Refutation- Right to vote?

Should Uncle Sam say no to ex-felons voting? 

Those who are released from prison are often prevented from doing many things such as voting.  In an article by the Washington Post it states that, the 14th Amendment permits states to deny the vote “for participation in rebellion, or other crime.” This can be argued that prisoners should not vote; after all, the purpose of prison is to deny freedom. It was also stated that felons might form some kind of “anti-law-enforcement bloc” and elect bad officials. It can be argued that those who break the law lack the trustworthiness. According to the article by YouGov, 21% of Americans think that convicted felons should permanently lose the right to vote and 50% think that they should regain the right the vote. Convicted felons shouldn’t be able to vote because they have lost their rights to act as citizens of the U.S. due to their alleged actions against society.

felon-voting-bars-buttonAs stated in an article by Katie Quandt in the Moyers & Company, “one out of every 13 African-Americans is prohibited from casting a ballot in the United States.” They lost their right to vote because of felony convictions. Depending on the laws in their states, some may regain access to the polls when they complete their prison sentences, finish parole, or complete probation. So, maybe there should be a process where an ex-con who has proven to be a good citizen can petition to get voting rights reinstated? It should not be automatic though and should be a very careful decision. But, like said in a letter to the editor of the article, Disenfranchised Felon, in the New York Times, “If you are not willing to follow the law, you cannot demand the right to elect those who make the law.”

What do you think should those (ex-felons) who have paid their debt to society be able to vote?




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Our group wants to advocate for lower incarceration rate. We believe it would be beneficial to criminals, states, and society as a whole if the legal system works to create behavior improvement programs and teaching programs. These programs may include psychological evaluation of prisoners, skill building programs, self-improvement activities, and teaching curriculum based on interests. This program would rule out people who have mental disorders and may commit crimes as a result of their compromised mental state, for which they should get proper treatment, not a prison sentence. The behavioral and teaching program will allow those in the prison system to develop desirable skills that can be used once they are out of prison, this will reduce the rate of reentry which is another issue in the U.S. prison system.