12-13-2019  2:45 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Black Santa Visits Northwest African American Museum

The Skanner's Seattle photographer Susan Fried was on hand to snap some photos

English Language Learners' Success Translates Into a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Teacher Julie Rowell

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Portland Resident Hoping to Donate Kidney to Black Recipient

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Puget Soundkeeper and Waste Action Project Send Notice of Intent to Sue to Ardagh Glass

Violations listed include illegal discharges into the Duwamish River, failure to collect stormwater samples and failure to install required treatment systems

NEWS BRIEFS

Friends of the Children Chapter Coming to Tacoma, Executive Director Announced

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Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

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Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

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'Shop early': US Christmas trees supplies tight, prices up

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Customers searching for the perfect Christmas tree typically glance at Sandy Parsons’ limited offerings, then keep walking.Parsons never got her order for 350 trees from a North Carolina farm. Supplies were short, she was told. Instead, she was shipped some...

Dozens out sick at Vancouver schools, Seattle school closed

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Dozens of students are out sick at several Vancouver Public Schools elementary schools, prompting cleaning, disinfecting and a letter to parents warning them of the symptoms of the stomach flu.The Columbian reports at Harry S. Truman Elementary School, 72 of the...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

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OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

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Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

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Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Anti-Semitism order raises tough issue of defining prejudice

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New Jersey attackers linked to anti-Semitic fringe movement

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Man convicted in 2017 Charlottesville car attack to appeal

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — An Ohio man plans to appeal his convictions for driving his car into a crowd of counterprotestors during a 2017 white nationalist rally in Virginia.The Daily Progress, citing online court records, reports that a lawyer for James Alex Fields Jr. filed a notice of...

ENTERTAINMENT

Weinstein lawyer says 98% of creditors agreeing to settle

NEW YORK (AP) — Ninety-eight percent of The Weinstein Co.'s creditors are joining a tentative settlement that plaintiffs say includes million for over two dozen actresses and former employees who claim Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed them, a lawyer said Thursday.The attorney, Karen...

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Wilde defends 'Jewell' reporter over sex-for-tips claims

NEW YORK (AP) — Olivia Wilde said Thursday she does not believe the real-life journalist she plays in the new film “Richard Jewel” “traded sex for tips" despite that insinuation in the movie. In a series of tweets, Wilde called late Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

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"Nuts!" US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble 75 years ago

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BANGKOK (AP) — What drives Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar who this week defended her country at...

EU leaders break stalemate over climate target, claim deal

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU leaders broke a deadlock early Friday and claimed a deal over a key climate target by...

"Nuts!" US troops thwarted Hitler's last gamble 75 years ago

BASTOGNE, Belgium (AP) — Pvt. Arthur Jacobson was seeking cover in the snow behind a tank moving slowly...

McMenamins
Alanne Orjoux CNN

(CNN) -- Kemba Smith Pradia voted for the first time in her life in Indianapolis city elections last fall.

This year, she moved from Indiana to Virginia, a few months ahead of the November presidential election, in which she'd very much like to cast her ballot.



But she can't. Pradia is a former felon, and in Virginia, people convicted of violent felonies, drug crimes, and certain other offenses must wait for five years before even applying for a gubernatorial restoration of voting rights. That's five years after serving your sentence, finishing supervised probation and paying all fines and restitution. And those five years have to be clean -- no misdemeanors or pending convictions, or the application is void.

Such laws -- which exist in various forms in 11 other states besides Virginia -- mean that an estimated 5.8 million people do not have the right to vote, according to ProCon.org, a non-partisan group that researches and tracks controversial issues.

The NAACP launched a nationwide campaign Tuesday to restore voting rights for ex-felons, saying that state efforts to block such rights are thinly veiled attempts to suppress the black vote.

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous kicked off the campaign in Florida, which has the highest level of disenfranchisement in the country.

"What this comes down to really is, do you think voting is a right or is it a privilege? Because if voting is a right, people who have paid their debt to society should be allowed to vote," Jealous said earlier Tuesday on "CNN Newsroom."

In 2007, then-Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, a Republican at the time, signed reforms to allow former felons who'd completed their sentences to more easily get their voting rights restored. Four years later, Republican Gov. Rick Scott reversed those reforms, imposing a five- to seven-year waiting period and a complicated application process to get civil rights restored.

In issuing the new rules for voting rights for ex-felons, Scott said the changes "are intended to emphasize public safety and ensure that all applicants desire clemency, deserve clemency, and demonstrate they are unlikely to reoffend."

"It stands to reason that individuals who have committed serious violence or sexual offenses; abused the privilege of holding public office; endangered society with poisonous drugs; or carried a firearm after they have been convicted should be required to attend a hearing and explain why their rights should be restored," Scott said in a statement in March of 2011.

According to a study of state data by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, 7,000 people were removed from Florida's voter rolls in the first four months of this year for recent felony convictions. Among those removed, 51% are Democrats and 17% are Republicans.

Nationally, 38% of the people disenfrachised due to felony convictions are African-American, according to the Sentencing Project. The American Civil Liberties Union said Florida has the nation's largest share of disenfranchised voters, where nearly one out of every five black men overall is ineligible to vote.

Every vote counts in Florida, a heavily contested battleground in the 2012 elections and the pivotal player in the result of the 2000 elections, which was decided by 537 votes in favor of George Bush.

Another swing state crucial to the elections this year is Virginia, where former felons who have served their sentences and paid all fines and restitution must wait "a minimum of two years for a non-violent offense or five years for a violent felony or drug distribution, drug manufacturing offense, any crimes against a minor, or an election law offense" before applying to have their voting rights restored.

Pradia was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 1994 for a crack cocaine conviction that she says was the result of her abusive relationship with a drug dealer. In 2000, then-President Bill Clinton commuted her sentence to time served.

But that wasn't the end of her punishment.

"One of the collateral consequences of having been incarcerated is losing my right to vote," she told a United Nations Human Rights Council panel in Geneva last week. An NAACP delegation urged the U.N.'s special rapporteur on racism to investigate what it said were racially discriminatory election laws in the United States.

Not being able to vote "makes one feel inferior," Pradia told CNN Tuesday.

"You don't want people that are trying to reintegrate, trying to live a better lifestyle, to feel this way," she added. "It's hard for me to be able to explain to my children why I'm not able to vote when I pay taxes, and they see me working hard and doing things I should be doing as a citizen."

Pradia said she applied in August for her voting rights to be restored in Virginia. She has not yet received a response to her request.

 

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