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Should Felons Be Allowed to Vote

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (797 words)
Categories: Vote
Downloads: 28
Views: 212

About 5. 26 million individuals with a felony conviction are not permitted to enact elections. Each state has its own laws on disenfranchisement. Nine states in America completely restrict felons from voting while Vermont and Maine permit felons to vote while in prison. Advocates of felon re-enfranchisement think felons who have actually paid their financial obligation to society by completing their sentences need to have all of their rights and privileges restored. They argue that efforts to block ex-felons from ballot are unreasonable, undemocratic, and politically or racially encouraged.

Opponents of felon ballot say the limitations are consistent with other ballot restrictions such as age, residency, psychological capacity, and other felon limitations such as no weapons for violent transgressors. They say that convicted felons have actually shown poor judgment and ought to not be relied on with a vote. I think convicted felons need to be allowed to vote upon release from jail since they work out profundity; in addition, withholding their right to vote would be an infraction of the US Ballot Rights Act of 1965 and the 8th modification.

One factor ex-felons are not enabled to vote is because of their viewed judgment. According to Roger Clegg, President and General Counsel of the Center for Level Playing Field, we don’t let children, noncitizens, or the mentally unskilled vote because we do not trust them or their judgment. Moreover, he thinks that criminals belong in this category due to the fact that individuals who devote severe criminal activities have actually shown that they are not reliable. On the other hand, Steve Chapman, Writer and Editorial Author at the Chicago Tribune, thinks we let ex-convicts wed, replicate, purchase beer, own property, and drive.

They do not lose their flexibility of religion, or their right versus self-incrimination, but in lots of locations, the presumption is that they can not be trusted to help choose our leaders. The function of a jail is to secure society and rehabilitate the wrongdoer. Rehab refers to activities developed to change bad guys into law abiding people, and consist of supplying instructional courses in jail, mentor job abilities, and offering therapy. If we thought that detainees could not be rehabilitated, then they should not be released.

If felons are released, we make a judgment that they are fit to live in society; therefore, they are capable of making trustworthy decisions. Moreover, not allowing felons to vote is a violation of the US Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States. Section Two of the Voting Act contains a general prohibition on voting discrimination.

Furthermore, Congress amended this section to prohibit any voting practice or procedure that has a discriminatory result or prohibits a group of people from voting. New York is one state that restricts felony voting. In the New York Election Law 5-106, it clearly disqualifies a group of people, incarcerated felons and felons on parole, from voting in elections. This is a blatant violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Further, prohibiting felons from voting is a violation of the eighth amendment of the United States Constitution.

The eighth amendment prohibits excessive penalties and demands that the punishment fits the crime. As a result, states that exclude felons from voting permanently, including Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida, are in violation of this amendment. On one hand, opponents of felon voting use the Fourteenth amendment to justify disenfranchising convicted felons. They believe in limiting the freedoms of convicted felons. Incarceration is designed to punish inmates and impress upon them the magnitude of their crimes.

On the other hand, using the Fourteenth Amendment to justify the disenfranchisement of felons by states is ambiguous. The amendment claims, “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges of citizens of the United States. ” For example, if John Doe was convicted of a felony, served time, and was released, all of his privileges as a citizen of the United States should be returned to him. Furthermore, disenfranchising felons is counter to the American tradition for the expansion of voting rights for all citizens.

All in all, convicted felons are still American citizens and should be allowed to vote upon release from prison. Efforts to prevent ex-felons from voting are unfair and undemocratic. After serving their prison sentence, they have paid their debt to society and have been rehabilitated. As a result, all of their natural rights as citizens should be returned to them. Not allowing felons to vote would be a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution.

Cite this essay

Should Felons Be Allowed to Vote. (2017, Jan 15). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/should-felons-be-allowed-to-vote-3-essay

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