If people with past criminal convictions had a right to vote, George W. Bush would have lost in 2000. They can receive it today: Jeb Bush vs ex-criminals.
Everyone probably remembers how in 2000 George W. Bush won the elections. His victory depended on the re-counting Florida’s voices. Majority of the electors there supported him, and he became a president. It’s not only Al Gore’s supporters who criticized the election system: the electors do not always represent ordinary voters’ will adequately (most of them, by the way, voted for Gore). However, the election system reform is not on the way. Until another scandal?
And the scandal is on the way. Some in the States remembered that criminals in 13 states may not vote. It is the people who used to be imprisoned and now are free, not the ones who are still in jail. They lost the right to vote permanently, what causes human right activists to protest. The estimated number of American people out of electorate is 1,5mln.
This problem could remain purely humanitarian, if not that 2000 campaign, when it received a political overtone.
Chris Uggen, an expert on politics from the Minnesota university believes that people with previous convictions usually vote for democrats. Of those people who are deprived of vote, around 13% are Afro-Americans, and should the group receive a right to vote, Al Gore could have gained as much as 1mln votes more, receiving only in Florida at least 80,000 votes over Bush.
This sounds convincing, but only from democrats’ point of view. In some states, however, the ex-criminals have already taken the matter to courts. And here’s the interesting point. A similar case was filed by 600,000 ex-prisoners in Florida this spring. The Florida governor and the president’s brother Jeb Bush is to stand before the court. He is strictly opposed to giving the ex-convicted a right to vote. And opinion polls show that 80% of Americans are for it.
So it seems like democrats are winning at this field, and we have to wait to see what will be the republicans’ answer.