For felons, a nudge to the voting booth While some struggle to get former offenders to vote, others resist moves For felons, a nudge to the voting booth - Washington Post - MSNBC.com "Mitchell smiled -- he had gotten another felon back on the rolls. Mitchell is a leader of a disparate group of grass-roots Democrats and civil rights activists who are trying to register tens of thousands of newly eligible felons. They have taken up the cause on their own, motivated by the belief that former offenders have been unfairly disenfranchised for decades. Despite massive registration efforts, the presidential campaigns of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have not designated anyone to go after the group. In Alabama, Al Sharpton's younger brother, the Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, will take his "Prodigal Son" ministry into state prisons with voter-registration cards for the first time. The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed suit there and in Tennessee to make it possible for an even larger class of felons to register. In Ohio, the NAACP will hold a voter-registration day at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland this month to register "people caught up in the criminal justice system," a local official said. In California, a team will stand in front of jails on Aug. 16 to register people visiting prisoners and encourage them to take registration cards to their incarcerated friends or family members, some of whom can legally vote. "This is a voting block that has never been open before, and it has opened up at such a time as this," said Glasgow, who was a felon himself. In Florida, a law change last year made more than 115,000 felons eligible to vote, according to the state Parole Commission. In other states, civil rights and criminal justice groups estimate there are similar numbers who have not registered. ... "