This is absolutely insane!
Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley, a member of the progressive ‘Squad,’ advocated for the inclusion of “incarcerated citizens” in federal elections and expressed her endorsement of allowing 16-year-olds to participate in the electoral process. These remarks were made during a press conference on Wednesday, where Pressley, alongside Vermont Senator Peter Welch, introduced the Inclusive Democracy Act aimed at restoring voting rights for felons.
The legislation, touted as a groundbreaking initiative, seeks to eliminate the practice of felony disenfranchisement in the United States. Pressley emphasized the bill’s alignment with progressive and democratic values, attributing the need for such measures to perceived attempts by Republicans and the Supreme Court to undermine voting rights, particularly for marginalized communities.
Citing a study by the Sentencing Project from late 2022, which indicated that approximately 4.6 million individuals were disenfranchised due to felony convictions, Pressley highlighted the disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic citizens. She argued that challenges reminiscent of “Jim Crow” persist and connected this issue to her support for extending voting rights to 16-year-olds.
Pressley emphasized her commitment to advocating for expanded access to the ballot box, recounting her efforts as a Boston city councilor and her role in pushing for federal voting age reduction to 16. She underscored the urgency of safeguarding democracy and combating voter suppression.
The proposed legislation goes beyond restoring voting rights; it mandates education for incarcerated individuals on their voting rights, provides systems and resources for voter registration, and facilitates mail-in voting for those in prison. Importantly, the bill does not alter states’ authority to regulate voting eligibility for state and local elections.