A Dkos poster replies to me:

If you think drug laws are unfair, work to change the drug laws so that drug offenders are no longer convicted felons.
But don’t let convicted felons have a position of fiduciary trust in the voting process. Let them have jobs, apartments, let them vote, yes. If this bothers you, ask yourself: would you want a convicted felon (and I don’t mean a drug offender; I mean a child molester, white-collar criminal, or gunpoint robber) to be president? I wouldn’t. Sure, maybe his rehibilitation made him especially wise, but I wouldn’t want to take a chance. The risk is just too great. And where did Nader or the firm he hired find 19 convicted felons to put on payroll? Did they recruit especially for that demographic?

Would I vote for a convicted felon for President? Well, it would depend on what his platform was, who he was running against, and (to a lesser extent) the circumstances under which he became a convicted felon. Would I want to be denied the chance to vote for that candidate by having him purged from the ballot? Sure as hell not, no matter who he is.

For those who don’t know, the proportion of convicted felons among young men of color in many communities in this country – including some here in Florida, where I’ve been registering voters the past few weeks – is as high as one in four. So no, you don’t have to be looking to find them. As for fiduciary trust, there’s no justification for barring felons as a class (and let’s be honest about the size and demographic of the class we’re talking about) from working for the government, from voting, or from working to give those who desire the chance to exercise their democratic right to sign their name to a petition. What the process needs is oversight of signatures as they come in, not purges of the people who collect them.


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