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News :: Human Rights : Politics : Race
Report: 3% of Black men in Massachusetts disenfranchised
02 Nov 2004
This is the first presidential election since Massachusetts prisoners were stripped of the right to vote. The effected population is disproportionately Black. More than 3% of Black men in Massachusetts are denied the right to vote.
Northampton, MA (October 31, 2004) - When George Bush ran against Al Gore, every Black adult citizen in Massachusetts was allowed to cast a ballot. This November, more than one out of every hundred Black adults in the state -- and three out of every 100 Black men -- will be denied that right, charged a new report by the Prison Policy Initiative. The report shows that Blacks are disenfranchised in Massachusetts at a rate 6 times higher than for Whites.


(Massachusetts amended its constitution in 2000 to deny prisoners the right to vote. This was the first time the constitution was amended to take away rights from a group.)


The report, Jim Crow in Massachusetts? Prisoner disenfranchisement is the first documentation of the racially disparate impact of prisoner disenfranchisement in Massachusetts. Blacks are only 5.5% of Massachusetts citizens, but are 29% of the state's disenfranchised. Latinos are 6.8% of the state, but are 25% of those barred from the polls.


"The history of the right to vote is generally one of continual expansion of the franchise", said report author Peter Wagner. "It is unfortunate that Massachusetts took a step backwards and, in effect, told the communities that have suffered historic exclusion that they are, in fact, not welcome at the ballot box."

The report is available at: http://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/mass_disenfranchisement.shtml
See also:
http://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/mass_disenfranchisement.shtml

This work is in the public domain.
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Taking away voting rights from prisoners is nothing new.
04 Nov 2004
The laws of 47 states impose disenfranchisement for all prisoners and former prisoners. Only Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont impose no restrictions on inmates or former inmates.

The 14th Amendment provides that states may exclude citizens from voting ''for participation in rebellion, or other crime.'' In 1974, the US Supreme Court used the words ''or other crime'' to allow disenfranchisement. The argument that the words ''or other crime'' obviously relate to some form of rebellion did not sway the court.

People who have committed crimes which warrant inprisonment SHOULD be denied the right to vote. They have broken the laws, been convicted of their crimes, and as such have demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the law. Your article falsely implies that this is a new practice, and then tries to spin it as a racial issue. Blacks are not excluded from the vote, prisoners are.
re: Nefarious Cabal
07 Nov 2004
However being that the U.S. justice system is racially unjust due to a favoring of certain socio-economic statuses it is racist by default. As well as the fact that all laws are in effect due to the ELECTED politicians that create them. Therefore, wouldn't the laws in place be subjective and the reason to allow all to vote to change certain LAWS as put forth by ELECTED legislatures. As each voter sees fit to serve their individual beliefs and individual interests. IE: whether or not abortion should remain legal. Nefarious are you telling me that this is not a prime example of an issue of a person voting for one of the candidates to ensure whether or not a law will be put in place?!?! You state government law as though it is all matter of fact and objective which is just a complete fallacy.
Re: Report: 3% of Black men in Massachusetts disenfranchised
07 Nov 2004
100% of men in my household disenfranchised because some dare to survive an onslaught of murderous types sent by federal banking criminals. I was a bank examiner until 2000. In 2001 I was made to look like a felon under forced injections, physical abuse, and a million dollar bail that no one in my family can afford.

The caste war is here. The caste war is over. The time has come to shed the old ways and put on the new. It is do or die.

Read of the Mobile Audit Club discoveries, found by searching for Mobile Audit Club under any search engine.

What can be done? Who knows. I hope some militias are formed in the USA that demand Democracy and which can deal with the extreme methods used by the regime and their power groups.

http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/democracyordeath
Neither of the two comments above seems to address the lead article.
08 Nov 2004
TO "Stop watching FOX":

Stop doing what? There is nothing in your response to the article or to my comment which relates to disenfranchisement of prisoners and/or inmates. Indeed, I was saying that not only is it common, but that MA was, until recently, one of the last three holdouts for this policy. Your statement here:

"However being that the U.S. justice system is racially unjust due to a favoring of certain socio-economic statuses it is racist by default."

EXCUSE ME? Socio-economic status is a measure of many factors. Income, profession, education, experience, property, etc. Are you trying to imply that blacks (or any other race) cannot be part of those priviliged classes? I can assure you, there are many many blacks and other non-whites who belong to the upper income brackets who are verry satisfied with the Justice Syustem just the way it is.

NO votes for prisoners.
beach
27 May 2006
I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you!