Opinion | Righting 150 Years of Wrong in Florida – The New York Times

By The Editorial Board
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

Jan. 11, 2019, 61 c
A referendum in Florida last November ended some of the harshest voting restrictions in the nation for those with criminal records.
Credit
Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

“This week, as many as 1.4 million Floridians became eligible for full citizenship again — thanks to millions of their neighbors who voted overwhelmingly in November to restore ballot access to people with felony convictions who have served their time.

It was restorative justice far too long in the making.

After the Civil War, Florida — like many other states in the South — barred anyone with a criminal conviction from voting. Aimed at denying freed slaves full participation in democracy, the policy affected every election in Florida from Reconstruction through 2018, when races for governor and the Senate were so close that they required recounts.

Credit for the largest enfranchisement since women’s suffrage a century ago goes to a determined advocacy campaign, which built enough support that Amendment 4 easily cleared the 60 percent threshold needed for ratification. It went into effect on Tuesday and extended this basic right to Floridians convicted of all felonies except for murder and aggravated sexual offenses.

The sight of so many Americans eagerly registering to vote was a rare bright spot in a nation where the right to representative government is under strain from onerous ID laws and computerized gerrymandering.”

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For Native Americans- a ‘Historic Moment’ on the Path to Power at the Ballot Box – The New York Times

“SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah — In this county of desert and sagebrush, Wilfred Jones has spent a lifetime angered by what his people are missing. Running water, for one. Electricity, for another. But worst of all, in his view, is that the Navajo people here lack adequate political representation.

So Mr. Jones sued, and in late December, after a federal judge ruled that San Juan County’s longtime practice of packing Navajo voters into one voting district violated the United States Constitution, the county was ordered to draw new district lines for local elections.The move could allow Navajo people to win two of three county commission seats for the first time, overturning more than a century of political domination by white residents. And the shift here is part of an escalating battle over Native American enfranchisement, one that comes amid a larger wave of voting rights movements spreading across the country.“It’s a historic moment for us,” said Mr. Jones, during a drive on the county’s roller coaster dirt roads. “We look at what happened with the Deep South,” he went on, “how they accomplished what they have. We can do the same thing.” ”

Bravo. Here is a comment I endorse:

DW In the shadow of Monticello 38 minutes ago
it’s about time that the Native American citizens have an equal opportunity to have a proportional vote and to equalize the use of government resources (i.e., tax income) for all – not just for those who control the boundaries of voting districts in their favor.

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