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Disenfranchised Felons: Fox Mentions TalkLeft

We've received an e-mail saying TalkLeft was just mentioned on Fox News:

fox just mentioned your site. it was in regards to the martha stewart story. Noted how she made political contributions to hillary clinton and that the money wont be returned. then said martha would lose her voting rights. that the only two states which allow felons to vote are maine and vermont (i think that's incorrect). fox then claimed that you said if felons were allowed to vote 75% (?) would vote democrat.

Our last count shows that 37 states allow felons who have served their sentences to vote. We did see the two state reference in a January 8, National Review column (available on Lexis.com), but it is in reference to states with some form of restrictions:

Forty-eight states currently have some form of restriction on the right of felons to vote. The exceptions are Maine and Vermont, which even permit inmates to vote. Thirty-three states disenfranchise felons who are on parole. Eight states deny felons the right to vote for life.

Felon disenfranchisement is an important issue to us.

Here's our post urging the Dems to go after these votes. As to the 75% figure, we quoted from a July 18, 2003 Los Angeles Times op-ed by Christopher Uggen, an associate professor of sociology at the, University of Minnesota, and Jeff Manza, an associate professor of sociology and political science at Northwestern University, who are co-authors of the forthcoming "Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement, and American Democracy" (Oxford University Press). (LA Times article available on Lexis.com):

Low-income voters are also overrepresented in prisons, and they too tend to vote Democratic. This effect is not just on the fringes. Our estimates show that at least seven of every 10 votes cast by these lost felon voters would go to Democratic candidates. In the 2000 presidential election, more than 4.6 million Americans were barred from voting because of felon disenfranchisement laws across the country. Of those, 35% had already served their time. [our emphasis]

Our work suggests that if [Florida's] 613,000 former felons had been permitted to vote — and even if you factor in a far-lower-than-expected turnout rate than the general population — Al Gore would have defeated George W. Bush by about 60,000 votes and would have been elected president. What's more, if all U.S. felons — in and out of prison — had been allowed to vote, Gore might have carried the nation by more than 1 million votes.

Uggen's and Manza's report was also published in the Summer 2003 edition of Contexts, an American Sociological Association magazine.

Bump and Update: Here's a Fox News article dated tomorrow--it calls TalkLeft an "internet group" and makes it sound like it was our study, not Uggen's and Manza's, that comes up with the 70% number. We're told that it was Fox's campaign correspondent, Carl Cameron, who mentioned TalkLeft on Shepherd Smith's Studio B show.

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