NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY


  February 10, 2016

MD Senate Restores Ex-Felon's Right to Vote


TRNN's Eddie Conway covers the historic push to override Governor Larry Hogan's veto of a law that will restore the right to vote upon release
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   


audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



I've made my way to my current internet haven: The Real News Network (TRNN). - Caroline Lewis
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


transcript

MD Senate Restores Ex-Felon's Right to VoteEDDIE CONWAY, TRNN: I'm Eddie Conway. Welcome to the Real News. This is a special segment of Rattling the Bars. We are down here in Annapolis today to see if the Senate will override the governor's veto of the bill that will allow ex-offenders to vote.

SPEAKER: Why I'm here is because I represent a large portion of folks that's on parole or probation, and they're trying to get that seat at the table, whether that's transportation, whether it's workforce, whether it's professional licenses, whether it's--so [many] housing, so many different issues.

CONWAY: One of the things that people are always curious about is that they say, well, okay, ex-felons shouldn't have the right to vote. They don't, you know, they don't contribute to the community, et cetera, et cetera. Well, I, myself, I'm an ex-felon. And I've been here working with the Real News for a couple of years. And [inaud.] you are, too.

SPEAKER: So I've interacted with the penal system a lot as my juvenile years. So I've been in the adult system as a juvenile, part of it. But I've never been convicted of a felony. But one of the things that I always say is that I know a lot of folks, the [Perry Hopkins], the Chris Wilsons, so many people who do contribute to how a community, whether that's Station or whether it's Oliver or whether it's McElderry Park, so many communities doing so much great work. And at the same time while they're paying taxes, while they're helping in the community, they don't have a say in reference to who their elected representative would be.

SPEAKER: Most of these folks have spent years in jail. Hercules, how long were you in jail?

SPEAKER: Forty-two years.

SPEAKER: Forty-two years. Come on. A man gets out, he should be able to vote right away. He knows what he wants to do. I mean, he knows, you know, after thinking about it, maybe not the first two or three years, but certainly the last, you know, he has ideas of what he wants to do, how he wants to do it. And I mean, it's just ridiculous that our--he's probably put in there for the wrong reason anyway. So once somebody gets out and they've done all their time, they've paid their debt to society, why shouldn't they have the right to vote?

CONWAY: What's your name, how old are you, and why are you here?

SPEAKER: Seymor Hall. I'm here to support--. [Inaud.] I was making.

CONWAY: How many years you spend in prison?

SPEAKER: Thirty-five. I was let out when I was 82. I'm 84 now.

CONWAY: Are you going to vote after, if this passes the Senate?

SPEAKER: Yes. Yes. I'm so glad that it's happened. That's one reason I'm here, to do all that can be done by--.

SPEAKER: that opportunity to participate in the citizenship. Voting. I mean, if we're here, we're free, we've paid our debt to society, now let us live this human being, let us live as citizens and contribute.

CONWAY: What's the status of the bill now?

SPEAKER: It is done. The Senate has now over--also voted to override the same bill that originally came over from the House. And so it is officially overridden, and in 30 days, on March 10, the bill becomes law. If you're out, you can register to vote, period.

CONWAY: Okay. So there's--no special mechanisms need to be in place?

SPEAKER: No.

CONWAY: In other words, an ex-offender can just go to their community registration place and sign up.

SPEAKER: Right. Yep. But you know, what's interesting too is that whatever happens, it's not going to happen in time to impact this primary, because the deadline for filing for the primary election for Baltimore right now is over.

CONWAY: Really?

SPEAKER: To register.

CONWAY: Oh, okay. Okay. So only the general--.

SPEAKER: So that's, that's really interesting.

CONWAY: Yeah. It's interesting, and it's also a lost, missed opportunity.

SPEAKER: Huge missed--.

CONWAY: Yeah, so--.

SPEAKER: Unless, unless--unless the, somehow there becomes some momentum for people to register as independents and just focus on the general election, anyway. But you know, it's interesting, but it's also an opportunity, because I think that the belief was, you know, that the majority of people are going to register as Democrats to affect the primary. Which, that is now a lost opportunity. And so we'll see. You know, I think it's up to some leadership to step in and try to, you know, get people to be kind of unified in the mission.

SPEAKER: We also, while we've restored this right, we also want to restore the right for food stamps, we want to eliminate that ban, we want to eliminate the ban on public housing, we want to eliminate the ban on any of these careers. Many careers, as many of you know, require licensing. And we want to make sure that those licenses are provided, whether it is barbers, whether it is beauticians, whether it is cosmetology, whatever. Once you paid your debt to society, you deserve the rights of a citizen. The full rights of a citizen. And so that's what we're going to be working for, which--working with during this session. And more important we're proud of what happened today, and we look forward to your participation in the voting process.

CONWAY: This is Eddie Conway for the Real News. Thank you for joining us in a special session of Rattling the Bars, and thank you for joining the Real News.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

Leading Ocean Researcher Says We Could See An Iceless Arctic in 2017
Rattling the Bars: The gradual abolition of prisons across the United States...except for California
Women of Color March on Washington
Students Plan National Day of Action Against Trump's Climate Denial
Millions Around the World March in Solidarity with Women's March on Washington
Iran in Crosshairs of New Administration
Women's Voices Rise in Baltimore and Beyond
Trump's Inauguration and the Reverence of the State
Trump/Pence Can't Fulfill Promises to Workers and to the Billionaire Class
Trump's Inaugural Speech Calls for American Jihad
Trump's Infrastructure Plan: Public Investment, Private Profit
The Bizarre Far-Right Billionaire Behind Trump's Presidency
An urgent letter from Emma Thompson & Danny Glover
As Trump Takes Office Baltimore Remains Defiant
"The Democratic Party Can't Just Whisper Sweet Nothings Anymore" - Nina Turner on RAI (1/4)
Women's Protest Against Trump Goes Global
When Trump Says 'America First,' It's About the America of the Elites
Trump Resisters and Supporters Clash on Inauguration Day
Police Use Pepper Spray, Tear Gas and Arrest Over 200 at Trump Inauguration Protest
Whistleblowers Can Pose Real Challenge to Trump
From Washington to Tokyo, Tens of Thousands Take to the Streets to Oppose Donald Trump
Interior Secretary Nominee Zinke Supports Fracking and Drilling on Public Lands
Inauguration Protest Organizer: Trump-Pence Administration Fomenting Climate of Hate
Scott Pruitt Acknowledges Climate Change While Denying Scientific Consensus of Human Responsibility
Bernie Sanders Hammers Tom Price Over Right to Healthcare in Senate Hearing
Sensing Trump Will Give Free Pass to Israel, Palestinians Announce Plans for Unity Government
Nina Turner Show Coming to The Real News
Nina Turner Kept Off DNC Stage as Punishment for Supporting Sanders - RAI (2/4)
"Any Democrat Won't Do" - Nina Turner on RAI (3/4)
Balancing Coming from a Police Family with Holding Cops Accountable - Nina Turner on RAI (4/4)

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Stack Star Hosting