Why Do Felons Have The Right To Vote

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Millions of Americans cannot vote because of a felony conviction. People who have done nothing wrong and people who have committed minor crimes have been removed from voting rolls. The American penal system was based on the belief that status in society can be redeemed, and the standards should not be changed for felons. After a felon has served the sentenced prison time, he or she should be able to rejoin society. Felons should have the right to vote restored after being released from prison. A felony is a crime that is usually punished by incarceration. The laws on felon voting change from state to state. Some states like Maine and Vermont allow prison inmates to continue voting and never take the right to vote away…Contrastingly, states…show more content…
After leaving prison, a felon is already viewed as not as important as a citizen who has never committed a crime. It can be very difficult to participate and take part in community activities such as getting a job. Felons feel unimportant and unwanted. It is unjust for felons to be treated this way. Several people who have been incarcerated have been interviewed on this topic. One person said, “It was a real exciting feeling… All of a sudden, I’m a person to them again” (Kumar 2). Regaining the right to vote makes the formally incarcerated feel as if redemption is within reach. Voting can make a person feel validated. “Just because I was incarcerated, that means I’m nothing now?” (Kestin 3). It is psychologically harmful to be stripped of the right to…show more content…
It is very difficult to distinguish between a felon and a person who has never been incarcerated. It is more difficult than one might think. It is confusing when two people have the same name or other similarities. A case in Florida showcases this. “Desperate to prevent convicted criminals from voting, Florida hired Database Technologies to produce a list of felons on the voter rolls. But the list was so poorly drawn that people who had never been convicted of a crime were kicked off the rolls. So were hundreds of former felons from other states who had been granted clemency and should have been allowed to vote” (Hiaasen 8). People who should be allowed to vote were not able to because of a list that contained incorrect information. Many Florida citizens were affected by this. “35,865 [were] identified as felons because name and birth date matched” (Hiaasen 8). This means that thirty-five thousand eight hundred sixty-five Florida citizens were wrongly accused of a felony. The process of removing all felons from the voting rolls is very complicated and far too easy to
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