Should felons be allowed to vote. OPINION: Felons Should be Able to Vote 2022-10-19
Should felons be allowed to vote Rating:
The question of whether felons should be allowed to vote is a controversial and complex issue that has garnered significant attention in recent years. On one hand, some argue that felons, as citizens who have been convicted of a crime and served their sentence, should be afforded the same rights and privileges as any other citizen, including the right to vote. Others argue that felons, by virtue of their criminal behavior, have demonstrated a lack of regard for the law and should not be trusted with the responsibility of participating in the political process.
One argument in favor of allowing felons to vote is that it is a matter of fundamental fairness and justice. All citizens, regardless of their background or past mistakes, should have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process and have a say in the decisions that affect their lives and communities. Denying felons the right to vote effectively disenfranchises a significant portion of the population and can perpetuate the cycle of poverty and disadvantage that often leads to criminal behavior in the first place.
Another argument in favor of allowing felons to vote is that it can help to promote rehabilitation and reintegration into society. Voting is a way for individuals to feel a sense of connection to their community and to have a stake in its future. By denying felons the right to vote, society may be sending the message that they are not fully accepted or valued as members of the community, which can hinder their efforts to turn their lives around and become productive, law-abiding citizens.
On the other hand, there are valid concerns about the potential impact of allowing felons to vote. Some argue that felons, by virtue of their criminal history, may not be fully committed to upholding the laws and values of society and should not be trusted with the responsibility of participating in the political process. Additionally, there is the question of whether felons who are still serving their sentence, either in prison or on parole, should be allowed to vote. Some argue that these individuals have not fully paid their debt to society and therefore should not be granted the right to vote.
Ultimately, the decision of whether felons should be allowed to vote is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires careful consideration of the competing arguments on both sides. While there are valid concerns about the potential impact of allowing felons to vote, it is also important to recognize that felons are members of our society who deserve to have their voices heard and to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives and communities. By extending the right to vote to felons, we can take an important step towards promoting fairness, justice, and rehabilitation in our society.
Arguments for and against allowing felons to vote while incarcerated
More than 2 million African Americans, or close to 8 percent of black adults, aren't able to vote because of felony convictions compared to just under 2 percent of non-African Americans, Sentencing Project. Convicted felons face many hardships post-incarceration. Felons lose many freedoms that law-abiding citizens enjoy. Last December, voters in Florida passed a Constitutional Amendment restoring the right to vote to non-violent felons who have completed their sentences. The reason: everyone has an opinion on the issue, but only few are willing to say anything about it.
In Attorney General Eric H. Both houses of the legislature must then pass the bill. Going through rehabilitation and reintegration, ex-felons become part of a law-abiding society with the same privileges as others in the society, proponents for voting rights argue. Our citezens voting influences laws, leaders, and other important matters. Conversely, one in every 13 Black voters was disenfranchised. Do we want to see convicted terrorists who seek to destroy this country voting in elections? Social contracts must receive restoration to complete the rehabilitation process. Most people would say that they do because their decision-making processes led them to the choice to commit a felony in the first place.
Should Felons Be Allowed to Vote After They Have Served Their Time?
Voting gives the citizens of the U. Personal liberty, the freedom of speech and expression, the right to privacy, and countless other constitutional guarantees either do not exist in prison, or are sharply curtailed. Allowing previously convicted felons to vote after their punishment has been served can help them walk back into society as a citizen exercising their rights. While voting is a right that we all have, if you have committed a crime and it has been classified as a felon, in most states you are restricted from voting. I find it ironic that this assignment directing people to think about a disenfranchised subset of the population makes no mention of the fact that its target audience are themselves disenfranchised. Felons may make as little difference in Virginia as they do in those places.
Permanently excluding all felons from voting would go against this amendment. But even though voting is an important privilege, some Americans choose not to vote and the government is now trying to make voting mandatory for people to vote and I am in opposition to that. Previously, only felons on parole or incarcerated had their voting rights suspended. The pros and cons of felon voting rights are swinging in the direction of allowing this action around the world. Bureau of justice reports that two-thirds of released offenders are re-arrested within three years of released and it is suggested that those statistics are just those that have been caught committing a crime. Looking just at those aged 16-17.
A crime is committed against society — not just the individuals involved. While most argue that loss of voting rights may not deter them from returning to their criminal acts, the societal tone it promotes is a greater concern: that criminality is intolerable and giving up their most fundamental right is a fair-enough punishment. The social contract theory serves as the rationale for felon disenfranchisement because of how compelling an argument it creates. Instead of facilitating prisoner re-entry, we strain to make it difficult and almost impossible for some. Some of those measures include selling or bartering his or her vote.
Those who break our laws should not dilute the vote of law-abiding citizens. Voting rights are automatically restored after this time period. Terry McAuliffe signed an order restoring voting rights to felons once they are no longer in prison, on parole or on probation. If you obey the law, you can own a beautiful home and live comfortably with your family. For persons convicted of nonviolent felonies or a first-time offender, rights are restored automatically W.
Have they not paid their debt to society? Ex-felons deserve a second chance. One, many innocent people have been convicted and put into jail because their trial went wrong or for another reason. Felonies can include violent crimes like murder and assault, but also nonviolent crimes like tax evasion, drug dealing and check fraud. There are over 15 million high school students who are legally barred from voting. When the 11th U.
But his possibly cynical motives shouldn't be the end of the discussion. If voting is a privilege why not use it. The number is not that big anyway. Some states, California is one example, require that voter registration information be provided to formerly incarcerated people. For instance, in several states in the U. The racial impact of such bans is still lopsided. The probability of electoral fraud is reduced when disenfranchisement is put into play.
We don't permanently strip criminals of freedom of speech or religion, the right not to be subjected to unreasonable searches or the right against self-incrimination. The world is yet to hold a standard view on this issue. The question that we need to ask ourselves is this: do felons belong in this category? This helped pave the road for African Americans to get out and register to vote. Unlike other countries, where dictators and monarchs make decisions on behalf of the people, Americans get to decide who runs the country and what laws should govern citizens. Maine and Vermont allow incarcerated felons to vote. Their not able to vote, Travel outside of U.
But it is also important to point out that prisoners are denied the full range of rights enjoyed by law abiding citizens. States that continue to exclude felons from being able to vote are the outliers in this situation, in the U. Over the last few decades, the general trend has been toward reinstating the right to vote at some point, although this is a state-by-state policy choice. The political party that fights for and achieves felon enfranchisement would be able to count on having a massive voting bloc that would reliably vote for them in each election. Why reward them for serving their time, when they might commit a felony again? With these negative inputs from convicts to society, it seems the advocates for felon disenfranchisement do have a valid point. But these policies can be traced all the way back from the old Greece and Roman times. Browder is an opinion writer.