Our governor, Terry Branstad, has magnanimously decreed that it will now be easier for convicted felons to regain their right to vote. One does wonder about this as most convicted felons who would even consider voting are democrats. I'm sure there are many in his party that question the propriety of this demonstration of democratic enthusiasm. All is well though, in that most felons don't vote. They have long ago accepted the fact that voting has no effect whatsoever on their lives and is more trouble than it is worth. The harm done by this act is minimal, if any.
The other sop given to the hardliners is the money. In order to be able to vote, these convicted felons will have to pay. It will cost money to vote. From what was reported of the decision by the governor in the paper, which may or may not have any basis in fact, in order for a felon to regain his right to vote, he must have paid his fines, court costs, attorney fees, and restitution or be making regular payments on them. Since 80%, at a minimum, of convicted felons are destitute, not much will be added to the state treasury from this decision by the governor--although it does sound good and will placate those of us who worry constantly about the state budget and high taxes.
What this does, in fact, is further restrict the right to vote. The governor proclaims that it will now be easier for a felon to regain his right to vote but at the same time requiring money to do it. The effect is the opposite of the proclaimed which is exactly how we do things in this country. It works since most of us don't think about anything at all and certainly will not spend any time analyzing the governor's proclamation but will take it for what it is stated to be. As we are also creating felons at a rapid pace, the numbers of the public able to vote will continue to diminish. The legislature creates new felons every session. They should quit the quibbling and just make every crime a felony and we can solve the problem of ne'er-do-wells voting once and for all.