Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Letter: Allow Felons to Vote in NJ

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog:

Dear Editor,

The old saying is that if you don't like the law, then change it.

But in New Jersey, persons incarcerated, on parole, or probation for an indictable offense (felony) are unable to legally vote. In our state 164,100 people are under the noose of the racist, discriminatory prison industrial complex - with 37,600 of them in a cage, behind bars (Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2013).

A small number of these people may be behind bars or under supervision for a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor), but most have been convicted of an indictable offense (felony) and therefore aren't allowed to vote.

We must change the law to remove this unjust barrier to voting by allowing convicted persons to vote. Incarcerated persons should be registered to vote from their last residence (or location of homelessness). Additionally, these newly eligible voters must also be allowed to be candidates for elected office.

On paper America has abolished slavery, but unequal enforcement, police misconduct, and poverty leading to felony convictions have become the new Jim Crow against people of color and other enemies of the state.

Besides, as Bridgegate has once again proven, New Jersey is already run by criminals.

Rev. Dr. Eric Hafner
Former Congressional Candidate
Toms River, NJ

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