A citizen's right to vote is a fundamental advocacy issue ror the League, and as such we work hard to protect this right by opposing Voter ID laws and many other voter suppression tactics. In the League Leaders forum I introduced the topic of "Voting Rights for Ex-Felons," which is of particular importance to many state Leagues where laws prohibit or restrict the voting rights of ex-felons. This topic is probably better addressed here in the Representative Government forum, so I'm hoping for a continuing discussion from a larger audience.

Currently, 6 million ex-felons are prevented from voting by arbitrary and discriminatory state laws that run the gamut from permanent disentranchisement to restoration after completion of sentence, parole, and/or probation. I have already heard from League leaders in Kentucky, Florida, Iowa, Wyoming, and Alabama about their ongoing efforts to restore voting rights of ex-felons. My aim is to raise awareness, to convene a caucus at the LWVUS Convention, and to ask that LWVUS give ex-felon disenfranchisement equal weight to other voter suppression tactics in their educational and advocacy efforts.

For those interested in more information on this issue I direct you to these excellent links:

http://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/analysis/RTV%20Map%2010%2016%2013.pdf

http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/index.cfm

https://www.aclu.org/maps/map-state-felony-disfranchisement-laws

 

Marge Easley, LWV Clackamas County, Oregon