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Why Rand Is Acting on Voting Restrictions: Felons in ME and VT Can Vote From Prison

If you're in one of the 38 states that allow felons to vote, you may have been confused, as I was, about his recent statements on restoring voting rights for felons generated by the drug war. Kentucky is one of 12 states that can strip voting rights permanently, while Maine and Vermont allow voting from prison.

from http://felonvoting.procon.org :

Two states allow felons to vote from prison while other states may permanently ban felons from voting even after being released from prison, parole, and probation, and having paid all their fines.

The chart below provides links to each state's laws on felon voting and places each US state within one of five categories ranging from harshest (may lose vote permanently) to least restrictive (may vote while in prison). Applications for re-enfranchisement and clemency have been provided for the states which require them.

Felon voting has not been regulated federally although some argue that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act can be applied to felon disenfranchisement and that Congress has the authority to legislate felon voting in federal elections.

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Nobody would dare call him out on this anyway.

That would mean they were racist.


It's not that simple.

Getting ones voting rights back is not just as simple as registering to vote after you got out. It's different in each state I'm sure, but in my state (WA) you have to get a Certificate of Discharge from the Dept. of Corrections. They don't just give it to you upon release, or upon completion of your community placement (parole). It's a hassle. In fact, when I got mine, one lady behind the glass had never heard of this before and had never seen a felon try and get one. Another lady was visibly pissed off and freaking out that I was getting one. She was intentionally trying to illicit an angry emotional response from me, so she could pull some "I feel threatened" crap.

Once I showed that I had completed my Judgment and Sentence including all legal financial obligations, I got the Certificate of Discharge. Then I was able to file the court papers, and I can't remember the names of those motions and orders and stuff or I'd post them. Unable to locate them atm.

I went before the judge by myself. I explained that I wanted to get my voting rights back so that I could become a delegate for Ron Paul in '08. I succeeded, but the judge tricked me into giving up my 2nd amendment to get back my 1st. I walked out of the court room with all of my rights restored except my 2nd amendment and I did become a delegate for Ron Paul.

Later I was studying on how to get my 2nd back, and I was taking my time, not wanting to screw it up. I got pulled over 1 night, and ended up with a reckless driving. You have to be free from any convictions including misdemeanors for 5 years.

Please, don't make the same mistakes I did. If you are going for your voting rights back, and you are actually eligible to get them ALL BACK, go for it right then and there! Read your States Constitution. The mistake I made was I read the U.S. Constitution the night before court. Had I read the Wa. State Constitution beforehand, I would have all of my rights back already.

Please consult an attorney. I've been able to do some cool stuff on my own or with little help in court before, but restoration of ones rights is not something you want to put your own pride before. I think many states have it written that the court "Shall", not "May", restore your rights if eligible, upon application that is. I wish every DP'er luck who attempts this. I hope to come back with more good news on this topic someday. I really appreciate what Rand is trying to do here. It hits home for me.

My story is much simpler but calls into question...

whether my right to vote was ever restored at all.

My crime was self-defense against a bully in high school. I'll go into that another time. I thought my right to vote was gone, but a counselor at the violence program I had to attend after jail set me straight. I mentioned to him the voting thing and he said no, in Wisconsin felons can still vote.

I think I actually voted the first time for Al Gore since GWB scared me so much. The first vote I actually remember was for Ron Paul in '08. All I did was show ID and I got the paper ballot, filled in the space between the arrows (for a write-in? sorry not sure)

Flash forward to last year - same scenario, same voting place (my grade school JFK Elementary) I showed ID and voted RP in the primary. Then in the general election I wasn't even asked for ID, voted Gary Johnson cause he was on the WI ballot and I figured it was a protest vote. Help him get over a million was my logic.

But did any of these even count? Not that voting counts anyway - I'm familiar with http://blackboxvoting.org/ and other information - but your story calls into question: was I allowed to think I was voting when I actually wasn't?

Thanks for your story.

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Sorry about the discrepancy ...

between chart and map. One is obviously not up to date...

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I wonder how man felons there

I wonder how man felons there are out there? I wonder how many people have done time for non-violent drug offenses. Seems to be a BIG voting bloc.

Add their friends & family members to it and it's huge!


"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know Peace." - Jimi Hendrix

This was purely a political maneuver ...

And it was brilliant.

He stayed true to some very libertarian ideals ...

Civil Liberties
Inalienable rights

And yet realigned the political paradigm instantaneously.

Pure Brilliance.

Improved title?


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