skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, April 12, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

WA voting rights bill for people in prison would ‘restore humanity'

play audio
Play

Thursday, January 25, 2024   

Legislation in Olympia could give people in Washington prisons their voting rights.

House Bill 2030, known as the Free the Vote Act, would allow people to vote in elections - potentially granting that right to more than 14,000 people in the state's prisons.

Charles Longshore, a Skokomish tribal member, was convicted of second-degree murder in 2012 and is serving a 35-year sentence in a prison north of Olympia.

He said Black, indigenous and other people of color are disproportionately impacted by mass incarceration.

"We have been disenfranchised," said Longshore. "Our humanity has been taken, and primarily minority people are still continuing to be denied access to the polls."

Incarcerated people are allowed to vote in Maine, Vermont, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Republicans have expressed opposition to the bill - as well as Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs' office, which said voting rights shouldn't be given to people "who have not yet paid their debt to society."

Anthony Blankenship - a leadership team member with Free the Vote WA - said if people behind bars were able to vote, they would feel more connected with their communities, which would also make them less likely to reoffend.

"Building that sense of civic engagement, civic learning, and care about your community," said Blankenship, "is what we're hoping to do with this bill."

Longshore said it's hard to feel like a citizen when he doesn't have the right to vote.

"Our goal is to rehabilitate people and bring them home and make them better men or women than they were when they came in," said Longshore. "You can't do that without restoring their right to vote and making them whole and making us feel included and a part of the state."



get more stories like this via email

more stories
Kentucky certified lactation consultant and birth doula Bonnie Logsdon has been vocal in her support for House Bill 10. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

In the final days of the legislative session, Kentucky Senate lawmakers could consider the "Momnibus" bill, which would increase access to critical …


play sound

Until recently, many Americans of Middle Eastern or North African descent were categorized as "white" in government surveys, making it challenging to …

play sound

Conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion are on the rise as lawmakers propose bills to restrict or ban DEI in state-funded institutions…


Enbridge owns and operates Line 5, a controversial oil pipeline that crosses tribal lands and runs under a portion of the Great Lakes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Next week, Native American leaders from the Midwest will go before a United Nations panel with their concerns over a controversial oil pipeline they …

Social Issues

play sound

O.J. Simpson's death has the nation looking back on the infamous murder trial that resulted in his acquittal. Experts say one of the lasting impacts …

IRS Direct File is a new tax tool to file federal income tax returns for free, directly with the IRS. It comes with access to live customer service representatives who can answer tax questions. (stevepb/Pixabay)

Social Issues

play sound

Florida residents can now file their simple income-tax forms for free and save time through the Internal Revenue Service's Direct File pilot program…

Social Issues

play sound

New York restaurant workers need to know their rights to better navigate their workplaces. A new report finds high rates of what it calls …

Environment

play sound

People working for environmental justice are rallying today at the downtown Pittsburgh headquarters of U.S. Steel, voicing their concerns to company …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021