What is the logic behind state laws that deny the vote to people who have been convicted of a felony, even after they are released from prison? The short and easy answer is: there isn’t any. For a longer, nonsensical answer, ask Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, who on May 22 thwarted strong majorities in both houses of the state legislature to veto a bill that would have restored voting rights to about 40,000 Maryland residents currently on probation or parole.
Some of these people never went to prison at all. Those who did are now in the process of reintegrating themselves into their communities. Restoring their ability to have a say in choosing their elected representatives — the most fundamental of all democratic rights — should be an obvious element of that reintegration. But to Mr. Hogan, a Republican, people on probation or parole are “still serving their time as a debt to society for their actions,” and so it is appropriate to continue to bar them from the ballot box.
This is terrible reasoning. Voting bans “defy the principles — of accountability and rehabilitation — that guide our criminal justice policies,” as former Attorney General Eric Holder said last year in calling for their repeal.
Full Article: A Bad Voting Ban in Maryland – NYTimes.com.