USA: Mike Tyson with active electoral rights for the first time this year

/Photo by emerille on / CC BY-SA

Legendary boxer Mike Tyson has never voted in the election before. This year - as announced - it will do it for the first time. However, several million inmates in US prisons or ex-prisoners do not have such a right.

"This will be my first time voting," Tyson wrote on Twitter. The former undisputed world heavyweight champion added that due to his record, he never thought it would be possible.

During his sports career, Tyson has come into conflict with the law many times. The most famous case concerned rape, for which he had been imprisoned for three years since 1992. A boxer was convicted at the height of his career and stripped of his electoral rights. After his release, they were not restored to him. That changed in 2019, when Nevada - the state where the former champion lives - guaranteed the right to vote for those who were released from prison.

Prisoners and former detainees in many US states are not allowed to vote. In 2016, it was about 6 million people, i.e. nearly one in 40 Americans of voting age, according to data from the Sentencing Project.

By law, prisoners can only vote in Maine and Vermont.

In recent years, pressure has grown to restore former convicts to vote. This is especially appreciated by politicians and supporters of the Democratic Party.

This year, billionaire Michael Blooomberg, who is helping Democrats financially before the presidential elections in November, was involved in the case. The former New York City mayor raised $ 16 million to help register for voting in Florida. The local organization Florida Rights Restoration Coalition claims that thanks to this it was possible to pay off 32,000 cash liabilities people who have been convicted in the past.

In Florida - a key state in the upcoming elections - a 2018 bill was passed restoring voting rights for inmates as long as all penalties and damages owed to the government are settled. In September, an appeals court upheld this law.

A few weeks after the vote, 54-year-old Tyson - after 16 years of separation from the boxing ring - intends to resume his career. At the end of November, he is scheduled to fight another boxing legend from years ago - 51-year-old Roy Jones junior.

From Washington, Mateusz Obremski (PAP)


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