Thursday, February 18, 2010

News: Dr. Michael Fauntroy Speaks on Felon Voting

by Dr. Michael Fauntroy

“I don’t want everybody to vote.  Elections are not won by a majority of the people.  They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now.  As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
– Conservative activist Paul Weyrich, at a 1980 training session for Christian conservatives
    While there are a number of very worthy issues that need to be addressed in this area, I propose that we include the issue of felon disenfranchisement in our deliberations.  Felon disenfranchisement is critical as it impacts the outcomes of elections throughout the country.  Too often, conservative, anti-minority candidates are elected because of the disproportionate removal of African Americans and other minorities from the election rolls.  As the policies that disenfranchise felons disproportionately impacts African Americans (both those caught up in the criminal justice system AND the larger Black public which does not get the policies that it could because supportive people are not elected to office), we must understand it undermines the policies that we believe to be helpful to our community.

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