For John, BLUF: Yes, voting should not be suppressed. However, those who aren't good citizens shouldn't be joining the rest of us in voting. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is the sub-headline:
These state laws are another form of voter suppression – like gerrymandering, voter ID requirements, and bars on anyone with felony convictions from voting.
From Nation of Change, by Professor Robert Reich, 21 November 2017.
I was reading with an open mind until I got to the "like gerrymandering, voter ID requirements…".
Here is the lede plus one:
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are being denied the right to vote because they are poor.Dealing first with Gerrymandering, it is an issue and it exists everywhere, including here in Lowell and Chelmsford. This isn't a Republican issue. This is a power issue. That is, those who are in power, working to stay in power. Professor Reich should understand this, having twice lived in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In nine states, Republican legislators have enacted laws that disenfranchise anyone with outstanding legal fees or court fines. For example, in Alabama more than 100,000 people who owe money – roughly 3 percent of the state’s voting-age population – have been struck from voting rolls.
As for Voter ID, there is the fact that if the folks checking you in to vote don't know you, an ID is the quick way to confirm you are who you are. If you go to a hospital or a physician's office, you are expected to present an ID. Why is voting different? Besides, why isn't Professor Reich urging all those Democrats on Beacon Hill to repeal our Commonwealth's Voter ID Law?
As for felons, they lose their rights. Should they get them back once they are out of prison and they are past all post-release encumbrances? Maybe. Should they then have the right to obtain a Commission in the US Army Reserve or the National Guard? I wouldn't object to them getting their vote back after they have fully paid back their debt to society. But, not before.
I would say that if there are small amounts owed to courts or government, then the person should be allowed to vote. However, there should be a limit to this. If large amounts are owed then the person should lose their right to vote. I would draw the line somewhere between $1,000 and $10,000.
The "poll tax" line is just another Democratic Party dog whistle.
Regards — Cliff