Tuesday, March 08, 2005

At NRO, Roger Clegg picks up on George Will's argument that a reason to restore the right to vote to ex-cons is that doing so will "encourage a civic connection with the community" and therefore cut down on recidivism.

Well, I'm not an ex-con, nor have I ever played one on TV, but I can't imagine an ex-con weighing the pros and cons of losing his voting privileges when deciding whether to rob another 7-11, sell another kilo of cocaine, or for white collar criminals, embezzle from their new employer. How much money they'll make, the chances they figure on getting caught, sure. But not whether or not they get to be one of the roughly 100+ million who get to vote for President the next time around. Or, for that matter, whether they'll lose out on the chance to vote for Governor, Mayor, School Board or Dogcatcher. After all, how important is their right to vote if the risk of losing it didn't stop them from committing the crime that got them in trouble in the first place? Or is appreciating one's right to vote something that only happens when you've lost it?

Sorry George and Roger... there is no good reason to restore the right to vote... whether collectively or on an individual basis.