Felons voting rights – When it comes to felons, here disenfranchisement is the lack of one’s right to vote. When an individual commits a felony and is rightfully convicted in the judicial system, many states in the United States take this action.
Even if they have completed their sentence, their past actions prevent them from voting for any reason. Whereas, some states allow for restoration of the franchise based on fulfilled conditions.
This action enables a convicted felon to vote in local, county, and state elections. Even if the felony conviction was for a state crime, the federal government does not permit someone with a crime to vote in a national-level election. As a result, in this post, you will go over some of the key advantages and disadvantages of felons voting rights to understand the topic better.
List of Pros and Cons of Felons Voting Rights
5.2 million people with felony convictions are denied the right to vote in elections. Each state has its disenfranchisement laws, which range differently. So, let us discuss some valid advantages and disadvantage why some states allow and other do not.
Advantages of felons voting rights
1. Franchising completes a convict’s act of reformation
When people complete their sentences and return to society, they have the opportunity to reclaim their right to live the life they desire. It means they can legally marry, have children, own property, and obtain a driver’s license. Meanwhile, they can buy alcohol if they want, but there is a prohibition on guns & ammunition. You do not lose your religious freedom or your right against self-incrimination. If society does not trust people who have committed a felony, it shows that the felon’s life cannot be changed.
2. Allowing felons voting rights builds social bonds for common good
The next on our list of Advantages and Disadvantages of Felons is social bonds and the common good. When society grants felons the right to vote, it promotes legally responsible civic participation. This benefit applies even if prisoners are behind bars. An action helps strengthen their social ties to society while also providing them with the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
3. To complete the rehabilitation process, the voting right should be given
When a felon has served their sentence, it is obvious that the individual wishes to be free of their criminal record. Now they want to manage the rest of their lives properly.
However, continuing to punish people for their past actions does not provide a satisfactory explanation. Hence, it is correct to give them their voting right.
Disadvantages of felons voting rights
1. High recidivism shows a lack of judgment
Most people would say it would not be a good idea. In addition, this is because their decision-making processes led them to commit a felony in the first place. Critics of granting felons voting rights argue that committing a serious crime demonstrates that the individual is untrustworthy and lacks the right decision.
2. The time a felon spends in prison is not solely the result of their actions
Many states allow felons to re-register to vote after they have served their prison sentences. Some states, such as Washington, believe that felons must resolve all consequences before being fully restored. As part of their rehabilitation, many people who are convicted of a felony are ordered to pay criminal penalties, legal fees, and victim restitution. Instead of separating the various sentences, these individuals should completely restore everyone they have harmed before receiving the same favor in return.
3. Act of allowing felons voting rights create unrest in society
For each election, the political party fighting to restore and achieve voting rights for convicts would rely on this voting base. Most prisons have a low population, but a few votes can sometimes swing an election. For example, in West Feliciana Parish, the population is 13000, and the prison population is 6,300. In this case, the candidate will run for the facility rather than the community.
The reality of hiring a convict is that people who have already committed a crime will not see the situation in the same light. Can you imagine rapists defending women? Alternatively, swindlers in charge of the state’s finances?
The advantages and disadvantages of felons voting right are skewed in favor of allowing voting them. If the aim is to rebuild people so that their place in society is fully restored, then granting them the right to vote after paying their debt is the bare minimum.