Friday, October 26, 2018

My Endorsement of Amendment Four, and a Question

Amendment Four, per Ballotpedia:

A "yes" vote supports this amendment to automatically restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences, including prison, parole, and probation.

I support this, and voted in favor of it yesterday. Personally, I would go further than that (prisoners should be able to vote), but it's a good start anyway. Florida is one of only a few states that prohibits voting rights to convicted felons who have completed their sentences. There's never been any real argument about the intent of that prohibition in southern states starting in the Jim Crow area: It was to intended reduce the number of African-Americans who were eligible to vote.

But anyway, now I read this:

[Cesar] Sayoc is a registered Republican in Miami-Dade County and listed as an "active" voter, according to Florida voting records. Court records show Sayoc has a history of arrests, notably a 2002 charge of making a bomb threat, which allegedly put him on law enforcement's radar. ... Sayoc was also convicted in 2014 for grand theft and misdemeanor theft of less than $300, and in 2013 for battery. In 2004, he faced several felony charges for unlawful possession of a synthetic anabolic steroid often used to help build muscles. He also had several arrests for theft in the 1990s and faced a felony charge for obtaining fraudulent refunds and a misdemeanor count of tampering with physical evidence. Lowy said he recalled that Sayoc also had a run-in with authorities over possession of steroids and another case in Broward County where he was charged with possessing a fake driver's license after altering his birthdate to make him appear younger.

Some of those things are listed merely as "charges," but the grand theft is noted as a "conviction." And in Florida, grand theft is a felony. So how the heck was this guy a "registered Republican" and an "'active' voter?"

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