Disenfranchisement Bill Passes PA House
A NY Times editorial explains why the Pennsylvania House passed a bill that would prevent individuals on probation or parole from voting.
The Pennsylvania bill represents an odious attempt by lawmakers to undo a state court ruling overturning a law that required newly released prisoners to wait five years before getting the right to vote. Republican lawmakers who disliked the court ruling liked it even less when community activists in Democratic parts of the state began to inform ex-felons that they now had the right to return to the polls.
Voting is a right of citizenship. Voting fosters rehabilitation by allowing ex-offenders to feel a connection to others, to be woven into the social fabric. The counterproductive and undemocratic bill is likely to die in the Pennsylvania Senate, but the Times is right to label this attempt to suppress voting rights as "shameful" and "reprehensible."
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