Don't Disenfranchise Millions

Discusses the Poverty Forum and the Democracy Restoration Act.

March 4, 2009

Cross-posted from Politico.

Last week the Poverty Forum, a new coalition of Christian leaders and policy experts from both conservative and liberal camps, convened in Washington. And in a rare instance of true bipartisanship, the group voiced support for legislation—including the Democracy Restoration Act—specifically tailored to meet the needs of the most marginalized Americans.

Soon to be introduced by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), the Democracy Restoration Act would restore voting rights to people with felony convictions who are out of prison and living in the community. The measure is urgently needed, as felony disenfranchisement laws expose one of the greatest hypocrisies of our country.

We purport to be the land of freedom and democracy, yet we imprison a greater percentage of our population than any other country in the world. And we deny the right to vote to a greater percentage of our potential electorate than any other democracy in the world.

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