Via Nick Beaudrot, I see that Washington State is moving to end de facto disenfranchisement of ex-cons. This is excellent news. It’s a smart idea, obviously, to punish criminals. It helps deter crime. But it’s important to come up with punishments that have meaningful deterrent impact, and this kind of disenfranchisement doesn’t do that. On the contrary, if it has any effect on crime at all it’s in making it more difficult for ex-cons to reintegrate themselves into the social mainstream.