Thursday, August 11, 2005

Up From Felon Voting

To Felon Candidacies. In King County, Washington, of course:

James C. Garrett, a fringe candidate for mayor of Seattle, argued at an administrative hearing yesterday that his name should appear on the primary-election ballot despite a felony conviction for assaulting then-Mayor Paul Schell with a bullhorn four years ago.

At yesterday's hearing, Garrett, 59, offered a rambling challenge to the authority of the U.S. government and said he suffered from "post-traumatic slavery syndrome."

Garrett said he was still challenging the validity of his felony conviction in federal court and claimed he never received notice that he could not register to vote again after being released from prison.

Garrett, also known as Omari-Tahir Garrett, was sentenced in 2002 to 21 months in prison for the assault on Schell. As a convicted felon, his voting rights were revoked.

King County elections officials allowed him to register to vote again last year and accepted his mayoral candidacy on June 29 despite records indicating his voting rights had never legally been restored.

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