Felons Should Be Able to Vote

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Stacia
Words 865
Pages 4
They did their time, paid their fines, and stood in voter registration lines only to be denied. These American citizens, who are also felons, are being denied the right to vote due to disenfranchisement laws. In the United States, “Two states, Vermont and Maine, allow convicted felons to vote while in prison. Nine states permanently restrict certain felons from voting (until and if granted the state governor's pardon) even if those people have served their prison sentence, parole, probation, and paid all fines. The remaining 36 states fall somewhere in between,” (ProCon.org, 2009). Felons should have the right to vote, as they have paid or are paying their debt to society, and the millions of missing felony votes impact all of us. How many times have you voted in a close race and your candidate did not win? Imagine if just a fraction of the felons that share your views were allowed to vote just like they are allowed to pay taxes. Millions of Americans in our republic are not represented at every election due to non-felony voting, which can be said to be undemocratic, and as such, felons should be allowed to vote in all states. “The legislature has sent a clear message that voting is a fundamental right that should not be stripped away from people who are working, paying taxes and contributing to their communities, “said Steven Brown, Executive Director of the ACLU of Rhode Island. According to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, the right of citizens of the United States to vote is a fundamental right. An author from the New York Times agrees, stating that, "...it diminishes American democracy to not allow people who have paid their debt to society to help select their leaders" (Author, 2006). As of 2004, an estimated 5.26 million people with a felony conviction are barred from voting in federal, state, and local elections (Procon.org, 2009).…...

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