wizard to calculate the effect that millions of re-enfranchised former felons could have on an electorate that is as evenly split as in most parts of the US.

[University of Minnesota sociologist] Chris Uggen found that had felons been allowed to vote in the last presidential election, hanging chads would have never been an issue. Uggen looked at the closely contested 2000 election and discovered that had felons had the vote, Al Gore would have likely won the popular vote by more than a million votes. In Florida alone, Gore would have picked up 60,000-80,000 votes--enough to swamp the narrow victory margin declared for George Bush. Uggen also found that had felons--even just those who had completed their sentences--voted over the past couple of decades, races across the country might have looked very different. One critical difference could have been control of the US Senate. Republicans including John Warner of Virginia and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would likely have lost in past elections, according to Uggen, which may be part of the reason Senator McConnell told his senatorial colleagues when Reid's amendment was being debated on the floor: "We are talking about rapists and murderers, robbers and even terrorists or spies."

For their part, Democrats in Congress have not rushed to champion the issue. Appearing soft on crime might cost Democrats more votes than they would gain, suggests Uggen. Also, felons are a constituency that can't exactly fill Democratic coffers, say Washington insiders, so they don't get a lot of attention. Janai Nelson of the [NAACP] legal defense fund says that when it comes to expanding the franchise, those in power are content with the status quo. "They are already successful. They've made their way into office and they've relied on the political system as it exists, and very few people want to rock the boat and bring in a new constituency that they may not be familiar with," she says.


American Radioworks' website has a link to Rebecca Perl's documenatary on the disenfranchisement of ex-felons here, as well as links to two other documentaries on voting.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:44 PM | Get permalink




Liar, liar, pants on fire!


NEWS HEADLINES

Mail & Guardian [S. Africa]
NEWS LINKS
BBC News
CBC News
Agence France Presse
Reuters
Associated Press
Aljazeera
Inter Press Service
Watching America
International Herald Tribune
Guardian (UK)
Independent (UK)
USA Today
NY Times (US)
Washington Post (US)
McClatchy Washington Bureau (US)
Boston Globe (US)
LA Times (US)
Globe & Mail (Canada)
Toronto Star (Canada)
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
AllAfrica.com
Mail & Guardian (South Africa)
Al-Ahram (Egypt)
Daily Star (Lebanon)
Haaretz (Israel)
Hindustan Times (India)
Japan Times (Japan)
Asia Times (Hong Kong)
EurasiaNet
New Scientist News
Paper Chase
OpenCongress

COMMENT & ANALYSIS
Molly Ivins
CJR Daily
Women's eNews
Raw Story
The Gadflyer
Working for Change
Common Dreams
AlterNet
Truthdig
Truthout
Salon
Democracy Now!
American Microphone
rabble
The Revealer
Current
Editor & Publisher
Economic Policy Institute
Center for American Progress
The Memory Hole


Irish-American fiddler Liz Carroll

IRISH MUSIC
Céilí House (RTE Radio)
TheSession.org
The Irish Fiddle
Fiddler Magazine
Concertina.net
Concertina Library
A Guide to the Irish Flute
Chiff & Fipple
Irtrad-l Archives
Ceolas
Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann
BBC Virtual Session
JC's ABC Tune Finder

SHINY THINGS
alt.portland
Propaganda Remix Project
Ask a Ninja
grow-a-brain
Boiling Point
Bruno
Cat and Girl
Dykes to Watch Out For
Library of Congress
American Heritage Dictionary
Dictonary of Newfoundland English
American's Guide to Canada
Digital History of the San Fernando Valley
MetaFilter
Blithe House Quarterly
Astronomy Pic of the Day
Earth Science Picture of the Day
Asia Grace
Gaelic Curse Engine
Old Dinosaur Books



ARCHIVES