New Jersey criminals could have a chance at getting their voting rights back. Some see this as a way for the government to homogenize the voting population and steer it towards candidates of major parties. Very few people realize that Republicans and Democrats are not the only parties. But, where did it all begin and how many sides are there to the issue? What lead up to the initiative? Many of us are not familiar with the answers to these questions, but, you can read more about it here. Voting might not seem like a big deal to those of us who can do it. But, to those who can’t, it is a restriction that can make you feel like something less than a citizen of the country you live in. That isn’t a feeling that anyone should have to go through.
New Jersey Criminals and Voting: Origins
Initially, this law was created in 1844. The ban denied voting rights to any person convicted of “blasphemy, treason, murder, piracy, arson, rape, sodomy, or the infamous crime against nature, committed with mankind or with beasts,” just to name a few. Since then, the law has changed. In 1970, a federal judge ruled that the law needed a change because it was irrational. However, this happened when the nation was facing the largest boom in incarceration that it has ever seen. It was also a time when poorer communities, often communities of color, were the ones who were targets for arrest. To many, this was seen as a maneuver to control voting rights for those communities.
New Jersey Criminals and Voting: Injustice
With the rise in the exposition of injustices in the criminal justice system, we are becoming more aware of social injustices around us. Both of these problems also expose the fact that those convicted of felony offenses lose their right to vote. There have been many who thought this was something that needs to change. Once more attention was paid to how the government played a role in targeting certain communities, there were more injustices exposed. Many of those resulted in convictions where voting privileges were revoked. By many, this is seen as a way to thin out the voting population and make it more ethnically centric.
New Jersey Criminals and Voting: Racial Disparity
Some see the law which prohibited felony convicted criminals from voting as another arm of the War on Drugs. This has more recently become a mention in the exposition of racial disparity and the government’s bias against poorer communities in previous years. This was a big problem in the seventies, which was when the law was passed. It was a time when there were fewer white people in prisons than minorities. This is a reason many think this was just another way to prohibit people of color from voting. It is also something that has been confirmed by many who worked in those administrations, and academics who have studied the laws as they progressed during this time.
New Jersey Criminals and Voting: Time Served
A lot of the foundation of the new initiative is the thought that once you serve your time, you have paid the price for your conviction. This should be all that is necessary because it is all that the court requires. The revoking of voting privileges seems like an antiquated facet that isn’t necessary. In many ways, it is an overreach to infringe on the rights of those trying to move on with their lives. The right to vote isn’t the only limitation for them. Regardless, it is an important one for those who want to voice their opinions and support politicians they align with, . It is one that many of us take for granted and don’t think about. But, for those who want to exercise it; it can feel like an embarrassing limitation that makes you feel like a second-class citizen.
Having a felony conviction is a hard hurdle to overcome. There will be problems ahead because of your record, but there is nothing that you can do about it once you have a conviction on your record. If you are facing charges, you want to make sure that you have the best attorney possible. You can start your search here. Felony charges are a very severe problem that can endanger your future. It will limit employment opportunities and anything that requires a background check. It will also limit your ability to vote. If you have a felony conviction and want to find out more about regaining your right to vote, you will want to talk to an attorney. The one that tried your case will be able to help you, but any lawyer who understands New Jersey laws will be able to guide you.