One of the clear if not enumerated parts of the "fundamental change" Barack Obama and the Democratic Party want to impose on the United States is a permanent majority for their side, an election-to-election dominance that would eventually leave the GOP a token opposition and scapegoat for things that go wrong.
And that explains the current move to restore voting rights to convicts. A study only a few years back in states where convicts already are allowed to vote after they leave prison – New York, New Mexico and North Carolina – revealed they mostly vote Democrat.
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The Democrat-to-Republican breakdown in the study showed 62 percent of New Yorkers who spent time in prison for felonies subsequently register as Democrats compared with 9 percent who register as Republicans. In New Mexico, it was 52 percent to 10 percent, about the same as North Carolina.
Overall, the report said, 73 percent of convicts who turn out "for presidential elections would vote Democrat."
A conclusion from the work by the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science said simply, "Democrats would benefit from additional ex-felon participation."
So the rationale isn't complicated when a super-partisan politician such as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe uses an executive order to restore voting rights to felons, days after the Republican-dominated state legislature, which opposed the idea, closed its session.
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In the Virginia, the New York Times concluded, the "sweeping order, in a swing state that could play a role in deciding the November presidential election, will enable all felons who have served their prison time and finished parole to register to vote."
By the numbers, more than 200,000 felons could see their voting rights restored in Virginia, most of whom are African Americans, the newspaper reported.
"There's no question that we've had a horrible history in voting rights as relates to African-Americans – we should remedy it," McAuliffe said, the New York Times reported. "We should do it as soon as we possibly can."
McAuliffe said he couldn't guarantee how many would ultimately register to vote but he would do his best to give them the opportunity.
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'I've done my part'
"My message is going to be that I have now done my part," he said.
The Virginia experiment, which already faces a court fight, may end up affecting the 2016 vote even if it's ultimately struck down. After all, how can votes be discounted if they've already been cast?
And following the successful imposition of McAuliffe's plan in Virginia, the movement appears to be catching on nationally.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday that a Democrat from Florida, Rep. Alan Grayson, has formally proposed the "No One Can Take Away Your Right to Vote Act of 2016" to change the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
He wants to prohibit states from "disqualifying individuals convicted of criminal offenses, other than individuals convicted of murder, manslaughter, or sex crimes, from registering to vote or voting in elections for federal office."
Even though the Public Interest Legal Foundation notes the Constitution's 14th Amendment "affirmatively allows states to remove voting rights of people who are convicted of crimes," Grayson cast it as a feel-good measure.
"It's a bill about redemption, about giving second chances and about closure," he said.
And about gaining a Democrat advantage in elections.
In Virginia, McAuliffe is trying to add some 206,000 felons to the voter rolls, which could impact many local races as well as the presidential election.
In 2010, the votes of felons apparently enabled comedian and former "Saturday Night Live" actor Al Franken to move into the U.S. Senate.
In a Wall Street Journal piece at the time, "Felons for Franken," writer John Fund asked: "Did illegal felon voters determine the outcome of the critical 2008 Minnesota Senate election? The day after the election, GOP Sen. Norm Coleman had a 725 vote lead, but a series of recounts over the next six months reversed that result and gave Democrat Al Franken a 312 vote victory. The outcome wound up having a significant impact, giving Democrats the critical 60th Senate vote they needed to block GOP filibusters."
Shortly after Franken won, the group Minnesota Majority examined voting records and related criminal records, and determined "at least 341 convicted felons voted in Minneapolis's Hennepin County, the state's largest, and another 52 voted illegally in St. Paul's Ramsey County, the state's second largest," the Wall Street Journal said.
States have a variety of rules for felons who want to vote again after serving their sentences. Maine and Vermont have no procedure to prevent felons from voting, and in 38 more states, as well as the District of Columbia, felons regain their voting rights after their sentence. In some situations, they have to wait for a certain time period before applying
The result of McAuliffe's actions could end up being small when compared to how a similar move would impact Florida, as the state is home to about 1.5 million who cannot vote because of felony convictions.
The National Conference of State Legislatures noted the idea of removing a person's right to vote has been around since ancient Greece.
"Even in states where ex-offenders automatically regain the right to vote upon completion of their sentence, the process of re-registering to vote often is difficult. One reason is the complexity of the laws and processes surrounding disenfranchisement. In some cases, it is difficult to determine whose rights can be restored. This can vary in some states according to the date of the crime, the conviction, or the release from prison, or the nature of the crime. The complex restoration process also can be daunting. It often involves lengthy paperwork, burdensome documentation, and the involvement and coordination of several state agencies."
The group said the barriers include inconsistent information from states and agencies, and difficulty in getting information.
It explained that in addition to McAuliffe's order, since 2008 the Maryland legislature provided for the restoration of voting rights over the governor's veto. Outgoing Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order to give felons voter rights, although it was immediately reversed by Gov. Matt Bevin, and Wyoming created a procedure for certifications of voting rights for some non-violent felons.
Also, Delaware eliminated a five-year waiting period for voting rights, South Carolina banned felons voting while on probation and in Florida, officials imposed a waiting period for felons.
Also, Tennessee expanded its list of felons ineligible for voting, and Washington restored the right to vote to felons who completed their sentences, while requiring them to re-register to vote.
Blocking voter roll cleanup
At the last national election, the 2014 mid-term, a Justice Department whistleblower said the Obama administration was trying to stop state efforts to clean up voter rolls.
At the time, J. Christian Adams further asserted that voter fraud does occur and is indirectly responsible for the passage of Obamacare.
Adams is author of "Crimes Against the Republic: How the Democratic Party's Voter Fraud is Fundamentally Transforming America." He departed the Justice Department early in the Obama administration and since then has been speaking about what he considers to be partisan actions in the voting process.
He pointed to two big problems: The DOJ's decision not to prosecute the New Black Panther Party on voter intimidation charges in 2008 and the battle between then-AG Eric Holder and several states over requiring photo identification to be presented before being allowed to vote.
However, Adams said there's a much bigger problem than either of those matters.
"We have millions of people on the voter rolls who are not eligible to vote, millions of people who are not actually valid registrations," Adams said at the time. "Absolutely nothing is being done about that from the government's perspective. Only private organizations have done anything about it. Eric Holder, of course, is the attorney general [in office at the time] who could do something about it but does not."
According to Adams, there are all sorts of people influencing U.S. elections who have no business casting a ballot.
"There are dead people. There are foreigners. There are non-citizens. There are people who are duplicate registrations. They registered in more than one state. Sometimes they even vote in more than one state," said Adams, noting the case of Wendy Rosen, who ran for Congress in Maryland and voted in her own primary there and in Florida.
He, too, warned that a small number of fraudulent votes can make a big difference in elections.
"Al Franken (D-Minn.) is in the United States Senate because of voter fraud," he said. "He won that contest by 312 votes, but there were 1,099 illegal votes cast by felons. Every single felon who was contacted by the Minnesota media said that he voted for Al Franken.
"So we have a senator in the U.S. Senate because of voter fraud, and guess what? That senator was the 60th vote for Obamacare. So we actually have Obamacare because of voter fraud," he said.
A million prisoners and more crime
Matthew Vadum also wrote at Front Page Magazine that the campaign involves more than just restoring voting rights.
"Radical left-wingers want to free half the nation's prisoners – including many violent offenders – a move that would cause an upsurge in crime rates for decades to come," he wrote in a recent report.
"To many of today's leftists criminality itself is an illegitimate concept. The mindless chanting of the slogan 'no one is illegal' at open-borders rallies is part of the same school of thought."
He explained that the ACLU is spearheading a plan "bankrolled by radical speculator George Soros" to reduce the U.S. prison population by half in 10 or 15 years.
However, the report noted the warning of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who said that "when we release large numbers of criminals early, we know that a substantial number of those individuals will commit murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, and other violent crimes that would have been prevented had they remained in prison."
"Science is on Sessions' side," wrote Vadum. "Within a year of release, 43 percent of state prisoners are arrested for committing a new crime. By the end of five years the figure jumps to 77 percent, according to 'Multistate Criminal History Patterns of Prisoners Released in 30 States,' published by the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2015."
He continued, "Assuming there are two million prisoners and a roughly 70 percent recidivism rate among all released prisoners, if half of the prisoners are released and each one commits only one crime, 700,000 criminal acts that otherwise might not have happened will take place.
"Call it a social justice-inspired crime wave," he wrote.