Voting Rights: Should Convicts Be Allowed To Vote?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Voting Rights: Should Convicts Be Allowed To Vote?

Over five million Americans cannot vote for a surpirisng reason.

Voting Rights: Should Convicts Be Allowed To Vote?

Voting Rights: Should convicted felons be allowed to vote?

With the general election fast approaching to decide who should take up the mantle of responsibility as President of the United States the issue of voting rights has once again popped in the medias view. Almost a century ago voting rights had to do with whether women should be allowed to vote. Sixty years ago the Civil Rights Movement moved the ball forward and wanted to enfranchise the African American population to be given equal voting rights. Four years ago we states pushing to allow only those with a valid state issued ID to vote, putting the poor and elderly in a tough spot when it came to voting. Today we see a new challenge to voting rights that has existed for more then one hundred and fifty years.

When a US citizen is convicted of a felony and serve their sentence they can again vote in elections both local and federal. However the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution allows states to decide when a crime is severe enough to stirp the right to vote away. According to the US Justice Department as of 2016 five and half million Americans cannot vote due to felony disenfranchisement. Restricting voting rights based on committed crimes varies widely among the fifty states and some are harsher then others. Of the 5.5 million Americans who cannot vote do to felony disenfranchisement close to 1.5 million live in Florida.

Can you imagine what a difference almost six million votes could make in the upcoming election? Those convicted of felony's make up two and half percent of the US population and few options to regain their rights. Florida governor Rick Scott in 2011 set forth legislation that would allow those convicted of a felony to appeal to have their voting rights restored after seven years. While it is an avenue to regain their rights it is dependent on a judges decision. After a citizens sentence is completed and served their rights should be restored.

After release a felons right to free speech, right to bear arms, right to peaceful assembly, etc. are given back. So why can the right to vote one of the most fundamental of civic duties not be depending on what state you live in. As a nation we should recognize that a person can reform themselves from their past actions. That is not to say that we should forget those crimes but it should not define a person in every aspect of their life and their actions.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less
A painting of the virgin Mary, the baby Jesus, and the wise men

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas. Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ. Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading...Show less
Golden retriever sat on the sand with ocean in the background
Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog. I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

Boyfriend's Christmas Wishlist: 23 Best Gift Ideas for Her

Here are the gifts I would like to ask my boyfriend for to make this season unforgettable.

Young woman opening a Christmas gift

Recently, an article on Total Sorority Move called 23 Things My Boyfriend Better Not Get Me For Christmas, was going around on social media. I hope the author of this was kidding or using digital sarcasm, but I am still repulsed and shocked by the lack of appreciation throughout this article. I would like to represent the girlfriends out there who disagree with her standpoint -- the girlfriends who would be more than happy to receive any of these gifts from their boyfriends.

Keep Reading...Show less
Two teenage girls smiling

The 2000s were a time that many young adults today can look back on, joyfully reminisce and somewhat cringe at the trends and the fads that we all used to love and adore. Here's a list of things from the golden 2000s that will have one feeling nostalgic about all of those times.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments