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: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

17 hours ago

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

20 hours ago

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

21 hours ago

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

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.

More news stories

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

White House updating online privacy policy

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...