ex-felons voting rights Essay

2047 Words Sep 22nd, 2014 6 Pages
Diana Zorchenko
February 18, 2014
Should Ex-Felon’s be allowed to Vote?
POLS 301
Spring 2014

Brief Summary
An estimated 5.85 million people (as of 2010) with a felony conviction are barred from voting in elections which is a condition known as disenfranchisement. Each state has its own laws on disenfranchisement. While Vermont and Maine allow felons to vote while in prison, nine other states permanently restrict certain felons from voting. Proponents of felon re-enfranchisement say that felons who have paid their debt to society by completing their sentences should have all of their rights and privileges restored. They argue that efforts to block ex-felons from voting are unfair, undemocratic, and politically or
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Democracy includes all Americans. For a democracy to work, it cannot exclude a large number of voters; simply because they are ex-felons. Once felons have served their time in prison, and are back in society; it is unfair to continue to punish them for the rest of their lives. Ex-felons maintain jobs and pay taxes; it is unfair to tax ex-felons but not allow them to vote. Restoring ex-felons voting and civil rights is part of effective rehabilitation.
I think that if the felony that accurd did not harm any human being, it should not have any kind of effect on their voting rights because after all, a lot of felony’s are considered to be stealing food from a grocery store or some sort of supply. What if the person who is steeling it don’t not have money to buy it and needs to provide for his family, so because of his mistake, he must be charge with a felony and not have the right to vote in a country where he is a citizen and probably still cares about his country.
Voting is a right given to all US citizens by the Constitution. Since an ex-felon has been fulfilling their duties as citizens, they must be able to enjoy the full rights of citizens, which includes the right to vote. Also, ex-felon disenfranchisement violates the 8th Amendment.
According to the 8th Amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." According to the Atkins v. Virginia Supreme Court case:

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