New Op-ed up at Fox News: Letting felons vote

The newest piece starts off like this:

How much is your vote worth? Apparently, less than it used to be. The registration and multiple registration of so many people who shouldn’t be voting, means your vote is diluted by fraudulent votes.

There is a practical concern here. Research by one of the authors here finds that vote fraud lowers the likelihood that people’s votes will matter and thus results in few people voting.

People have heard about many of these problems.

-- ACORN has signed up 1.3 million people this year in a massive registration drive in 18 swing states, with people being reregistered dozens of times.
-- A Government Accountability Office study indicates that 3 percent of people called for jury duty from voter registration rolls are not U.S. citizens.
-- Across the country there are counties were more people are registered to vote than the adult population living there. In Indianapolis, registered voters are 5 percent more than the number of adults living in the city.

But little attention has been paid to the tens of thousands of felons who registered to vote in state after state. . . .

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Blogger Chapot said...

That was one of the most sorry excuses of journalism I have ever read. It clearly was your intent to suggest that felons are democrats and this is baaaddd. It shames me to know that I am entering a field where you are considered my peer.

10/20/2008 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, please stop voting because felons can vote to. After all, your vote is meaningless, right? Oh, those devilish Democrats and their plans to turn this into a nation directed by the whims of deviants, Muslims, Arabs and other non-white, non-Christian folk!

Close your mouth. Your ass is showing.

10/20/2008 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your hopless

10/20/2008 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought that 2000 and 2004 were alot closer than they should have been. ACORN will decide this one, I am afraid. What BS...but what the felons/others don't realize is that socialism always weeds out the "undesirables" in their society.

10/20/2008 1:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I guess in your book once registered it's a vote. Get real I'll believe this when Mickey casts his vote.

10/20/2008 2:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

While I agree that our historical punishment - the of loss of ones voting privileges - needs to remain, I find it hard to believe that virtually every felon votes Democrat. After all, persons of every walk and creed have committed felonies. What is being said; that Democrats are the only criminals in the U.S.? We all know for a fact that powerful Republican leaders have, on occassion, been convicted of felonies. Does everyone's ideology suddenly change in prison? That seems a little ridiculous.

It is a fact that prison populations are predominately lower income and minority. The Democratic party has fed on, used, abused, lied to and manipulated those they call "disenfranchised" for decades. Therefore, there is a possibility that many felons would lean democratic. But to claim that nearly all of them are is ridiculous.


10/20/2008 3:16 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Dave:

No, sorry, I don't argue that once you have a fraudulent registration that means that it will be voted, but it sure makes it easier. In states that don't require photo IDs (which is almost all of them) the next step of getting a vote is not that hard and it is not that easy to detect.

Dear lisa - mother of nine:

Well, people on the left and right agree that they are overwhelmingly Democrats and as the piece notes this is true even after you account for income, race, and other factors that you are pointing to.

10/20/2008 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess by the reaction you got from your article, that your last assumption was correct. "those who constantly talk about making voting easy and allow these fraudulent votes will discourage legitimate voters from voting". Why would anybody think that voting can not be abused any less than anything else in this country.

10/20/2008 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an ex offender I find your editorial ridiculous. I take the right to vote seriously,I follow the debates, read articles and try to make an informed decision. I have voted both democratic and republican, I consider myself to be independent. It is legal to vote in my state of residence and I appreciate that fact. I started voting at 18 and am 55 now. You like many try to lump people into little groups. You sir are offensive.

10/20/2008 7:22 PM  
Blogger Balderdash said...

Why is it that concluding that the majority of the prison population is democrat draws so much fire? When people are encouraged to see themselves as victims, they conclude they have rights that need to be exercised at the expense of the rest. If they get caught, their only crime is getting caught, not the infraction committed. I don't see the conclusion automatically at fault.

10/20/2008 7:34 PM  
Blogger Mike Gallo said...

Anyone who doesn't think that vote fraud is enabled and encouraged by registration fraud is incapable of determining causative and correlative effects in any system, period. A well-written piece, Dr. Lott.

anon @ 1:22 - you're right, of course. Lenin called them the "useful idiots..."

10/20/2008 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like a lot of demo felons aren't too happy with you John. Most of the non criminal types understand your point. But, of course, the dems don't like it. Big suprise there, eh? No sweat, demyfelons. Soon your police state Obama will shut down all dissent opinion and you won't have to whine about negative coverage of your savior.
Instead of us writing and reading about the criminal actions of the deminazis, we will become the new criminals. You leftys might like that now. But just wait. I bet you won't like it after we start snapping caps on your lame asses, you bunch of worthless sacks of filth.

10/20/2008 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chapot is a sorry excuse for a human. Most dems aren't bad, just stupid and easy to lead by the nose if they are promised some candy.

10/20/2008 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get on the democrat plantation and get some free crack!

10/20/2008 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you just kill them if you don't want a democracy by the people, for the people, of the people? Then you can declare that everyone who isn't like you to be illegal. And then you can measure 'democracy' in consumer reports . . . who blew this and who read that. And religion can become empty words of seduction.

10/21/2008 1:06 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 10/21/2008 1:06 PM:

Do you think that felons should have their gun rights restored? If not, why not? Felons are much more concerned about getting those rights back than their voting rights.

10/21/2008 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whining about unfair voter registration practices is laughable coming from members of the party that stole the last two presidential elections with their dirty election tricks. Please, boys. Take it like men. Barack Obama is going to win because he is the best choice to lead our country out of the mess W and the right wing religious nutballs have made of it. There will be one big celebration come January.

10/21/2008 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am saddened both by this article and the responses posted here. For those of you who are offended by this article, let me put it in a less offensive way: we have sufficient evidence to indicate that there are serious flaws in the system we currently have in place to ensure "one person, one vote" and to limit voting rights to US citizens who are 18 and over without certain kinds of criminal records. Stating this is not racist, it is actually a fact. Should you disagree with the current rules governing voting rights, that is your perogative. But every citizen should be concerned when there is a breakdown of the democratic process. Yes, there is a difference between "voter registration fraud" and "voter fraud", but both are going on. Unfortunately, the very nature in which we currently orchestrate our elections keeps us from actually knowing the extent to which this goes on. For example, when we see thousands of ineligible people on the voting roster, how can we know how many of these "ineligible" votes were cast?

Personally, I feel that anyone who is currently eligible to vote should be afforded every opportunity to do so in a non-threatening, non-coerced fashion. Those not eligible should be kept out of the process- until such time laws change to allow felons, non-citizens, etc the right to vote.

With regards to claims that "all felons are democrats", I have no idea if this is true or not. But I venture to guess that it is not that hard to come up with a reasonable answer. Ask 10,000 or so felons, extrapolate that to the estimated number of convicted felons thought to currently reside in the US, and you have a fair estimate. The answer is not racist, unfair, biased or otherwise "bad journalism"- it is simply an estimate. How people emotionally respond to the question is the issue. Those of you who are so angered by this article and the accompanying posts should really ask yourself: why does this topic bother you so much? Do you think that if we only let people vote who were supposed to be voting that your candidate would not win? I would hope you would have more faith in him than that.

10/21/2008 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well felons cant vote. felons cant carry guns. felons cant get jobs they are qualified for because they are felons. so if the basic rights are taken away why should a felon have to pay tax? they still have to abide by the rule's of the law more than most and the felons have to pay that extra money (you think restitution for that hubcap you stole was $5000.00) if you did the crime do the time when you have done the time and paid the restitution rights should be restored

10/22/2008 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the most pathetic things I've ever read! At least TRY to act like you're not trying to scare people into believing that all these "felon voters" simply have to all be minorities and therefore, will help all go out ant vote for democrats? (Oh no! some non-white criminals will be allowed to vote democrat!) How stupid do you think we are?

It's ignorant and racist

I'm not ashamed to say that I'm not a felon, but I believe former prisoners should absolutely be able to keep their right to vote? It is possible to be a "felon" after not even spending any time in jail! It's not right that voting rights can be stripped away for something like that!

Obama all the way!

10/22/2008 3:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the most pathetic things I've ever read! At least TRY to act like you're not trying to scare people into believing that all these "felon voters" simply have to all be minorities and therefore, will help all go out ant vote for democrats? (Oh no! some non-white criminals will be allowed to vote democrat!) How stupid do you think we are?

It's ignorant and racist

I'm not ashamed to say that I'm not a felon, but I believe former prisoners should absolutely be able to keep their right to vote? It is possible to be a "felon" after not even spending any time in jail! It's not right that voting rights can be stripped away for something like that!

Obama all the way!

10/22/2008 3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of felons influencing an election...what about the "hanging chad" days of Republican Floridians deciding to elect Bush in 2000 (brother Jeb promised a Florida win) or the Ohio discrepancies in 2004? I agree with another posted comment, John Lott's work is a sorry excuse for journalism...it may in fact be mearly advocacy journalism at best that, as it exists on FoxNews, belongs on the muck-raking Op-Ed section.

10/22/2008 6:47 AM  
Blogger Balderdash said...

So two wrongs now make a right? Justifying voter fraud because YOU think the previous president did something (unproven) is definitely wrong.

10/22/2008 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The party inclination aside, crimnals voting have done serious damage in local cities and counties. They overwhelmingly oppose so called 'law and order' candidates and many politicians will placate them even if not corrupt themselves. Here in Alabama we've had several towns that have required state and Federal intervention to quash serious crimes being openly committed in those towns/counties.

Not all felons will continue to be irresponsible citizens - and the current laws that allow the resumption of voting rights after a certain period or under certain circumstances recognize that fact. But the fact remains that felons can be a serious problem to law abiding citizens when their rights are restored too quickly. What happens at the local level undoubtably also occurs higher up the food chain.

10/22/2008 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 12:26

A felon should have to pay taxes in order to pay back society for the money that honest, hardworking citizens had to spend to support you during your "rehabilitation."

How can a felon "abide by the rule's of the law more than most"? You either abide by the law or you don't. Going 1 mph over the speed limit is breaking the law just as much as going 40 mph over the speed limit.

10/22/2008 2:10 PM  
Blogger amish1979 said...

Felons want handouts, they want us to "spread the wealth around". They don't want to have to work hard. Of COURSE they would vote democrat.

10/22/2008 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An election precinct - what a place for felons to congregate. Would you prefer them in orange or stripes or maybe incognito?
Reminds me of Chicago during the 1960 election.

10/22/2008 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Politics aside, Mr. Lott you should be ashamed of this piece. It lacks an credibility what so ever. You site an article that misstates the GAO report on page 5 of GAO 05-478-elections. The actual report says that some of the jurors come from the voter registrations. That it is a random selection of that and DL's.
Your fourth example is from a blog that is siting another blog. And at best it is anecdotal there isn't any explanation of methodology. (After digging through the second blog).
You overstate FL felon numbers. As well as the cause. FL is one of 11 states that resrict voter rights long after prison terms are served. Similar issue in the article for WA. Except that you fail to mention that there is a regular purge every quarter. These purges are where the figure you site comes from. As to any remaining felons the Board of elections say that it is people that have served time and have failed to pay the court costs and fines associted with their crimes. Jeff Manza and Marcus Britton estimated that "hypothetically" had disenfranchsement laws not been in place that Clinton would have 86% of the felon votes. It is impossible to say exactly how many of the voters in the King and Pierce article. But once again the only person that was interviewed that voted illegally hadn't had is right to vote restored due to court fines.( He was arrested for harrassing neighbors that owed his childeren $140) It is amazing that you have a Phd. This is at best 1st year college writing. Since this is moderated I expect that you will not allow this to be posted to display how pitiful your so called journalism is.

10/24/2008 4:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Speaking of felons influencing an election...what about the "hanging chad" days of Republican Floridians deciding to elect Bush in 2000 (brother Jeb promised a Florida win) or the Ohio discrepancies in 2004?"

What an asenine statement. Several large news outlets conducted their own independent audits of the Florida ballots according to all of the standards of ballot review. The verdict?

Bush still won. The only way that Gore would have prevailed is if the entire state was subject to a recount. GORE NEVER ASKED FOR THAT. The SCOTUS did not hand the election to Bush. He would have won anyway even if Gore got EVERYTHING he asked for.

"Bush stole the election." "The Supreme Court gave the presidencty to Bush."

You dems are masters of the rewriting of history.

10/24/2008 1:12 PM  
Blogger Markangelo said...

Bill Ayers was never convicted of a crime ? Unless U dont actually believe in
Amerika's judicial right of innocence till proven guilty, U are just a barking dog with no bone?

U have eaten the bait hook, line & sinker; that lying, LSD hallucinating Yippie has
over inflated his sixties revolutionary past to the point that to U he is even more important than John Lennon. I can bet U that scared weakling never even lit a Molotov cocktail & has used the gullibility of PT Barnum followers to create his
new found importance as leader of the dominating army of the Weathermen.

John Lott for a scientist U sure do take things for granted.

Surprisingly most felons poll republican !!

10/25/2008 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More important here than improper voter registrations, is improper law. No American citizen, even one who has committed a felony, should be denied their right to vote. Do you really think the Government, who decides what a felony is, and who gets prosecuted, should be given this simple roadmap to denying the vote to anyone they want. Communist and socialist countries all over the globe have used this method to control voting for decades, do you think Obama and his puppetmasters like Reid and Pelosi would deny themselves the opportunity? I can see them happily going through Republican voting rolls, selecting citizens for arrest and conviction to deny them their vote during Obama's re-election campaign.

10/25/2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your a fucking retard

10/25/2008 6:25 PM  
Blogger surrendered said...

WOW, ya’ll are some sick puppies!

You tent to pile everyone in one heap, felons here, and democrats here.

Get a life, not all felons vote as you suspect.

As someone who is a convicted felon, and votes, let me speak.

22 years ago I was released from prison and was unable to find employment. I had to work menial jobs and through a labor pool even as I had 2 years of college. Today I probably could not get a job because of my past. Many jobs and activities I do require that I get insurance waivers, bonds and multiple references.

20 years ago I had my civil rights restored. This allowed me to vote, own a business, and get a passport so I could travel outside the US.

I did vote once for Clinton, it did not take long to see he was almost as bad a Carter. I said then I would make sure I researched any candidate running for even my city elections.

I own a small business; and I pay one hell of a lot of taxes, income, (35%), property, advalorem, even tax on my equipment and tools and a lot of insurance, health, liability, vehicle, bonds, workers compensation.

I’ve given more to charity this year than Biden has in the last ten.

Don’t chunk me in your pot of felons.

BTW- I got more “time” standing in front of a urinal in a cell than most felons in America, and I’m damn sure voting……..

10/29/2008 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fox news has to be the most biased report in the developed world. Having lived in 4 countries, I can say that. Government for the (white) people, of the (white) people, by the (white) people? Barack is intelligent, pragmatic and a born leader. Mcain is hot headed, belligerent and caters to the lowest common denominator. Someone suggested democrats toe the party line. If this would true, they wouldn't argue amongst themselves on d@mn near every issue. But thats what makes a Democracy great. Please! Restore the U.S to the greatest country in the world. The one that I grew up on another continent admiring and wishing that mine would be like. Vote Barack Obama.

11/03/2008 11:40 PM  
Blogger aorobert said...

Oh yea, those dangerous felons. Like Tim Allen the actor. Or a kid who keys your car (damage >$500 = felony). Or the guy who moves to California and brings his pistil with him from Nevada and gets busted because it holds over 7 rounds in the magazine. Crimes are so watered down now. Sure rapists and murderers ought to be restricted but we have 1 in 97 citizens IN JAIL and many more on parole, probation, or having a record of sorts over many years. Saying "felon" no longer means an evil person, and that is who need o be restricted.

11/11/2008 11:39 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm a convicted felon, I have a domestic battery and I voted this election. I don't want any simpathy and judging by the some of the hateful comments, I know I won't get any. I have full custidy of my beautiful 8 year old daughter and there are a lot of men in a similar perdicuments, I was letting you haters no, it is hard out here on a brotha trying to rise a child with a felony. It is a shame that a black man can gets life in prison for selling pot and a white man gets less than a year for raping a child. The man that sold pot can't get any help when he gets out, because his crime was a drug offense, but the white man can get food stamps, go to college and all sort of help to rehabilitate him back in society. Selling crack can get you two life sentense, however selling crystal meth may not get the person any time at all, just fines, fees, probation and comunity service. the reason for this dilima is because most white people choose meth than black people for their drug of choice and vice verse for crack. Trust me, there is a such thing as white and black crimes and you will know the differece when the judge gives the sentence.

Bush is a clown that bankruped America and shockingly, people still support him. Macain is a old man with cancer and out of touch with reality.
Most white folks think blacks voted for Obama because he is black, but the fact of the matter is he is possibly the smartest president weve had and I like him because he is not a war monger and to set the record straight we dont't like Clerece Thomas the first black man to sit on the Supreme Justice and many of us blacks don't like Jesse Jackson and a lot of other black leaders that white people give us for heros.

12/02/2008 4:44 PM  

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