Cory Booker Defends Voting Rights In Latest Sunday Tweet-Fest

Cory Booker’s Sunday Tweet-Fests always draw his followers into conversation, and this Sunday, as he addressed voting rights, particularly of felons convicted of nonviolent crimes, was no exception. In a conversation with constituents, Booker called for critical thinking, asking social media followers why one mistake, even after the convicted has paid his debt according to current societal rules, should result in lifelong elimination from the Democratic process.

Booker opened the day by speaking on ABC’s This Week about the Voting Rights Act. He mentioned, among other groups, people who lose the right to vote when convicted of a nonviolent crime. In response, he received messages on social media telling him that people who were disenfranchised from voting earned the punishment through their own (felonious) actions.

A few people pointed out that a primary difference between the two presidents who Booker mentioned and the people who have lost their voting rights for a similar crime is that Obama and Bush weren’t caught and convicted, but rather publicly admitted their drug use years later.

Booker responded to that, saying that the matter should be less about getting caught than about second chances and redemption.

In further tweets, Booker specifically addressed the way America handles marijuana, saying that the Federal Government must change its position on medical use of the drug before dropping the subject and going on to joke about being vegan and responding to teases about how much time he spends talking about his dietary preference.

The Voting Rights Act, which is 50 years old this week, was signed into existence when it became clear that discriminatory laws, regulations, and behaviors were preventing minorities (specifically, black citizens) from voting. Cory Booker isn’t alone in fearing that new voter ID laws and other regulations that have appeared since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that ended certain aspects of the Voting Rights Act are an attack on the voting rights of minorites.

[Photo by:Alex Wong/Getty Images]