Abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was found guilty of murdering babies born alive during abortions, is among the convicted felons who are still registered to vote in Philadelphia.
“In the City of Brotherly Love, you can retain your voter registration no matter what crime you commit,” reports Robert Knight, senior fellow at the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), at the Washington Times. “That’s because election officials refuse to take convicted felons off the voter rolls even if they’re still serving time in jail.”
Gosnell, now 75, was found guilty in 2013 of severing the spinal cords of babies born alive during abortion and in the death of one of his patients. He was also convicted on 21 felony counts of performing late-term abortions and on hundreds of other lesser counts, including corruption and more than 200 violations of the 24-hour informed consent law.
The 300-page grand jury report described Gosnell’s medical office as a “baby charnel house,” with bloodstained furniture, unlicensed physicians and nurses, and fetal remains stored in plastic jugs and bags in the basement freezer.
The “house of horrors” abortionist was ultimately sentenced to life without parole plus an additional 30 years in prison.
Gosnell, who evaded the scrutiny of the city and the state of Pennsylvania for decades, is listed as “inactive” on the voter rolls, but if he appeared at the polls with ID, he would be permitted to cast his vote in Philadelphia.
In addition to Gosnell, other felons still registered to vote in the city include former Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah of Philadelphia – convicted of federal racketeering and bribery and serving 10 years in prison – and former Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana, sentenced to 13 years after a conviction in 2009 on corruption charges and the discovery of $90,000 in cash bribes in his freezer.
According to Knight, the city’s officials claim law restricts felons from voting because when one fails to vote in two federal elections, he or she can be removed from the rolls. Despite this law, however – and the fact that Gosnell has not voted in five years – he is still eligible to cast his vote.
Apparently, the city asserts its law only requires that the deceased and those no longer living in the city be actually removed from the voter rolls. One Philadelphia official reportedly acknowledged that if prisons set up a polling place, felons would be permitted to vote.
J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, reportedly said, “Philadelphia’s voting rolls are seriously corrupt, and they not only won’t do anything to fix the situation, they think it’s actually funny. This is a disgrace.”
ACRU sued the city last year, forcing it to reveal its voting records and the “thousands of noncitizens and convicted felons registered to vote,” reports Knight.
However, a U.S. District court ruled that state law must provide a clear procedure for removing felons from the voter rolls in order for federal law to require their removal.
“And so it goes in a city where in 2012, some 59 voting divisions recorded not a single vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and where election officials see no problem with keeping ineligible voters like convicted felons Kermit Gosnell and Chaka Fattah on the rolls,” concludes Knight.