Economic crisis could stop citizens from voting: research

Oct 09, 2008

During election season, Americans are reminded of their freedoms and rights that allow them to vote for their leaders. As countless political polls try to predict how voters are being swayed, those polled may not be allowed to vote at all. A University of Missouri professor of law says that the current economic crisis could cause disenfranchisement, depriving citizens the right to vote.

S. David Mitchell, a specialist on felon disenfranchisement and the collateral consequences of felony convictions, has studied the impact of these laws, not only on ex-offenders, but also on the families of ex-offenders. In addition, Mitchell has reviewed how disenfranchisement contributes to the undermining of citizenship as a legal status. Recently, Mitchell explored the concept of citizenship and the detrimental impact on individual and collective or community citizenship when individuals are disenfranchised.

With the economic crisis, the ranks of the disenfranchised are growing and citizens who never had a brush with the law may soon find themselves without a voice. One criterion for voter eligibility is a permanent address. With the spate of foreclosures, citizens are finding themselves ineligible and stricken from the voter rolls. However, there are simple steps to ameliorate the situation. Yet, in much the same way that ex-offenders lack knowledge about their rights, many citizens previously registered to vote might find themselves at a loss.

His research revealed:

-- Disenfranchisement has a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities.

-- Disenfranchisement undermines citizenship and relegates individuals to second-class status.

Source: University of Missouri-Columbia

Explore further: Was it unethical to hoax the world about chocolate as a weight loss 'accelerator'?

Related Stories

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

17 hours ago

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

21 hours ago

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

21 hours ago

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria renew mystery over Chilean poet Neruda's death

May 28, 2015

Family of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda said Thursday forensic experts have found evidence of a massive bacterial infection in his remains, increasing their suspicion that he was poisoned by dictator Augusto Pinochet's regime.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

matelot
not rated yet Oct 09, 2008
Why aren't felons allowed to vote?
PAP
not rated yet Oct 27, 2008
Because conservatives don't believe in forgiveness.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.