Sure, it’s 80% an attempt to motivate the Democratic base and 20% a real issue (funny, a lot of things are like that). The issue especially resonates in the Af-Am community, because of the higher incarcination rates among black males. And certainly, allowing ex-felons to vote in Florida, Iowa and Nevada could make a difference in 2008 (all three are among the states that ban ex-felons from voting).

Buried underneath all that, there’s a real public policy question about whether ex-felons should be allowed to vote and under what circumstances.