washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Political Strategy Notes

“In 11 states, felons lose their voting rights indefinitely for some crimes, or require a governor’s pardon for voting rights to be restored,” Clark Merrefield writes at Journalist’s Resource. Felons “face an additional waiting period after completion of sentence (including parole and probation) or require additional action before voting rights can be restored,” according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

  • Those 11 strictest states are Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming, according to the NCSL. Florida “disenfranchises more returning citizens than any other state,” write the authors of a January 2023 paper in the Vanderbilt Law Review.
  • There are 14 states where people convicted of felonies lose the right to vote while incarcerated, as well as while completing probation or parole, according to the NCSL. These states are Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • There are 23 states where people convicted of felonies lose the right to vote only while incarcerated, according to the NCSL, with the right automatically reinstated after time served. These states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington.
  • People convicted of felonies in the District of Columbia, Maine and Vermont do not lose their voting rights and can vote while incarcerated.
  • In some states, people convicted of a felony can vote in the state where they live even if they wouldn’t be eligible in the state where they were convicted. Journalists covering this topic should consult legislation and reach out to legal experts to understand their state rules for restoring voting rights. For a quick look at restoring voting rights for people with criminal convictions, check this U.S. Department of Justice state-by-state guide“.

Further into the article, Merrefield adds, “More than 4 million people in the U.S. are barred from voting because of a felony conviction, according to estimates from The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit organization that advocates for “effective and humane responses to crime.” News outlets commonly cite reports and policy briefs from The Sentencing Project, and their data is used in academic research, including in one of the papers featured below….Over the past quarter century, about half of state legislatures have moved to restore voting rights to those disenfranchised due to a felony conviction….“Since 1997, 26 states and the District of Columbia have expanded voting rights to people living with felony convictions,” according to an October 2023 report from The Sentencing Project. “As a result, over 2 million Americans have regained the right to vote.”….we have gathered and summarized six studies that explore demographic trends in felony disenfranchisement as well as how felony disenfranchisement affects political engagement and electoral democracy in U.S. states. The research roundup is followed by story ideas and interview questions for journalists….The findings show …

  • Public health outcomes tend to be worse in states where democratic processes are affected by policies such as felony disenfranchisement.
  • People are more likely to support felony disenfranchisement when they express attitudes aligned with xenophobia and when they support policies that would restrict immigration and reduce government funding for public programs.
  • Felony disenfranchisement is relatively higher where Black populations also exhibit higher rates of depressive symptoms.
  • Restoring voting rights to people convicted of felonies is unlikely to meaningfully affect election results — but those who have their voting rights restored tend to feel they personally have more of a say in how their state governments operate.

Kyle Kondik shares some, thoughts on the Super Tuesday results at Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a big political development on Tuesday that had nothing to do with Super Tuesday: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) announced that she would not seek a second term—arguably 2024’s most important remaining big candidate decision for the Senate, barring something unexpected down the line. Sinema, whose election as a Democrat was a significant moment in Arizona’s transition from red state to purple state, left the Democrats following the 2022 election, although she continued to caucus with them. Sinema, who upset the left during her term, may have lost a primary to Rep. Ruben Gallego (D, AZ-3), who is on track to be the Democratic nominee. Sinema is thus the second straight occupant of this seat, following Republican Jeff Flake, to serve just a single term and retire at least partially because of base problems (Flake probably would have lost a primary in 2018 had he run). Gallego is now set up for a general election against, most likely, 2022 gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake (R) in a race that remains a Toss-up. On balance, this is probably a good development for Gallego, although it’s not completely obvious how a three-person general election (including Sinema) would have worked out. Sinema almost certainly would have finished in third, which is probably why she’s not running now. The two most recent nonpartisan Arizona polls showed Sinema having different impacts on the race: A Noble Predictive Insights poll from last month showed Gallego leading Lake by 10 points in a head to head battle but only up 3 in a three-way race, so Gallego was clearly doing better without Sinema in the race. However, an Emerson College/The Hill/Nexstar poll, also from last month, showed Gallego up 7 in the two-way and 6 in the three-way, effectively the same-sized lead.”

Miles Bryan and Noel King explain “What Biden could do to bring grocery prices down” at Vox: “So what can the Biden administration actually do about high food prices and shrinking packages?….“While the government can’t necessarily control the prices retail puts on stickers, we can give more money to low-income people to deal with those higher prices,” Elizabeth Pancotti, a strategic advisor at the progressive think tank the Groundwork Collaborative, told Today, Explained co-host Noel King….The Biden administration also is moving to make the meat and grocery industries more competitive, and therefore cheaper for consumers. They’ve even opened up a joint task force between the FTC and Department of Justice to investigate unfair and illegal pricing….Elizabeth Pancotti: “Just last week we actually found out that the Federal Trade Commission is suing to block the $25 billion merger deal between the grocery store giants Kroger and Albertsons. This had been kind of rumored in the news that the FTC was considering it….This deal was announced, about a year and a half ago, and some state attorneys general have already sued to say that this merger would make grocery markets less competitive in certain regions and certain states. But now the Federal Trade Commission has sued to block the merger entirely across the entire country….And then there is the meat industry. For beef, pork, and poultry, there are about six players that control between half and 75 percent of the market. But this wasn’t always the case. The industry has become highly consolidated over the last 30 to 40 years, and that has kind of two big effects….There’s actually a law on the books about how companies can charge different prices depending on the size of their buyer, and so it’s much cheaper to manufacture 100 bags of Doritos for every single Walmart store in America. You’ve got an economy of scale there that brings down Frito-Lay’s price. You probably really want Walmart to buy a lot of Doritos from you if you’re Frito-Lay. And so you might give them a discount above and beyond how much cheaper it is for you to make that outsized number of bags of Doritos. That’s illegal under the Robinson-Patman Act.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.