quote:I would think that politicians would have to try to win the felon vote mainly by trying to apeal to the communities that those felons come from. I have no hard data to back this up, but suspect that the voting patterns of felons, to the extent that they would actually vote, would be pretty much in line with the voting patterns of the nonfelons from the same community.
I don't agree. A felon in any community does not have the same opportunities/lifestyle/state of mind as non-felons. Just spending time in prison alone would change one's ideas of what are pressing concerns in America. I did some volunteer work with an organization that wanted to bring attention to the reality of rape/sexual interaction in prison and I can say with a degree of certainty that that issue never crossed a good portion of those men's minds until they got to prison or got out of prison. I think they would also have some concerns about the probation/parole system that others in their community would not care a great deal about. They would be concerned about what kind of background checks or information could be held against them by a potential employer. They may concerned about the way a community is notified of their presence. Their criminal record impacts every portion of their life, from how they make a living to their general safety and I think they would demand that candidates address that in order to get their vote.
quote:For example, what would be the point of having 2/5's of all adult Black males in Florida be felons (to the nearest fifth) if it didn't result in the average adult Black male in Florida having 3/5's of a vote? (Again, to the nearest fifth.)
IMO, the lack of voting power is a "bonus" for the powers that be. The point of having so many felons is the booming prison industry and laziness/corruption of law enforcement. It's fairly easy to catch and prosecute the low-level man dealing drugs on the street corner until he has been charged with enough to make him permanently dependent on the prison industry. Even better if you can house inmates in such a way that will maximize aggressive behavior and create the need for more, more-expensive Super Duper Triple Duper Max prisons. It's job security for everyone from corrections officers to elected officials who can point to the fancy new prisons as a symbol of how "tough on crime" they are. Not allowing felons to vote is just another way of separating them from society when they leave the prison walls and driving them right back inside them.