The first time the Florida poet Devin Coleman voted was also his last.
It was 2000, Gore v. Bush – when his was among millions of votes in play as the US Supreme Court called the winner and set the eventual arc of American affairs.
Not long thereafter, Mr. Coleman was involved in a fight at a house party. His arrest led to eventual burglary charges, a prison sentence, and the revocation of his right to vote.
You’d be surprised at the number of States that allow ex-cons to vote, some with conditions to be met, some without any restraints at all. Hell, Vermont and Maine allow felons who are still in prison to vote. Think I’m fucking with you?
I remember when I was in California I’d run into petition people that would want me to sign something and my stock answer was “Convicted Felon, sorry” and with my looks it was believable. Then one day one of them was doing voter registration and when I gave him my usual answer, he told me that once my parole was done I could vote. I had to change my answer to “Convicted Felon, lifetime parole”.