Yes, felons can vote here

September 25, 2008
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Indiana may have made national headlines for its strict voter ID laws this year, but when it comes to felons being able to vote, Indiana is one of the better states in the country.

In Indiana, imprisoned felons can’t vote, but once they are released from confinement they are eligible to register to vote. Those on probation or parole can also vote here, as is the case in all of our neighboring states – except Kentucky.

In Kentucky, a convicted felon who has completed his or her sentence can’t vote unless he or she petitions to the governor to restore their voting rights. That’s just insane. People who have “served their debt to society” should be able to vote in elections without asking the governor to let them.

There is a misconception by the general public that once you’ve been to prison, you can’t vote anymore. No wonder there are numerous groups around the country pushing to get the word out to convicted felons out of prison that they can vote, depending on the state they live in. Here, there is one group in Fort Wayne – the Grassroots Effort Committee For Change – that is trying to recruit more than 500 volunteers to educate the population and register felon voters.

There’s no denying the hype surrounding this year’s presidential election, and it’s there for good reason. This year will be historic – we’ll have either the first African-American president or the first woman vice president. Plus, with the state of the nation right now, whoever is elected president will have a chance to help our economy, address health-care issues, dictate what happens with our troops in the Middle East, probably appoint a Supreme Court justice or two, and determine in what direction our country will head.

Just as there are campaigns to get the word out to the general public about needing a picture ID to vote, there should be campaigns to let felons who have served their time know they can vote, too. As we saw in the close presidential race of 2000, every vote matters.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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