US Constitution Article 1 SECTION 2 states-----HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the PEOPLE as in WE THE PEOPLE.
Section 2 also states THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SHALL CHOOSE THEIR SPEAKER AND OTHER OFFICERS ; AD SHALL HAVE THE SOLE POWER OF IMPEACHMENT.
Here is SECTION 7 of Article 1----
ALL BILLS FOR RAISING REVENUE SHALL ORIGINATE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-----raising revenue is of course taxation.
As we showed yesterday----the US Constitution used to distinguish between population groups identifying indentured and enslaved inhabitants differently then what was called CITIZEN----LANDED WHITE MEN. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION started right after that document was written ---late 1700s-----and the amendments assuring the voting status of ALL PEOPLE BORN IN US was strengthened for women---for black, brown, naturalized immigrants born in US.
THERE IS NO QUESTION WHO IS A CITIZEN WITH VOTING RIGHTS IN AMERICA......WE ARE SIMPLY ALLOWING GLOBAL 1% WALL STREET 5% POLS AND PLAYERS TO IGNORE OUR FEDERAL VOTING AND ELECTION LAWS.
So. as with the word INHABITANT vs CITIZEN some states allowed foreign inhabitants----black or women inside a specific state in LOCAL AND STATE ELECTIONS. It was not assured until 19TH AMENDMENT. Our immigrant families have had the right to a child born in US becoming that citizen with rights to vote from the original US Constitution----women and other US inhabitants not LANDED WHITE MEN gained that right from AMENDMENTS TO US CONSTITUTION over the next century or two.
What today's global labor pool immigrants wanting to be citizens need to know is this----the current movement on voting rights by global 1% Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA is designed to HARM THAT PATHWAY TO VOTING FOR 99% OF IMMIGRANT CITIZENS----MOVING FORWARD has the goal of only that global 1% and their 2% of foreign inhabitants US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES able to attain that voting right---it eliminates WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% ---whether black, white, brown, or new immigrant citizens.
Ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote—a right known as woman suffrage. At the time the U.S. was founded, its female citizens did not share all of the same rights as men, including the right to vote. It was not until 1848 that the movement for women’s rights launched on a national level with a convention in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by abolitionists Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) and Lucretia Mott (1793-1880). Following the convention, the demand for the vote became a centerpiece of the women’s rights movement. Stanton and Mott, along with Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and other activists, formed organizations that raised public awareness and lobbied the government to grant voting rights to women. After a 70-year battle, these groups finally emerged victorious with the passage of the 19th Amendment.
Origins of Women’s Suffrage in the U.S.
During America’s early history as a nation, women were denied some of the key rights enjoyed by male citizens. For example, married women couldn’t own property and had no legal claim to any money they might earn, and no female had the right to vote. Women were expected to focus on housework and motherhood, not politics.
Did You Know?
Wyoming, the first state to grant voting rights to women, was also the first state to elect a female governor. Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1977) was elected governor of the Equality State (Wyoming's official nickname) in 1924. From 1933 to 1953, she served as the first female director of the U.S. Mint.
The campaign for woman suffrage did not begin in earnest in the decades before the Civil War. During the 1820s and 1830s, various reform groups proliferated across the U.S.—temperance clubs, religious movements and moral-reform societies, anti-slavery organizations—and in a number of these, women played a prominent role. Meanwhile, many American women were beginning to chafe against what historians have called the “Cult of True Womanhood”; that is, the idea that the only “true” woman was a pious, submissive wife and mother concerned exclusively with home and family. Put together, these factors contributed to a new way of thinking about what it meant to be a woman and a citizen in the United States.
Suffrage Movement Gets Organized
It was not until 1848 that the movement for women’s rights began to organize at the national level. In July of that year, reformers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York (where Stanton lived). More than 300 people—mostly women, but also some men—attended, including former African-American slave and activist Frederick Douglass (1818-95). In addition to their belief that women should be afforded better opportunities for education and employment, most of the Seneca Falls delegates agreed that American women were autonomous individuals who deserved their own political identities. A group of delegates led by Stanton produced a “Declaration of Sentiments” document, modeled after the Declaration of Independence, which stated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” What this meant, among other things, was that the delegates believed women should have the right to vote.
Following the convention, the idea of voting rights for women was mocked in the press and some delegates withdrew their support for the Declaration of Sentiments. However, Stanton and Mott persisted–they went on to spearhead additional women’s rights conferences and they were eventually joined in their advocacy work by Susan B. Anthony and other activists.
National Suffrage Groups Established
With the onset of the American Civil War (1861-65), the suffrage movement lost some momentum, as many women turned their attention to assisting in efforts related to the conflict between the states. After the war, woman suffrage endured another setback, when the women’s rights movement found itself divided over the issue of voting rights for black men. Stanton and some other suffrage leaders objected to the proposed 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would give black men the right to vote, but failed to extend the same privilege to American women of any skin color.
In 1869, Stanton and Anthony formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) with their eyes on a federal constitutional amendment that would grant women the right to vote. That same year, abolitionists Lucy Stone (1818-93) and Henry Blackwell (1825-1909) founded the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA); the group’s leaders supported the 15th Amendment and feared it would not pass if it included voting rights for women. (The 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870.) The AWSA believed women’s enfranchisement could best be gained through amendments to individual state constitutions. Despite the divisions between the two organizations, there was a victory for voting rights in 1869 when the Wyoming Territory granted all female residents age 21 and older the right to vote. (When Wyoming was admitted to the Union in 1890, woman suffrage remained part of the state constitution.)
By 1878, the NWSA and the collective suffrage movement had gathered enough influence to lobby the U.S. Congress for a constitutional amendment. Congress responded by forming committees in the House and Senate to study and debate the issue. However, when the proposal finally reached the Senate floor in 1886, it was defeated.
In 1890, the NWSA and the AWSA merged to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The new organization’s strategy was to lobby for women’s voting rights on a state-by-state basis. Within six years, Colorado, Utah and Idaho adopted amendments to their state constitutions granting women the right to vote. In 1900, with Stanton and Anthony advancing in age, Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947) stepped up to lead the NASWA.
Progress and Civil Disobedience
The turn of the 20th century brought momentum to the woman suffrage cause. Although the deaths of Stanton in 1902 and Anthony in 1906 appeared to be setbacks, the NASWA under the leadership of Catt achieved rolling successes for women’s enfranchisement at state levels. Between 1910 and 1918, the Alaska Territory, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington all extended voting rights to women.
Also during this time, through the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women (later, the Women’s Political Union), Stanton’s daughter Harriot Stanton Blatch (1856-1940) introduced parades, pickets and marches as means of calling attention to the cause. These tactics succeeded in raising awareness and led to unrest in Washington, D.C.
On the eve of the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) in 1913, protesters thronged a massive suffrage parade in the nation’s capital, and hundreds of women were injured. That same year, Alice Paul (1885-1977) founded the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, which later became the National Woman’s Party. The organization staged numerous demonstrations and regularly picketed the White House, among other militant tactics. As a result of these actions, some group members were arrested and served jail time.
In 1918, President Wilson switched his stand on women’s voting rights from objection to support through the influence of Catt, who had a less-combative style than Paul. Wilson also tied the proposed suffrage amendment to America’s involvement in World War I (1914-18) and the increased role women had played in the war efforts. When the amendment came up for vote, Wilson addressed the Senate in favor of suffrage. As reported in The New York Times on October 1, 1918, Wilson said, “I regard the extension of suffrage to women as vitally essential to the successful prosecution of the great war of humanity in which we are engaged.” However, despite Wilson’s newfound support, the amendment proposal failed in the Senate by two votes. Another year passed before Congress took up the measure again.
Getting the Vote
On May 21, 1919, U.S. Representative James R. Mann (1856-1922), a Republican from Illinois and chairman of the Suffrage Committee, proposed the House resolution to approve the Susan Anthony Amendment granting women the right to vote. The measure passed the House 304-89—a full 42 votes above the required two-thirds majority.
Two weeks later, on June 4, 1919, the Senate passed the 19th Amendment by two votes over its two-thirds required majority, 56-25. The amendment was then sent to the states for ratification. Within six days of the ratification cycle, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin each ratified the amendment. Kansas, New York and Ohio followed on June 16, 1919. By March of the following year, a total of 35 states had approved the amendment, one state shy of the two-thirds required for ratification. Southern states were adamantly opposed to the amendment, however, and seven of them--Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia—had already rejected it before Tennessee’s vote on August 18, 1920. It was up to Tennessee to tip the scale for woman suffrage.
The outlook appeared bleak, given the outcomes in other Southern states and given the position of Tennessee’s state legislators in their 48-48 tie. The state’s decision came down to 23-year-old Representative Harry T. Burn (1895-1977), a Republican from McMinn County, to cast the deciding vote. Although Burn opposed the amendment, his mother convinced him to approve it. (Mrs. Burn reportedly wrote to her son: “Don’t forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the ‘rat’ in ratification.”) With Burn’s vote, the 19th Amendment was ratified. Certification by U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby (1869-1950) followed on August 26, 1920.
On November 2 of that same year, more than 8 million women across the U.S. voted in elections for the first time. It took over 60 years for the remaining 12 states to ratify the 19th Amendment. Mississippi was the last to do so, on March 22, 1984.
We emphasized that the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES are elected to represent WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% who vote them into office because for thousands of years a SENATE represented the interests of the rich and corporations while this second legislative branch called HOUSE OF COMMONS in UK vs HOUSE OF LORDS-------the US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES was installed to be the voice of WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%----this is OUR LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. The same goes for our state assemblies-----they have a branch called SENATE----and a branch called HOUSE----again, the HOUSE represents the 99% of WE THE PEOPLE while the SENATE represents the rich and corporations.
Today, every US House of Representative from Democratic side is a FAR-RIGHT WING GLOBAL 1% WALL STREET CLINTON/OBAMA NEO-LIBERAL and the leadership of the HOUSE are all raging global 1% banking pols.
This is where WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% lost our voting power and this dynamic of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA global Wall Street 1% neo-liberals getting that capture of our people's HOUSE is ELECTION RIGGING AND FRAUD. It was that shift to ROBBER BARON few decades creating that 5% to the 1% which moved away from left social progressive LABOR AND JUSTICE PLATFORM to that of a HOUSE working for global 1% Wall Street----NANCY PELOSI of Baltimore AND Harry Reid of Nevada are the face of this loss-----these leaders are voted into place by the greater HOUSE members----same in our state assemblies----that HOUSE has a leader voted into place by greater members---in Maryland we have had the same HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERS throughout CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA as with Congressional HOUSE----TOTAL CAPTURE OF ELECTIONS OCCURRING IN 2000----
The HOUSE CONTROLS VITAL CHECKS AND BALANCE ISSUES FOR 99% OF CITIZENS-----WE SAW TAXATION ----BELOW WE SEE IMPEACHMENT.
What allowed massive corporate and Wall Street frauds of tens of trillions of dollars was the corruption of our Congressional leaders and courts by that 5% pol and player tied to appointing legislative/courts/executive offices. BEFORE Clinton/Bush/Obama Presidents and Congressional pols were actually impeached by HOUSE for MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE----it is IMPEACHMENT of elected and appointed officials that never happened by our CONGRESSIONAL HOUSE and our STATE HOUSE----
We are not naive---the US has always had its PLAYERS----pols who were corrupt-----but we DID have a functioning system of CHECKS AND BALANCES that made pols FEAR being caught. Our new immigrant citizens who are coming during this US ROBBER BARON period thinking they are winners must think down the road---do 99% of citizens want their taxes to come back to their communities for local economic development and services? Of course most 99% want that----we cannot get that when we allow pols in office openly stealing---they need to be IMPEACHED---we need to control the HOUSE to do that.
“The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
— U.S. Constitution, Article II, section 4
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Representative Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, a Radical Republican, gave the last speech during House debate on articles of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson on March 2, 1868. Johnson became the first president impeached by the House, but he was later acquitted by the Senate by one vote.
The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach an official, and it makes the Senate the sole court for impeachment trials. The power of impeachment is limited to removal from office but also provides for a removed officer to be disqualified from holding future office. Fines and potential jail time for crimes committed while in office are left to civil courts.
Impeachment comes from British constitutional history. The process evolved from the 14th century as a way for parliament to hold the king’s ministers accountable for their public actions. Impeachment, as Alexander Hamilton of New York explained in Federalist 65, varies from civil or criminal courts in that it strictly involves the “misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Individual state constitutions had provided for impeachment for “maladministration” or “corruption” before the U.S. Constitution was written. And the founders, fearing the potential for abuse of executive power, considered impeachment so important that they made it part of the Constitution even before they defined the contours of the presidency.
During the Federal Constitutional Convention, the framers addressed whether even to include impeachment trials in the Constitution, the venue and process for such trials, what crimes should warrant impeachment, and the likelihood of conviction. Rufus King of Massachusetts argued that having the legislative branch pass judgment on the executive would undermine the separation of powers; better to let elections punish a President. “The Executive was to hold his place for a limited term like the members of the Legislature,” King said, so “he would periodically be tried for his behaviour by his electors.” Massachusetts’s Elbridge Gerry, however, said impeachment was a way to keep the executive in check: “A good magistrate will not fear [impeachments]. A bad one ought to be kept in fear of them.”
Another issue arose regarding whether Congress might lack the resolve to try and convict a sitting President. Presidents, some delegates observed, controlled executive appointments which ambitious Members of Congress might find desirable. Delegates to the Convention also remained undecided on the venue for impeachment trials. The Virginia Plan, which set the agenda for the Convention, initially contemplated using the judicial branch. Again, though, the founders chose to follow the British example, where the House of Commons brought charges against officers and the House of Lords considered them at trial. Ultimately, the founders decided that during presidential impeachment trials, the House would manage the prosecution, while the Chief Justice would preside over the Senate during the trial.
The founders also addressed what crimes constituted grounds for impeachment. Treason and bribery were obvious choices, but George Mason of Virginia thought those crimes did not include a large number of punishable offenses against the state. James Madison of Virginia objected to using the term “maladministration” because it was too vague. Mason then substituted “other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” in addition to treason and bribery. The term “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” was a technical term—again borrowed from British legal practice—that denoted crimes by public officials against the government. Mason’s revision was accepted without further debate. But subsequent experience demonstrated the revised phrase failed to clarify what constituted impeachable offenses.
The House's Role
The House brings impeachment charges against federal officials as part of its oversight and investigatory responsibilities. Individual Members of the House can introduce impeachment resolutions like ordinary bills, or the House could initiate proceedings by passing a resolution authorizing an inquiry. The Committee on the Judiciary ordinarily has jurisdiction over impeachments, but special committees investigated charges before the Judiciary Committee was created in 1813. The committee then chooses whether to pursue articles of impeachment against the accused official and report them to the full House. If the articles are adopted (by simple majority vote), the House appoints Members by resolution to manage the ensuing Senate trial on its behalf. These managers act as prosecutors in the Senate and are usually members of the Judiciary Committee. The number of managers has varied across impeachment trials but has traditionally been an odd number. The partisan composition of managers has also varied depending on the nature of the impeachment, but the managers, by definition, always support the House’s impeachment action.
The Use of Impeachment
The House has initiated impeachment proceedings more than 60 times but less than a third have led to full impeachments. Just eight—all federal judges—have been convicted and removed from office by the Senate. Outside of the 15 federal judges impeached by the House, two Presidents (Andrew Johnson in 1868 and William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton in 1998), a cabinet secretary (William Belknap in 1876), and a U.S. Senator (William Blount of North Carolina in 1797) have also been impeached.
Blount’s impeachment trial—the first ever conducted—established the principle that Members of Congress and Senators were not “Civil Officers” under the Constitution, and accordingly, they could only be removed from office by a two-thirds vote for expulsion by their respective chambers. Blount, who had been accused of instigating an insurrection of American Indians to further British interests in Florida, was not convicted, but the Senate did expel him. Other impeachments have featured judges taking the bench when drunk or profiting from their position. The trial of President Johnson, however, focused on whether the President could remove cabinet officers without obtaining Congress’s approval. Johnson’s acquittal firmly set the precedent—debated from the beginning of the nation—that the President may remove appointees even if they required Senate confirmation to hold office.
We are not naive---the US has always had its PLAYERS----pols who were corrupt-----but we DID have a functioning system of CHECKS AND BALANCES that made pols FEAR being caught. Our new immigrant citizens who are coming during this US ROBBER BARON period...
We don't want 5% players in any government position but to stop MOVING FORWARD WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% in both Republican and Democratic Parties need to take back the HOUSE ----
Our US Congress is literally a DEN OF THIEVES because we lost that CHECKS AND BALANCES of Congressional HOUSE.
We have had a lock on our Congressional HOUSE LEADERSHIP by a very, very, very global 1% Wall Street PELOSI AND HOYER----both MARYLAND ---Pelosi living in CA these few decades. Below we see for Republican HOUSE McCarthy----also CA---
This video by a global hedge fund IVY LEAGUE PRINCETON-----must be taken for what it is----it tells the 99% what we know but suggests that a 10% get the benefit of LEGISLATIVE/FUNDING BONES ----that 5% to the 1% they suggest are getting the attention the 99% are not. We used to say that the US middle-class had that small benefit----this suggests that middle-class is getting smaller.
The point is this--------if the US continues to allow CLASS separations to grow-----then global 1% will easily MOVE FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE which will see NONE OF US MIDDLE-CLASS tied to affecting government.
Princeton and Northwestern are NOT providing data in interest of 99% ---they send out propaganda in this case they are letting WE THE PEOPLE know we don't have any say in public policy but they want to assure that 5% player they are in the loop. US citizens under the current MOVING FORWARD status of open voting for foreign citizens will not have a chance as sovereign citizens no matter right wing or left wing---black, white, or brown 99% of citizens----STOP THE CLASS -----SHOW ME THE MONEY WINNERS LIVING FOR TODAY are the one's trying to confuse on issues of VOTING RIGHTS.
Have you ever felt like the government doesn't really care what you think?
Professors Martin Gilens (Princeton University) and Benjamin I. Page (Northwestern University) looked at more than 20 years worth of data to answer a simple question: Does the government represent the people?
Their study took data from nearly 2000 public opinion surveys and compared it to the policies that ended up becoming law. In other words, they compared what the public wanted to what the government actually did. What they found was extremely unsettling: The opinions of 90% of Americans have essentially no impact at all.
This video gives a quick rundown of their findings – it all boils down to one simple graph:
Princeton University study: Public opinion has “near-zero” impact on U.S. law.
Gilens & Page found that the number of Americans for or against any idea has no impact on the likelihood that Congress will make it law.
“The preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
One thing that does have an influence? Money. While the opinions of the bottom 90% of income earners in America have a “statistically non-significant impact,” economic elites, business interests, and people who can afford lobbyists still carry major influence.
Nearly every issue we face as a nation is caught in the grip of corruption.
From taxation to national debt, education to the economy, America is struggling to address our most serious issues. Moneyed interests get what they want, and the rest of us pay the price.
They spend billions influencing America's government. We give them trillions in return.
In the last 5 years alone, the 200 most politically active companies in the U.S. spent $5.8 billion influencing our government with lobbying and campaign contributions.
Those same companies got $4.4 trillion in taxpayer support – earning a return of 750 times their investment.
It's a vicious cycle of legalized corruption.
As the cost of winning elections explodes, politicians of both political parties become ever more dependent on the tiny slice of the population who can bankroll their campaigns.
To win a Senate seat in 2014, candidates had to raise $14,351 every single day. Just .05% of Americans donate more than $10,000 in any election, so it's perfectly clear who candidates will turn to first, and who they're indebted to when they win.
In return for campaign donations, elected officials pass laws that are good for their mega-donors, and bad for the rest of us.
Our elected officials spend 30-70% of their time in office fundraising for the next election. When they're not fundraising, they have no choice but to make sure the laws they pass keep their major donors happy – or they won't be able to run in the next election.
AMENDMENT 19----All persons born or naturalized in the US, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof-----are CITIZENS of the US.
This is the US Constitutional Amendment our immigrant families depend upon to see their children are naturalized US citizens. It is equally important to WE THE PEOPLE THE US 99% OF CITIZENS because it clearly states what being a CITIZEN means. It does not say INHABITANT--any inhabitant can vote---it says CITIZEN.
The AMENDMENT 18------Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party is convicted, shall exist in US or anywhere under its jurisdiction.
Below we see where voting rights were attacked during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA under the guise of TOUGH ON CRIME and soaring imprisonment---tied to privatization of US prison system ----private prisons wanted profit ergo prisoners and these few decades have seen US citizens becoming political prisoners-----they were shuffled off to jail and/or prison often not guilty of a crime----Baltimore and Maryland is tops in this loss of voting rights. What we saw MOVING FORWARD in prison privatization was a return of slavery through back door.
We hear citizens shouting the US Constitution does not ban slavery-----but it really, really, really does.
Here is where we began seeing a BLURRING of US Constitutional standings for our 99% of citizens----HE IS FOR THAT TIME BEING THE SLAVE OF THE STATE. This is the current issue for VOTING RIGHTS----and know what? It is being pushed today by the same global 1% Wall Street CLINTON/OBAMA pols in office these few decades of Clinton-era ZERO TOLERANCE soaring imprisonment.
WE ASK OURSELVES WHY ARE THE SAME POLS IN OFFICE THESE FEW DECADES OF MASS INCARCERATION NOW THE ONES PROMOTING RIGHTS OF PRISONERS TO VOTE----UNIFIED TALKING POINT FOR ALL GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS?
Rights of Prisoners
Laws > United States Constitution >
Rights of Prisoners
Rights of Prisoners.--Until relatively recently the view prevailed that a prisoner "has, as a consequence of his crime, not only forfeited his liberty, but all his personal rights except those which the law in its humanity accords to him. He is for the time being the slave of the state."1122 This view is not now the law, and may never have been wholly correct.1123 In 1948 the Court declared that "[l]awful incarceration brings about the necessary withdrawal or limitation of many privileges and rights";1124 "many," indicated less than "all," and it was clear that the due process and equal protection clauses to some extent do apply to prisoners.1125 More direct acknowledgment of constitutional protection came in 1972: "[f]ederal courts sit not to supervise prisons but to enforce the constitutional rights of all 'persons,' which include prisoners. We are not unmindful that prison officials must be accorded latitude in the administration of prison affairs, and that prisoners necessarily are subject to appropriate rules and regulations. But persons in prison, like other individuals, have the right to petition the Government for redress of grievances …"1126 However, while the Court affirmed that federal courts have the responsibility to scrutinize prison practices alleged to violate the Constitution, at the same time concerns of federalism and of judicial restraint caused the Court to emphasize the necessity of deference to the judgments of prison officials and others with responsibility for administering such systems.
Why are the same global Wall Street 5% pols and players tied to zero tolerance as CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS now the pols 'HELPING PRISONERS'? The answer is tied to yesterday's discussion of OPEN BORDER VOTING for all INHABITANTS of a state. This open border voting will of course work yet again to deny those very prisoners that power of vote.
Somehow, those dastardly global 1% and their 2% REALLY committing all the crimes are never those sent to jail/prison----but this VOTING RIGHTS policy pushed by CLINTON/OBAMA neo-liberals MOVES FORWARD voting for only those global 1% and their 2%.
Prisoners and the Right to Vote in the United States7 Dec 2011 | | posted by LeBaron, Genevieve |
The United States bars nearly 5.3 million American citizens from the vote on the grounds that they committed a crime: only 25% are in prison or jail and 75% are either on probation or parole or have completed their sentences (ACLU 2006: 3). Indeed, while it may not come as a surprise that 48 states and the District of Columbia prohibit inmates from voting while incarcerated for a felony offense, lesser known is that even after the term of punishment expires, some states deny the right to vote for a period ranging from a number of years to the rest of one’s life.
The United States prison population has skyrocketed in recent decades—increasing 450% between 1980-2009 (The Pew Center 2009)—such that the country now incarcerates one percent of the adult population. Adding those on probation and parole, one in every 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of criminal justice supervision (The Pew Center 2009). This population is disproportionately made up of young black and Hispanic men. In some states, one in three black men is under some form of criminal justice supervision (The Pew Center 2009).
Disenfranchisement has disproportionately impacted black citizens, and other racial minorities. All have been widely criminalized since the beginning of the War on Drugs in the late 1970s. Less than two decades after this program redesigned social and criminal justice policy, one in seven black men nationally had lost the right to vote, and as many as one in four in states with the highest African American disenfranchisement rate (Alexander 2010: 188). Significantly, while disenfranchisement policies prevent 2.5% of the total population from voting, they hit over 15% of the total population of African American men (ACLU 2006: 3). Many experts claim that these figures may even understate the impact of felony disenfranchisement, because they do not incorporate the millions of ex-offenders who cannot vote in states that impose fines or fees before their voting rights can be restored (Alexander 2010: 154). Describing these fees and their legal complications as the “new poll tax,” legal scholar Michelle Alexander has documented significant parallels between today’s voter disenfranchisement and that of the Jim Crow era (1876-1965).
During that period, African Americans were denied the vote through poll taxes, literacy tests, and felon disenfranchisement law, even though the Fifteenth Amendment to the US constitution specifically provides that the rights of US citizens to vote shall not be denied on account of race or color. Formally race-neutral devices were adopted to maintain an all white electorate (Alexander 2010: 187).
With the 2012 presidential election looming, the issue of disenfranchisement is growing in significance. Following the 2000 election, it was widely reported that Al Gore would have been elected president of the United States rather than George W. Bush if the 600,000 felons who had completed their sentences in Florida been allowed to vote,. The largest civil rights group in America, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is currently petitioning the United Nations over what it sees as a concerted effort to disenfranchise black and Latino voters (Pilkington 2011).
These restrictions on voting are far from the norm elsewhere. About half of European countries allow all incarcerated people to vote, while others disqualify only a small number of prisoners from the polls. No other country permanently disenfranchises prisoners.
As justice advocates in Baltimore we have absolutely NO FAITH this PRISONER'S RIGHTS TO VOTE had anything to do with our global Wall Street 1% pols caring about any Maryland or Baltimore citizens' rights to vote. A majority of citizens tied to prison disenfranchisement come from Baltimore. We have a population of about 650,000=====about 350,000 registered Democratic voters====and our elections are lucky to bring out 100,000---we were told black citizens do not vote in Baltimore and that is about right.
Here we see that gradual decline in voter turnout over these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and yes it has to do with the fact the Democratic Party was being taken by global Wall Street 1% Robber Baron pols.
Baltimore has one of the most unjust CRIMINAL public justice system in the nation---whether how citizens are charged----whether what kind of court support they get---or how treated inside of jail-----that 5% to the 1% Baltimore City Council and mayor control this----they are the ones who pushed PRISONER RIGHTS TO VOTE.
AS MARYLAND AND CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS HAVE DONE THESE FEW DECADES---THEY THROW LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE BONES ON PUBLIC POLICY JUST AS THEY ARE PREPARING TO HARM WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%---
In this case they are trying to make our prison population they allowed be incarcerated through zero tolerance have that vote as they MOVE FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE OPEN BORDER VOTING FOR ANY INHABITANT OF US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE policies. No one is harmed as a voter with these policies more than our prison/ex-felon population.
This was the 2014 Democratic primary---we KNOW how that next 2016 Democratic primary went-----incredible voter fraud-----while global Wall Street pols and 5% players shout PROTECT VOTER RIGHTS.
We KNOW it is only that 5% pol and player coming out bringing maybe another 5% to the polls with PAY-TO-PLAY for jobs, housing, schools.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
What's Really Going On? // Maryland Juice Dissects Voter Turnout in the June 2014 Primary Elections
UPDATE: When I first went live with the post below, I didn't have complete numbers of independent voters in each Maryland county. We've now updated the post with these figures (Hat-tip to Maryland Reporter's Len Lazarick for pointing us in the right direction), along with an explanation of how counties without nonpartisan primaries have inflated turnout percentages. I've also added some information on counties where independent voters are outpacing Republicans. Scroll down for these updates below.
THE FUTURE OF MARYLAND JUICE: Alrighty folks, after months of absence, Maryland Juice is back in action! Before I kick-off a lengthy article about voter turnout in Maryland, I thought I'd take a second to discuss some changes that this blog will be pursuing in the coming months.
In case you haven't heard, I won my Democratic Primary election for the House of Delegates, and that means that by the time the legislative session starts in January 2015, I'll have to step back from my writing duties. But not to worry -- over the course of the next few months, I hope to introduce a new set of writers who will keep the Juice torch and information pipeline burning into the future. In 2015, I may still write an article here or there, but likely not with the vigor and frequency you've become accustomed to (for various obvious reasons). In any case, keep your eyes open as we roll out new Juicers in 2014! Now onto my first article in over three months....
MARYLAND JUICE 2014 PRIMARY ELECTION TURNOUT ANALYSIS - Numerous political pundits have fretted about Maryland's declining voter turnout, especially in Democratic strongholds like Montgomery County. The Washington Post's Bill Turque commented (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: There’s been much opining among Montgomery’s elected officials about the anemic primary turnout last month, when just 16 percent of registered voters came to the polls. They cited, among other factors, the inconvenience of the new June 24 election date, the lack of urgent issues, and a less-than compelling primary race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination at the top of the ballot....
Turque's article was triggered by a feisty piece from Center Maryland columnist and Montgomery County resident Josh Kurtz (excerpt below):
CENTER MARYLAND: At presidential election time, voter turnout in Montgomery County is pretty decent: Almost three-quarters of enrolled voters showed up at the polls on Election Day 2012 to choose between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.... But when it comes to acting locally, when it comes to selecting their leaders at the state and county levels, Montgomery County residents fail miserably.
In the recent statewide primary, just 16 percent of registered voters in Montgomery County bothered to vote. Sixteen percent!.... That’s lower voter turnout than in Garrett County (27 percent), where cousins marry, or in Somerset County (24 percent), where the raging issue is chicken waste, or in Baltimore city (22 percent), where they’re selling drugs on every street corner, or in Prince George’s County (18 percent), where every public official has a palm extended.....
But to accurately build a solution to the problem of "low turnout," it helps to understand what's really going on. Indeed, rushed analyses have led some to hastily conclude that recent voting reforms like early voting were "unsuccessful" and that we are in some sort of existential crisis in Maryland with respect to civic engagement. However, many variables impacting voter turnout (eg: demographic changes, resident turnover, and the national mood) are out of state and local policymakers' control. Below are a few points to consider about turnout trends in Maryland and Montgomery County.
RAW DEMOCRATIC PARTY ELECTION DAY TURNOUT BY COUNTY: First, not all voters are the same. Turnout in Maryland varied wildly depending on your party registration, and all is not what it seems. In terms of raw Democratic Party turnout, simply more Democrats from Montgomery County voted at the polls on election day than Democrats from any other county:
If you include early voters, Montgomery County was second place in Maryland for raw Democratic turnout - Prince George's was first, Baltimore County was third, and Baltimore City was fourth.
% OF ELIGIBLE DEMOCRATIC TURNOUT BY PARTY - One caveat to MoCo's large Democratic turnout should be noted. Even though more MoCo Dems turned out than Dems around the state, Montgomery County's turnout ranking does indeed drop when looking at the percentage of eligible Democrats who participated (as opposed to the absolute number of Democrats who voted).
But even still, in terms of the percentage of Democrats turning out for the primary election, Montgomery County was in a respectable 8th place out of 24 counties (including early voters). Of the large jurisdictions, only Baltimore County Democrats turned out at a rate higher than Montgomery. Prince George's was in 14th place, and Baltimore City was in 17th place:
MOCO'S POPULATION SURGE DISTORTS ITS TURNOUT PERCENTAGES: In other words, MoCo's sheer size of population means that we have among the most Democrats who vote in Maryland, but we also have a large number of MoCo Democrats who do not vote, thereby bringing down Montgomery County's turnout percentages. Why might this be?
MoCo Democrat Paul Bessel recently launched a new blog where he delved into some of these turnout dynamics. One of the facts he pointed out is that Montgomery County has had a huge surge in Democratic voter registrations over the last 14 years. Based on his graph below, MoCo had about 230,000 Democrats in 2000 compared with about 355,000 in 2014:
NUMBER OF MOCO DEMOCRATS VOTING BASICALLY UNCHANGED IN OVER 2 DECADES - MoCo Democrats have basically voted in equal numbers over the last couple decades, even while our turnout rate has dropped. How can that be? Some historical Democratic turnout numbers provided by Jonathan Shurberg provide some insight.
Here is one telling comparison. In 1990, roughly 86,000 MoCo Democrats voted out of 195,000. In 2014, roughly 84,000 MoCo Democrats voted. So the raw turnout is almost the same, but today there are 354,000 Democrats on the rolls in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Democratic Turnout (Gubernatorial Primary Years)
- 1990: 86,167 turnout out of 195,523 registered Dems (44.07%)
- 1994: 89,452 turnout out of 217,007 registered Dems (41.22%)
- 1998: 75,485 turnout out of 227,863 registered Dems (33.13%)
- 2002: 110,518 turnout out of 246,779 registered Dems (44.78%)
- 2006: 108,337 turnout out of 271,008 registered Dems (39.98%)
- 2010: 83,827 turnout out of 321,759 registered Dems (26.05%)
- 2014: 84,622 turnout out of 354,078 registered Dems (23.90%)
A PROBLEM FOR THE NEW MONTGOMERY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE - What all of this tells me is that as MoCo's population has surged over the last couple decades, we have likely failed to engage all of the new Democratic registrants that have chosen to reside here. MoCo's Democratic turnout stayed the same over 24 years even though we added over 150,000 new Democrats to the voter rolls (almost twice as many as vote in Primaries).
Indeed, the vast majority of candidates seeking office in Montgomery County (and everywhere else) spend most of their resources contacting voters with a demonstrated history of voting in Democratic Primaries (aka the decisive elections). As a result, save for the occasional nonprofit voter mobilization drive, there is really nobody trying to pump primary turnout by engaging new registrants and less likely voters in primaries. This seems like a challenge for MoCo's new Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) to tackle. After all, we are living in a new world in Maryland politics, where literally zero Republicans hold elected office in Montgomery County. It seems sensible that the MCDCC should shift its activities to meet the evolving needs of our county's politics.
SO WHY DOES MOCO HAVE THE OVERALL LOWEST VOTER TURNOUT RATE IN MARYLAND? - Okay, so now that we've got the Democratic turnout analysis out of the way, it still remains true that MoCo had terrible turnout when looking at voters from all parties. When you look at turnout figures from voters of all parties and unaffiliated voters, Montgomery County had the lowest turnout percentage in all of Maryland but we still had the second highest number of actual voters in the state this year. See these tables of overall voter turnout from all parties below:
MARYLAND COUNTIES - % OF ELIGIBLE VOTER TURNOUT (ALL PARTIES)
- Talbot - 35.22%
- Kent - 30.60%
- Dorchester - 29.00%
- Queen Anne's - 28.33%
- Garrett - 26.62%
- Baltimore County - 24.68%
- Carroll - 24.53%
- Somerset - 24.43%
- Anne Arundel - 24.25%
- Caroline - 24.19%
- Cecil - 23.60%
- Frederick - 23.34%
- Baltimore City - 21.65%
- Charles - 21.47%
- Harford - 21.26%
- Wicomico - 20.24%
- Worcester - 20.21%
- Allegany - 19.95%
- Calvert - 19.24%
- Prince George's - 18.00%
- Saint Mary's - 16.77%
- Washington - 16.54%
- Montgomery - 16.34%
MARYLAND COUNTIES - RAW VOTER TURNOUT (ALL PARTIES)
- Baltimore County - 105,171
- Montgomery - 103,000
- Prince George's - 91,782
- Baltimore City - 70,508
- Anne Arundel - 65,396
- Howard - 38,946
- Frederick - 34,872
- Harford - 33,773
- Carroll - 28,049
- Charles - 21,441
- Washington - 14,765
- Calvert - 11,571
- Cecil - 11,258
- Saint Mary's - 10,773
- Wicomico - 9,495
- Queen Anne's - 9,297
- Allegany - 8,460
- Talbot - 7,714
- Worcester - 6,424
- Dorchester - 5,138
- Garrett - 5,102
- Caroline - 3,625
- Kent - 3,257
- Somerset - 2,803
UPDATED: UNAFFILIATED VOTERS DRIVE DOWN TOTAL TURNOUT PERCENTAGES - Maryland Juice would point readers to some fairly obvious facts that may explain why MoCo had overall turnout of 16%, even while MoCo Democrats turned out at nearly 24%. First, Montgomery County now has 147,000 voters who are not registered with any party. Since Maryland Democrats and Republicans have closed primaries (meaning only registered party members can vote), independent voters have very little reason to turnout for primary elections. Indeed, in MoCo only 2.59% of unaffiliated voters participated in the June 2014 primary election.
Moreover, as Maryland Reporter's Len Lazarick pointed out to me, multiple counties have no races where independents are eligible to vote in primaries. Montgomery County, for example, has nonpartisan school board races, while other counties do not. As a result, counties without nonpartisan races will appear to have higher voter turnout percentages than the rest (where anemic turnout from independents drags down the countywide participation rates). The counties without nonpartisan primaries are: Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Somerset, and Wicomico.
What's more, MoCo has a much larger number of independent voters than many other Democratic strongholds, according to the Board of Elections stats as of May 2014. Indeed, there are now more MoCo independents (147,904) than Republicans (122,349). Below you can see the numbers of unaffiliated voters in each county:
MARYLAND REGISTERED INDEPENDENTS BY COUNTY
- Montgomery - 147,904
- Baltimore County - 83,015
- Anne Arundel - 74,718
- Prince George's - 60,039
- Baltimore City - 46,313
- Howard - 43,623
- Frederick - 33,625
- Harford - 30,505
- Carroll - 21,560
- Washington - 17,854
- Charles - 16,399
- Cecil - 13,249
- Saint Mary's - 12,767
- Calvert - 12,012
- Wicomico - 10,342
- Worcester - 6,545
- Allegany - 6,428
- Queen Anne's - 5,906
- Talbot - 4,451
- Caroline - 3,427
- Dorchester - 2,715
- Garrett - 2,311
- Kent - 1,918
- Somerset - 1,718
VOTER TURNOUT AND REGISTRATION DECLINES SPELL TROUBLE FOR THE MARYLAND GOP - But more importantly, these numbers raise the question about who these independent voters are. Are they disaffected Republicans (aka would-be moderate Republicans who have no home in today's Republican Party)? It is stunning that indies outnumber the GOP in Montgomery County, but then again the era of moderate Republican officials like Connie Morella is now long-gone, mirroring a national trend of partisan realignment.
That the Maryland GOP cannot energize its voters in the vote-rich Democratic strongholds is not a theory, it is fact. Look at the percentage of Maryland Republicans who voted in the June Primaries:
MARYLAND REPUBLICAN TURNOUT BY COUNTY
UPDATED: THE MARYLAND GOP IS A REGIONAL PARTY - In places like Montgomery, Prince George's and Baltimore City, barely 1 in 10 registered Republicans decided to participate in contested Republican Primary Elections. Furthermore, in all three of those jurisdictions, independents outnumber Republicans:
- Montgomery - 147,904 independents vs. 122,349 Republican
- Baltimore City - 46,313 independents vs. 30,325 Republicans
- Prince George's - 60,039 independents vs. 43,636 Republicans
- Howard - 46,623 independents vs. 56,696 Republicans
The obvious solution for the Maryland GOP is to hold open primaries and allow independents to vote -- especially since indies now outnumber MoCo Republicans. But I'm not holding my breath for that.
PRIMARY TURNOUT IS DECLINING NATIONALLY - In the meantime, I would add just one more piece of data for folks to consider. And that is that the hand-wringing over low voter turnout is nothing unique to Maryland. It is happening nationally. USA Today recently posted a graph of declining party primary turnout across the nation (courtesy of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate):
So take a deep breath, folks. There is much more going on with voter turnout both nationally, regionally, and locally than has really been discussed in many of the news articles I've read recently. I'll be back with a JuiceBlender before too long. Thanks for sticking around!
Here is the concern of our Congressional pols---black, white, and brown 5% to the 1%. Obama's immigration reform completely changed immigration policy in US for 300 years leaving behind the waiting lists of global citizens to come to America----leaving behind that 20 year pathway to citizenship and voting----Obama super-sized the global labor pool from low-income workers to high-skilled workers basically MOVING FORWARD OPEN BORDER US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE and handing global corporations control of who those immigrants will be----we shouted how very bad this is for all 99% of WE THE VOTERS as well as for those new immigrants just getting the right to vote.
What we have seen these several years of Obama is that super-sizing of global 1% and their 2% in US cities bringing their votes and bringing their 5% as global labor pool. So, here we see the Congressional black caucus's concern over all this----will AFRICAN immigrants be assured that VOTING RIGHT! Keep in mind----US black Americans are the lowest turnout of voters because these players do not work for 99% of black citizens.
MINORITY RIGHTS TAKEN BLACK/LATINO US CITIZENS OFF---MOVING ALL GLOBAL LABOR POOL NATIONS FORWARD----
Our new immigrant citizens made citizens these few decades are not happy with OPEN BORDERS as well because they know it dilutes the power of their voting for which they waited a long time to attain.
As with all Clinton neo-liberals our black Congressional, state assembly, and city council is hyper ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE for US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES -----having left 99% of black US voters behind----they need to work on that and not worry about those global 1% and their 2% African immigrants and whether they are voting.
Black caucus presses Obama on voting rights, immigration
By Dave Boyer - The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Black lawmakers pressed President Obama on Tuesday to ensure that immigration reform doesn’t shortchange African immigrants, and they strategized about ways to protect minority voting rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
The Congressional Black Caucus met with Mr. Obama at the White House for about 90 minutes, their first gathering with the president in more than two years. Although some caucus members have been critical of Mr. Obama for not doing enough to lower black unemployment and appointing too few blacks to his Cabinet, they emerged from the meeting with words of praise for the president.
“We are on the same page,” said Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, Ohio Democrat and CBC chairwoman.
Ms. Fudge said immigration reform legislation in Congress was a topic of concern at the meeting. The CBC and others say the Senate-passed immigration bill could lead to lower immigration from countries with high black populations.
“We want to be sure that the immigration bill, which they’re saying is comprehensive, is in fact comprehensive,” Ms. Fudge said, “and that it includes people from the Caribbean and from Africa.”
She expressed concern that the Senate immigration bill will favor merit-based visas for high-skilled workers at the expense of “diversity visas.”
“We want to be sure that the people we represent, those who come from underserved countries, poorer countries, are included in the bill,” Ms. Fudge said.
The bill would replace a lottery system with by a merit-based formula that gives more points to applicants with higher academic degrees. Some say the new merit-based system would reduce the number of African immigrants.
The House has yet to take up comprehensive immigration reform; Mr. Obama has urged House lawmakers to complete a bill before the congressional August recess.
Black lawmakers also talked with Mr. Obama about protecting minority voting rights in light of the Supreme Court ruling, which voided a provision requiring certain states and localities with a history of voting-rights abuses to get pre-clearance from the federal government before making any changes to voting laws.
Ms. Fudge said the lawmakers “talked about how we strengthen Section 2” and ways to determine a “formula” that would cover all states, as opposed to a state-by-state procedure. Rep. Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania Democrat, said they discussed several ideas on how to respond to the ruling, but reached no consensus.
“Other than the fact that there’s a certainty we’re going to seek to address it, I don’t think there’s any decision about how to proceed,” Mr. Fattah said.
With black unemployment at 13.7 percent in June, compared to the national average of 7.6 percent, several lawmakers urged Mr. Obama to send more federal money to their districts. Rep. James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat, revived the idea of a formula that would direct more federal dollars to communities with persistent poverty, the so-called 10-20-30 formula.
“It can be education,” Mr. Clyburn said. “It can be broadband deployment. It can be water and sewage development. Whatever you are doing to improve communities making sure it gets to communities of need. And it creates jobs dramatically.”
Ms. Fudge said the president “was receptive to that formula.”
The lawmakers also discussed with Mr. Obama the need to lower interest rates on student loans. Rates on federal Stafford loans doubled on July 1 to 6.8 percent because Congress didn’t avert a rate hike built into the law.
House Republicans have passed a bill that would link rates to the financial markets and keep rates low in coming years. But Senate Democrats opposed to the GOP plan haven’t found enough support to surmount procedural hurdles. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said he will bring up the issue for a test vote again on Wednesday.
Mr. Clyburn said he told the president that the high cost of student loans is “very, very serious for us.”
While MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE is filling our Maryland and Baltimore Foreign Economic Zones with global labor pool 99% AND those global 1% and their 2%---our ex-felons who have always had the hardest time in just securing a job were given priority this legislative session and indeed we are seeing our global Wall Street 1% Clinton/Bush/Obama pols sending our ex-felons on job assignments RIGHT NOW-----who protested 2016 Democratic election fraud in Baltimore louder than this candidate for MAYOR OF BALTIMORE? Our 99% of black citizen voters shouting they are losing their VOTER RIGHTS with growing election frauds.
So, all this is tied to PAY-TO-PLAY---you promote that winning candidate you get employment, housing, school opportunities.
Our 99% of WE THE PEOPLE whether black, white, brown---whether immigrant or ex-felon are being told HOLD YOUR NOSE AND VOTE FOR LEAST WORST.
NO VOTING RIGHTS IN THAT STATEMENT----DOES NOT MEET THE US CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF CITIZENS TO ELECT THEIR LEGISLATORS.
As we see below 40,000 ex-felons with newly given rights to vote represents almost half of total Democratic voters coming out to vote----- it was quite the election rigging scheme in its TIMING. Our felons know the fix of Baltimore elections so this is not a win -----the problem will grow in open borders voting.
Released felons gain right to vote in Maryland after veto override
Erin CoxContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
More than 40,000 recently released Maryland felons will regain the right to vote in time for this year's election.
The legislature on Tuesday narrowly overturned Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill to extend voting rights to felons before they complete probation and parole.
The reversal both dealt a political blow to the Republican governor, who lobbied to prevent the bill from becoming law, and set the stage for an estimated 20,000 former inmates to cast ballots in Baltimore's primary election for mayor and City Council this spring.
The issue drew passionate debate from both sides on the proper message to send former inmates rejoining society.
The bill was the sixth that Hogan vetoed from last year's General Assembly, and the sixth the Democratic-controlled legislature reinstated this year. The House of Delegates voted to override Hogan's veto last month, and on Tuesday, the Senate voted 29-18 to overrule the governor.
The vote, twice delayed in order to muster enough support, followed an expansive debate that touched on resolving racial disparities in the criminal justice system and protecting victims of violent crime. The current system requires felons to complete probation and parole before registering to vote. But proponents argued that the system is confusing, unnecessary and demoralizing to ex-offenders trying to rebuild their lives.
Opponents of the law, which will go into effect March 10, said felons should earn back the right to vote only after completing their sentences.
Minutes after the override vote, convicted felon Marcus Toles of West Baltimore celebrated in the marble hallway outside the Senate chamber.
"I am overwhelmed with joy," said Toles, 27, clutching a Maryland voter registration application. "I can finally have my voice heard after doing my time and trying to be a productive member of society."
Toles said he was released from prison three months ago after serving a five-year sentence for a felony drug conviction. He is on parole until November, which under current law would make him ineligible to vote for the city's next mayor or the next president. Now that he can vote in the April 26 primary and Nov. 8 general, Toles said, he's "going to vote in every election I can."
"We've done our time, you take our taxes," Toles said of felons. "It's hard enough we get every door slammed in our faces. We paid our debt to society. We're out here striving not to go back, and you want to take our right to vote? I think our voices should be heard."
When Hogan vetoed the law last spring, he said it improperly restored rights to people who had not yet paid their debt to society. Since last month, he waged an aggressive social media campaign urging his supporters to lobby lawmakers to side with him and his "common sense" veto.
The governor responded to the vote on his Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, characterizing the override as a consequence of "partisan" politics and an exercise of Democrats' power.
"Only a tiny, radical minority supports this idea. But they did it anyway," Hogan wrote. "They don't seem to care what most Marylanders want. Why did they do it anyway? Because they can."
After the vote, while having lunch at Chick & Ruth's Delly in Annapolis with Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, Hogan said lawmakers who voted for the override had made a big mistake.
"Some people may have ended their careers," he said. "Basically, they just ignored the will of the people. That's not a good way to keep your job in the Senate. ... Most Marylanders are going to be pretty upset."
Sen. Joanne C. Benson, a Democrat from Prince George's County, said she was hospitalized Monday night after a fall but came to Annapolis on Tuesday to help override the veto. She noted that the vast majority of people affected by the law are, like her, African-American.
"It's unfair," she said. "The whole system is unfair."
Baltimore Sen. Joan Carter Conway sponsored the bill and argued that it was "the right thing to do."
In a largely party-line vote, Republicans in the Senate followed Hogan's argument and said felons should be allowed to vote only after they have completed all of the terms of their sentences.
"That poor victim could be laid up in the hospital bed, and you're going off to vote," Republican Sen. Michael J. Hough of Frederick County said. "We need to have an orderly process."
Giving felons access to housing and helping them find jobs are critical to their success, Hough said, and allowing them to regain voting rights sooner gets in the way of a more "holistic" look at helping former offenders.
Baltimore County Republican Sen. Johnny Ray Salling put it simply: "Somebody breaks the law, they lose rights."
Four Democrats from conservative districts joined the Senate's 14 Republicans in voting to uphold the veto: Sens. James Brochin and Katherine Klausmeier of Baltimore County; Ed DeGrange of Anne Arundel County and James N. Mathias Jr. of the Eastern Shore.
The House of Delegates voted 85-56 to override Hogan's veto last month, garnering the minimum amount of support needed to reverse Hogan's action. A three-fifths vote of both chambers of the General Assembly is required to overturn a governor's veto.
Controversy preceded the vote in the Senate, where a newly appointed senator was poised to take a second vote on the override.
Sen. Craig Zucker, a Democrat from Montgomery County, voted in the House last month to overturn the veto. Late last week, he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Senate, giving proponents of the law the 29th vote they needed in that chamber.
Republicans questioned whether it was legal for Zucker to vote on the same measure twice. An assistant attorney general advised lawmakers it was, and GOP members publicly urged Zucker to recuse himself. He did not.
The vote also brought about an hour of intrigue on the Senate floor when one lawmaker left his seat during the final vote. The override initially failed, 28-18, but under Senate rules a vote can be reconsidered. The override passed the second time around.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Calvert County Democrat, said the country has a long history of slowly expanding the right to vote — to people who aren't landowners, to minorities, and to women.
"It's been a challenge for people to earn the right to vote, and to take it away, it really has to be something that is unforgiven, heinous," Miller said. "What this means here is that people who have returned to society, repaid their debt to society, they're back in society, we want to reincorporate them into society. … We want them to be able to hold their head high, and that's what this is all about."
The Maryland Board of Elections requires eligible voters to register by April 5 to get their names on the rolls in time to cast a ballot in the primary. Advocates hope the roughly 20,000 newly eligible voters in Baltimore change the tenor of the mayoral campaign.
Democratic mayoral candidate Catherine E. Pugh, the Senate majority leader, praised the law, saying it would allow people to vote "once you've paid your debt to society."
Jane Henderson, executive director of Communities United, said her group has been working with people in Baltimore's public housing complexes, "where every other person has a felony conviction."
"Issues facing returning citizens do not get their due from any politician because they are not considered part of the electorate and so many of them don't vote even once they get their voting rights restored," she said.
Henderson said Tuesday's vote will launch a new marathon for her. Once the law takes effect next month, "we have a month to register as many people as we can."
We know our right wing voters are always the citizens wanting tight controls on voting having historically kept black voters from polls----they surely do not want immigrant voters or OPEN BORDER VOTING----this is a far-right wing global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA policy MOVING FORWARD for only the global 1% and their 2%. Remember, Obama pushed the policy along with Bush of allowing the global rich to BUY THEIR CITIZENSHIP----ergo, they are on voting fast-track while those global labor pool 99% are not even on that pathway to citizenship or to vote.
Why then is FEINSTEIN-----raging global 1% neo-liberal making statements to uphold that US sovereign citizen as voter? Just for that reason----the global 1% and their 2% for whom FEINSTEIN works in Silicon Valley/San Fran can buy that citizenship and be voting in only a few years. Feinstein's concern are those 99% of WE THE PEOPLE living on greater San Fran ----she as Pelosi should not even be allowed to run again ----this is where VOTING RIGHTS MEAN NOTHING with perpetual crony political machines.
WHAT DILUTES THE POWER OF VOTING FOR 99% OF CITIZENS IS THAT LAW ALLOWING IMMIGRANTS TO BUY THEIR CITIZENSHIP.....FAST-TRACKING THE RICH.
'Feinstein, once a mayor of the city, flatly says the scheme clashes with state law: “The California constitution specifically states that only California residents who are U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age can vote in California elections. . . It clearly dilutes the promise of citizenship.”'
Notice this is Bush-era 2004. FEINSTEIN standing up against the diluting of power of voting.
Feinstein was of course the CA pol coming across Nevada border to tell Bernie supporters trying to fight 2016 Democratic primary election fraud to SHUT UP-----yeah, she's a real protector of US VOTING RIGHTS.
News Max is a right wing media outlet-----This is what our right wing citizens always say-----yet the US Constitution is always talking about CITIZENS as voters
'Our U.S. Constitution doesn’t say anything about a citizenship requirement to vote. Voting rights are the prerogative of the states—and most don’t allow non-citizens to participate'
If our right wing voters do not move away from STATE'S RIGHTS---you will have OPEN BORDER VOTING for goodness sake.
Posted on August 6, 2004
Latest Open Borders Fad: Non-Citizen Voting
Phil Kent, NewsMax.com, Aug. 5
It’s got to be pretty atrocious when even a flaming liberal like U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Ca., believes the open borders lobby has done something “unconstitutional.” Yet there she was, joining the many nationwide critics of the July 20 vote by San Francisco’s liberal city legislature allowing non-citizens to vote in Board of Education elections. (The measure will still need full approval from voters in November.)
Feinstein, once a mayor of the city, flatly says the scheme clashes with state law: “The California constitution specifically states that only California residents who are U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age can vote in California elections. . . It clearly dilutes the promise of citizenship.”
Of course, backers of the measure are expecting a legal challenge. So state Assemblyman Leland Yee, says he’ll introduce statewide legislation to strengthen the school board measure’s legality. (Will Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger resist? That, so far, is an unanswered question.)
Our U.S. Constitution doesn’t say anything about a citizenship requirement to vote. Voting rights are the prerogative of the states—and most don’t allow non-citizens to participate. Indeed, voting is a privilege that—as many politicians of all stripes traditionally point out—countless members of the U.S. armed forces fought and died for. Indeed, as Feinstein says, doesn’t allowing such voting dilute the very concept of citizenship?
California advocates of on-citizen voting point to a few other U.S. cities where foreign aliens have been allowed to cast ballots in recent years. The American Friends Service Committee is vocally pushing this latest open borders fad. “Civic participation is of prime importance” says Christian Ramirez, an AFSC official launching a non-citizen vote campaign two years from now in San Diego. “If migrants are contributing economically, socially and culturally to a society, we feel that constitutes a premise of citizenship,” he says.
Chicago and New York City are the only big cities that allowed anyone who had a child in its school system to participate in community school board elections. But that recently ended in the Big Apple when Mayor Michael Bloomberg restructured the school system.
In 1992 voters in Tacoma Park, Maryland, narrowly approved giving non-citizens the franchise. Five other Maryland municipalities followed suit—including the affluent Washington, D.C. suburb of Chevy Chase where 10 percent of the population constitutes foreign-born non-citizens.
In 2003 the cities of Cambridge and Amherst in Massachusetts approved giving a vote to everyone over 18 years of age regardless of immigration status. But they await state legislation to enable it.
Furthermore, an open borders coalition in the District of Columbia seeks the vote of every foreigner for all local elections. It hopes to stir discontent because the district itself does not have voting representatives in Congress.
In light of this campaign, the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies rightly points to the increasing problem of split loyalties among foreigners on our shores. Spokeswoman Jessica Vaughn particularly criticizes Mexican immigrants’ longtime drive to have Mexico let them vote in its elections from here—an effort that recently gained the support of Mexican President Vicente Fox. (Mexico allows dual citizenship, but voters have to cast ballots within its borders. Other nations, such as Israel, have similar policies.)
An index of this country’s decline is that some cities are even having a public policy discussion about non-citizens getting the vote. But the good news is that polls indicate more Americans on the left side of the political spectrum, perhaps like Diane Feinstein, are joining centrists and traditional conservatives in having serious second thoughts about erasing borders and voting qualifications during a time of terrorism, overpopulation and strained educational and medical systems.