Virginia is right to limit felons' voting rights
By Roger Clegg,
Regarding the Jan. 13 editorial “Virginia’s disgrace”:
There is no “disgrace” in Virginia’s policy of denying the vote to people who have committed serious crimes against their fellow citizens. It makes sense to require that certain minimum, objective standards of responsibility, loyalty and trustworthiness be met before individuals are allowed to participate in the sacred enterprise of self-government. Children, illegal immigrants, the mentally incompetent and felons do not meet those standards. Put another way: If you are not willing to follow the law, you cannot demand a right to make the law for everyone else.
The right to vote can be restored, but it should be done carefully, not automatically, and on a case-by-case basis, which is what Virginia does. And a three-year waiting period after serving a prison term is reasonable, given that “two-thirds of released prisoners are rearrested and one-half are re-incarcerated within three years of release from prison,” according to a report by Harvard University’s Richard Freeman.
As for the role of race: While it is true that African Americans make up a disproportionate number of felons, they also make up a disproportionate number of crime victims. If all felons are allowed to vote, those whose votes will be diluted the most will be the law-abiding people in high-crime areas — the poor and minority communities whose well-being liberals always profess to champion.
The writer is president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
Posted by: Davidsonville | January 19, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Fei_Hu | January 19, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rclegg1 | January 19, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: btbarnes | January 19, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: robertjames1 | January 19, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jckdoors | January 20, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bperk420 | January 20, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: chrlefe | January 20, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: daydreamers | January 21, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Lee451H | January 21, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: RazorGirl | January 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.