Should Convicted Felons Have the Right to Vote
Everyone has the power to exercise their rights. One of the constitutional rights is the right to vote. But, when persons commit a crime, they lose various rights. They may be imprisoned and cannot own guns. Depending on the states, some of them don’t allow to vote. In the US Constitution, it includes the provision for taking away the vote from rebellion. It claims that rebelling is associated to voting. Therefore, criminals don’t have the right to vote from someone who demoralizes the government.
What the Statistics Say
Studies have shown that most states prohibit individuals who are imprisoned from voting while serving their terms. But, after completing their parole or sentences, most of them discover that it is quite tough to restore their voting rights. Some states allow their condemned felons to vote after a waiting period while others need a pardon by the state legislature or governor. There are also some sates that ban convicted felons from voting permanently.
Condemned felons are often misled to believe that they do not have the right to suffrage. Sometimes, repressive means are used to dispirit convicted felons from voting. Most conservative groups have stated their opposition to permitting these felons to vote. Whether condemned felons should have the right to vote or not is a tough subject. People who believed that felons are criminals claimed that they should not enjoy the full rights of law abiding citizens. Others also feel that these felons are people who have made mistakes and already punished. Therefore, they should restore their rights to vote. However restoring the right to vote for convicted felons provides positive and negative impacts.
Fighting to Restore Felon Rights
Though there are some states that opt to restore the right to vote of condemned felons. There are some barriers to their restoration rights. Here are they:
Complexity of the Laws and Methods Surrounding Disenfranchisement
In most cases, it is hard to determine whose rights can be retrieved. This often varies depending on the date of the time conviction and release from prison. The complex restoration method is also quite tough. This involves lengthy paperwork, heavy documentation and coordination of various state agencies.
Restoration to Voting Rights for Ex-Offenders
The process of communicating the loss and retrieval of voting rights are not always reliable and consistent. This inconsistency can lead in uneven applications of the law.
Lack of Information
Most ex-offenders are not aware that they regain their voting rights after completion of their sentence or parole. As a result, they failed to exercise the right to vote. With their lack of knowledge, ex-offenders cannot start the method of regaining voting rights.
Under-funding of Parole Boards
Offenders need to apply to restore their right in the specific department. Then, massive backlog of application will take place. Since the agency does not have an adequate staff or resource to process the application, it requires enough time.
With your knowledge about suffrage and felons, you have a hint if convicted criminals have a chance to practice their rights or not. In case you have some relatives who had a grave crime, you can advise them on how to restore their right to vote.