an election year reminder
(P) This is a good article about an issue dear to me. One of the core problems of our present democracy is that we have been disenfranchising people at a rate that would make the authors of Jim Crow laws quite proud. Not only do we do things indirectly on election day to make lines longer and registration more complicated and such (and more recently, counting suspect to hacking), we also deprive people of their Constitutional right to vote more directly through laws that prevent felons from voting, even after having been released back into the community after serving their sentence. Of course, these just so happen to be disproportionately poor, black, and urban. Golly gee, how might that affect our political landscape?
As Senator Charles Summer argued (against the 14th amendment, by the way), "I do not hesitate to say that when the slaves of our country became citizens they took their place in the body politic as a component part of the people, entitled to equal rights, and under the protection of these two guardian principles: First-That all just government stand on the consent of the governed; and second, that taxation without representation is tyranny; and these rights it is the duty of Congress to guarantee as essential to the ideal of a Republic."
Or as Susan B. Anthony spoke about a different group of disenfranchised people, "For however destructive in their happiness this government might become, a disfranchised class could neither alter nor abolish it, nor institute a new one, except by the old brute force method of insurrection and rebellion".
I bet if states had to refund all the taxes collected from citizens denied the right to vote, they might think twice about such a drastic action.