That's another choice phrase from Joe McNally:
Finally someone has identified a voting problem we can do something about.
Even though the media have gone berserk since the presidential election trying to justify inflammatory Republican Party claims of vote fraud in Milwaukee, they have failed to identify a single fraudulent vote.
What the local newspaper says it has found - after sacrificing hundreds of acres of trees to a muddled investigation - is that at least 82 convicted felons, who had not yet had their voting rights restored, may have voted in the November election.
That is similar to the newspaper's claim after the 2000 presidential election that convicted felons may have voted illegally.
At that time, District Attorney E. Michael McCann charged three convicted felons with voting when they were ineligible. Those charges ultimately were dropped because prosecutors couldn't prove that the three knew they weren't allowed to vote.
There is a very simple solution to this problem. Legalize all voting by convicted felons. There are a number of compelling reasons to do so, not the least of which is the embarrassment of charging citizens in a democracy with committing the act of voting.
In fact, the state of Wisconsin already recognizes the importance of allowing convicted felons to vote. Some convicted felons are allowed to vote in Wisconsin and others are not. That is probably the primary reason ineligible felons erroneously commit such a heinous act of citizenship. . . .
So why should law-abiding citizens care about whether felons are allowed to vote or not? The most obvious reason is that law-abiding citizens should be concerned about creating more law-abiding citizens. It's the same reason only people who haven't thought about it would support shortsighted efforts of politicians to allow employers to discriminate against convicted felons in hiring.
If an ex-offender can't get a legitimate job, he doesn't have much choice except to return to some illegitimate means of survival. For public safety, everyone has an interest in trying to help convicted felons reintegrate into the legitimate life of the community.
We all should be able to tell the difference between crime and good citizenship. The charges filed by McCann after the 2000 election threatened to send three ex-offenders back to prison for violating their parole. It was not for committing a crime that endangered their community, but for trying to improve their community by voting.
Disenfranchising those convicted of felonies further marginalizes people who already feel marginalized in our society. It also extends the racial bias of the criminal justice system to the right to vote. . . .
Of course, Republican attempts to make voting difficult have nothing to do with fairness. They reflect a crass political calculation that requirements such as a driver's license and photo ID card for voting turn away more Democrats than Republicans.
It's in the best interest of democracy to convict more Republican CEOs and legislative leaders. Then both parties will get interested in restoring the vote to convicted felons.