12 May 2005

The ACLU's Desire For Felons To Vote

Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy came out several months ago calling for a change in election law to allow convicted felons to vote. In some states, an individual who has been convicted of a felony, served his/her time, completed his/her parole period, and completed any probation periods, may register to vote. Election law is a state matter. Clinton and Kennedy would like the federal government (Congress) to change state election law. In typical fashion, the liberal wing of the Dumocratic Party is trying to dictate to the American public. And I know why. I saw a statistic on FoxNews yesterday that stated that 4 out of 5 ex-cons vote Dumocrat. Ah-ha, there is the reason. And Clinton and Kennedy have stirred up the wrath of the Most Dangerous Organization in America. How may you ask? By playing to one of their long standing goals. The ACLU, along with seven national organizations, participates in Right to Vote, a national coalition to end felony disfranchisement policies.

The ACLU is also conducting an ex-felon public education and mobilization campaign with affiliates in Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Southern California, to educate ex-felons about their voting rights and to encourage them to vote. So now we have the American wing on the Communist Party, the ACLU, and two of the country's most liberal Senators calling for a national intervention into voting rights. 15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the US, 16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions, by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

And they would presume to "educate" these ex-felons about their voting rights. I can predict their indoctrination practice. This candidate supports us, this one doesn't. Support candidate A and not candidate B. This is just another way for them to further their Communist agenda.

Then there is this from nj.com:

The New Jersey Attorney General's Office countered claims by the New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union that election officials in nine counties, including Salem County, are making it difficult for ex-offenders to vote by illegally requesting documents for registration.

According to the results of a survey released this week by the New Jersey ACLU, election officials in nine of 21 counties in the state "put up illegal roadblocks" to eligible voters by illegally asking ex-offenders for documents to prove they were finished serving a sentence. According to the ACLU, current offenders are unable to vote, but should be automatically re-registered after completing a sentence.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office said he believed the county offices did not act illegally by asking for the information.

"The statute does not contain language that suggests that requesting documentation to ensure that only those eligible to vote, do, is unlawful," said Lee Moore, spokesperson for the state Attorney General.

In most counties, offenders' names and their sentence completion dates are stored in a database that is updated regularly. According to the ACLU, if offenders complete their sentence early, they must contact the county election office, otherwise, their names should be automatically removed.

During the survey, Salem County elections officials requested a copy of the sentence release form when asked the requirements for ex-offender registration, but immediately sent the caller requested materials, according to the New Jersey ACLU.

Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the New Jersey ACLU said requesting documentation is illegal.

Officials at the Salem County Board of Elections said they routinely ask for release papers to prove a voter has fulfilled their probation. The ACLU initiated the survey after receiving complaints from ex-offenders in Salem, Essex and Camden counties who said they were restricted from voting in the 2004 election.

Moore said election officials must match voter registration against the county database to check voter legitimacy. If an individual is released early or a sentence completion date is missing, he said, election officials may ask for documentation to prove the voter is not restricted.

"That is not a violation of the law from the position of this office," Moore said. "It is a reasonable exercise of their discretion."

According to the survey, election officials in Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Hudson, Passaic, Hunterdon, Ocean and Salem counties illegally requested documentation, which would make it difficult for ex-offenders to register. The other 12 counties registered ex-offenders in compliance with voting registration laws.

Moore said voting registration in New Jersey will be accessible on the Internet in early 2006, and the issue of ex-offenders registering will be addressed. He also said the Attorney General's office will look into the ACLU's findings.

"The Attorney General is committed to making sure the rights of all eligible voters are protected," he said. "But only those who are eligible."

By TRISH GRABER

My take on the issue is that the state's right to control election law within their state should be protected. And if a state decides to allow former convicted felons who have completed their sentence the right to vote, then that is their decision to make. But I do not believe that the American Civil Liberties Union should be involved with the education of these former felons. Neither should either political party. A sanitized class should maybe be taught in the prison prior to release reminding the soon to be former felon of their responsibilities.

But also remember, these people have been to prison for a crime that they committed. Jury pools are comprised of registered voters. Do we really want a former felon sitting on a jury? Keep that in mind when you decide on which side of this sticky fence you are on.

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