Democrats in Tough Re-election Races Dodge Felon Voting Issue

Monday, 03 Mar 2014 08:08 AM

By Elliot Jager

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Democrats facing close Senate re-election races are distancing themselves from proposals to allow convicted felons to regain voting rights after serving their sentences.

Several senators, including Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Udall of Colorado, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Begich of Alaska, avoided the question when The Hill asked them about their stance.

State policies regarding whether ex-felons may vote vary. Ten states — Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming — bar most felons from ever voting. In Maine and Vermont, all — even those still in prison, can cast a ballot, the Pew Charitable Trust reported.

Pew estimates that a total of 5.85 million Americans are disenfranchised. In Florida, 11 percent — one in nine potential voters — are barred. The number of African Americans without a vote in the Sunshine State is close to one in four.

Liberalizing the rules would empower a disproportionately black and Democratic-leaning cohort to re-enter the electoral process, the Hill says.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin plans to introduce a bill that would automatically re-enfranchise felons upon their release from prison, a position backed by Attorney General Eric Holder.

Among Democrats who responded to The Hill's question, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, running against Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, said he supports restoring voting rights to nonviolent felons. With regard to those who had committed violent crimes, Warner said he would want to give the issue more thought.

Kentucky's Democratic Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supports restoring voting rights to ex-felons.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin who is confident of re-election said, "Except in the rarest circumstances, after they've paid their price to society, they ought to be participants in our electoral system."

On the Republican side, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is also drafting legislation that would restore voting rights to released nonviolent ex-felons.

Related Stories


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

House Campaign Chair: Obama's Low Ratings Won't Hurt Dems in Nov.

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 14:00 PM

President Barack Obama's low popularity ratings among voters will not harm Democrats running for office in November's mi . . .

Rand Paul Laying Groundwork for 2016 With Iowa Trip

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 13:04 PM

In what many see as a sign of his intent to run for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky w . . .

W. Va. Dem Senate Candidate Separates Herself From Obama

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 12:39 PM

West Virginia's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant is turning the lights out on Obama's White House.
 . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved