These people have been barred from voting today because they’re in debt

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Photo: Sage Ross / CC2.0
Media Outlet: Washington Post

To be sure, those who break the law should repay their debt to society. But they shouldn’t have to keep repaying it for the rest of their lives, simply because they’re poor. And they definitely shouldn’t be excluded from the political process that gives all Americans a say in the future of their communities. They’re helping pay for a system while being denied the opportunity that other citizens have to influence the way that system is run. It’s wrong. As Thompson puts it, “Even being a convicted felon and owing money, you should still have the right to voice your opinion.”


Anne Stuhldreher was a 2016 fellow with New America CA. She is the first-ever director of financial justice for the City and County of San Francisco.