Editorials: America steals votes from felons. Until it stops, our democracy will be weakened | Russ Feingold/The Guardian
In the middle of the hot summer, citizens will gather this week in Florida to champion a ballot initiative to end the state’s permanent felony disenfranchisement. As we face the daily jaw-dropping revelations about the Trump campaign and administration’s actions, keeping our focus on restoring legitimacy to our elections and our democracy has never been more important, and ending the historic wrong of felony disenfranchisement absolutely must be part of our agenda. It seems unlikely that the Trump-Pence “electoral integrity” commission will touch this important issue, and any commission that ignores it isn’t serious about the legitimacy of our elections. The right to vote is the most fundamental right of any democracy, granting it legitimacy as a means of government by instilling power in the people and not in politicians. It ensures “consent of the governed” and holds government accountable to the people: not law-abiding people, or moral people, or any other qualifier, but the people.