Democrats Want Prisoners to Vote From Behind Bars

Amid all of 2017’s talk of politicians flouting the law to enrich themselves, hid their dirty dealings at the risk of national security, and force themselves on unwilling women, apparently at least one Democrat had the bright idea to decide now was the time to remind America just how pro-lawbreaking their party really is.

PJ Media reports that ranking House Judiciary Committee Democrat Rep. John Conyers spoke this week at — where else? — a capitol hill event organized by professional race-baiter Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. There, he said the following:

I’m for allowing people who are incarcerated to have the right to vote. Why not? They’re citizens. No matter what they’ve done, and I’m not defending any of their conduct, but all of it wasn’t bad – but all I’m saying is expanding the vote and eliminating structural barriers is critical […]

In the area of voting rights protections, the Justice Department has literally changed sides since the new administration has come in. They are throwing out some of the modest progress that was beginning to be made. And so we’ve got a lot to do. Voter suppression is now a policy objective of this administration […]

The myth that voter fraud is rampant and our elections infiltrated by undocumented immigrants continues to be used as a pretext for state legislatures across the country to make it harder for minorities to vote. The real objective is to achieve a cynical partisan political outcome. Researchers have found that the laws have a dramatic and discouraging effect on minority turnout.

Hoo boy, where to begin? First, he is simply lying to insinuate that merely requiring photo identification constitutes “voter suppression,” and to claim that voter fraud is not a real problem. As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York has detailed, our old buddy Al Franken probably made it to the Senate in the first place due to voter fraud, and as election integrity expert John Fund has written in National Review:

The potential for fraud is also considerable [in Philadelphia]. “People working the polls don’t ask for ID,” says Jimmy Tayoun, a former city councilman who went to prison in the 1990s for corruption. “You can flood a lot of phony names on phony addresses, and there’s no way they’re going to check.” In 1993, a federal judge had to overturn a special state senate election in which Democratic precinct workers had gone door to door with absentee ballot forms and “helped” voters fill them out. Ed Rendell, then Philadelphia’s mayor and later the state’s governor, explained away the irregularities at the time by saying, “I don’t think it’s anything that’s immoral or grievous, but it clearly violates the election code.”

Second, the Founders never envisioned voting as a “right” on the same level of speech or religion, and more to the point the Constitution expressly provides for the revocation of rights, provided it is done via due process of law, such as a criminal conviction.

Third, I suppose we can all understand why Conyers of all people would want to take up this issue now: as TFPP reported, this week he’s become embroiled in a scandal revolving around allegations that he sexually harassed women…and used taxpayer money to settle their complaints.

After all, if I was suddenly paranoid about the worst-case scenario leading me to a cell of my own, I too might be tempted to start laying some groundwork for being able to vote from the Big House.