According to the New York Times, Attorney General Eric Holder has called for the repeal of laws restricting voting rights for millions of people with felony convictions. His remarks came at a speech on Tuesday at Georgetown University in which he “described today’s prohibitions — which in some cases bar those convicted from voting for life — as a vestige of the racist policies of the South after the Civil War, when states used the criminal justice system to keep blacks from fully participating in society.”
While Holder does not have authority to make changes to rules determining who can vote — that power lies the states — he has repeatedly advocated on civil rights issues including suing to overturn voter-identification laws and supporting the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. His actions reflect a focus on criminal justice and civil rights by the Obama administration.
According to the Times, African-Americans are disproportionately affected by conviction-related voting restrictions and represent over a third of the estimated 5.8 million people who are prohibited from voting.
Read the whole article: “Holder Urges States to Lift Bans on Felons’ Voting”