Donate

Should Felons Have the Right to Vote?

| February 28, 2014 | 460 Comments
  • Share:
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Email
photo by glenngould/flickr

photo by glenngould/flickr


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #DoNowVoter

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

Most states don’t allow prisoners to vote, and some even permanently disenfranchise felons after their release. Should felons have the right to vote, and at what point?

Introduction

United States Attorney General Eric Holder recently called on states with some of the strictest voting rules to restore voting rights to felons after their release from prison.

“It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision,” said Holder during an address at Georgetown University in February. “By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.”

An estimated 5.8 million Americans — about 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions. Of those, nearly 40 percent are black. In 2010, the Sentencing Project found that nearly 8 percent of the adult black population — or 1 in 13 people — was disenfranchised. States make up their own voting rules, and in eleven of them — including Florida, Arizona and Virginia — felons can be permanently disenfranchised.

For more on this issue — including an interactive map of state felon voting laws and the percent of disenfranchised voters — check out The Lowdown.

Resource

NPR segment Voting Rights: Time To Think Differently For Those Who’ve Done Time?
Attorney General Eric Holder wants states to restore voting rights to felons after they complete their sentences. Legal analysts Spencer Overton and Hans von Spakovsky look at the debate.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowVoter

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets. You can visit our video tutorials that showcase how to use several web-based production tools. Of course, do as you can… and any contribution is most welcomed.


More Resources

PBS NewsHour video Ex-felon in Florida struggles to vote again
In the 2102 election cycle, one in ten Florida adults — and nearly one in four African Americans — will be unable to vote because of a prior felony conviction.

Huffington Post article States Deny Millions Of Ex-Felons Voting Rights
Approximately 5.8 million people’s voting rights have been taken away because of a felony conviction.

ProCon.org timeline US History of Felon Voting/Disenfranchisement
This timeline shows the history of felon voting and disenfranchisement in the United States. It begins with 1100 BC – 16th Century, ‘Civil Death’ Used as Punishment for Crime in Ancient Athens, Ancient Rome, and Medieval Europe. It goes all the way to the present day, ending with Attorney General Eric Holder’s Call for Restoration of the Vote to People Convicted of a Felony.


Explore: , , , , , , ,

Category: Do Now, Do Now: Government and Civics

  • Share:
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Email

About the Author ()

Matthew Green runs KQED’s News Education Project, a new online resource for educators and the general public to help explain the news. The project lives at kqed.org/lowdown.
  • 18kgoe

    I think that if you are in prison, parole, or probation you should not vote. Once you commit a crime is my understanding that you are now property of the state. Also, if you can’t make smart enough decisions to keep to the law, how are you going to help pick good leaders?

    • DuncanS_3BoydBence

      I disagree with you. It says in the constitution that no person is property of something else. Felons should be allowed to vote after they’re done with their punishment. Whether or not a leader is a good leader is a matter of personal opinion. Good leaders are more concerned about improving society than anything else, and some leaders are more interested in themselves than anything else. For example, Eric Holder would seem to only be concerned about getting other peoples’ votes. The article says “You don’t just lose your right to vote when you’re convicted of a felony, you lose your right to serve on a jury, you lose your right to own a gun, a Second Amendment right, you lose your right to certain kinds of public employment, like being a police officer. There was not one word in what Eric Holder said about restoring any of those other rights. Now if he really believes this will reintegrate people into society, they’ve paid their debt, why isn’t he saying anything about all of those other rights that you lose? That makes me think that he’s not really that concerned about these people as individuals. He’s just interested in getting their votes.” People that haven’t committed felonies aren’t necessarily good at picking good leaders anyway.

  • 18vmon

    I think that felons should not be allowed to vote when they are imprisoned. If and when they get out I think that they should be allowed to have their say in their government.

    • Annabelle

      I definitely agree that people who are currently incarcerated
      should not be allowed to vote because they can’t follow the rules now, so they
      should not be allowed to vote for the rules. When they get out and have served
      their time then I definitely agree that they should then be allowed to have
      their say in what happens in our government. I definitely do not agree with the
      11 states that take away their rights completely (NPR radio segment). I do
      agree with most of the “Nevada legislature passed Assembly Bill 55. Highlights
      of the new law include: For people released from parole, prison, or probation
      before July 1, 2003, the law automatically restores voting rights and the right
      to serve as a juror in a civil case. These individuals gain the right to run
      for public office after four years and can serve as a juror in a criminal case
      after six years. This applies to all former felons, regardless of the number or
      seriousness of the convictions.” (source: ProCpn.org timeline) Except for the
      fact that it automatically restores their right to vote, I do think they should
      put the effort forward to re-apply for their right. I could not agree more with
      the statement that “About 4.7 million Americans, more than 2 percent of the
      adult population, are barred from voting because of a felony conviction.
      Denying the vote to ex-offenders is antidemocratic, and undermines the nation’s
      commitment to rehabilitating people who have paid their debt to society” from
      the New York Times link below. After they have served they should not still be
      punished, people make mistakes, a lot of them learn from their mistakes but
      some don’t and will be re incarcerated and have their rights taken again, and
      that is their own fault. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/11/opinion/felons-and-the-right-to-vote.html

    • Kenny Moran

      I’m not so sure about that. While there in prison/jail yeah
      they don’t deserve a damn thing, no matter what their reason is for being
      locked up. In my opinion I guess the only way they can vote is what there
      felony was. A drug, theft, something minor is the only way I think past felons
      should be allowed to vote. if it’s something like murder, rape, anything
      intense. Then no the felon should lose his voting rights. Or at least have a
      set number of years that person is band from voting. Just remember it’s an
      opinion and an idea.

      http://www.instantcheckmate.com/?src=GLOC&mdm=search&s4=michigan+felony+list

  • 18tmon

    I think that felons should only be able to vote when they are on probation and after. I don’t think the ex-felons shouldn’t be able to vote. Some might make mistakes when they were younger and not being able to vote ever is kind of harsh.

  • 18jcol

    I think people should be allowed to vote because it says in the constitution it says that everyone is protected under the law so if they want felons parolees and probationer to not be able to vote then they should change the constitution.

  • LJE4N

    Of course felons should have the right to vote! If we want a well rounded and diverse election we have to include former convicts. They wouldn’t be voting for someone that was a former drug dealer or something, they would just select a politician to side with like how every other American does. The point of being in prison is to learn how to be a proper and well behaved citizen, no person in jail can correct their ways if their not allowed to exercise the rights that every other well behaved citizen has. Taking away privileges from prisoners and former convicts will only label them as more criminal rather than an improving American.

  • Lukep_3boydbence

    I think that everybody should be allowed the right to vote, no matter what the have done in the past or the present. When it comes to prisoners they should have the right to once they get out of jail. Its not like they are gonna vote on someone who was a drug dealer or something worse. They are just picking a politician to side with like everybody else in America does. LJE4N below makes a good point, “Taking away privileges from prisoners and former convicts will only label them as more criminal rather than an improving American.” “An estimated 5.8 million Americans — about 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” Everybody should have the right to vote.

  • Ally Dittenber

    I do believe that felons should have the right to vote. They represent the United States too. The U.S. is one of the only countries to deny past felons the ability to vote. I do agree with denying inmates and felons on probation the right to vote, but not for the rest of their lives. I find that it’s a little overkill. They may have a strong belief in something after being through jail, and now they can’t do anything about it because they messed up.

  • Trevor D.

    Not immediately after release should felons have regained the right to vote. i believe that they should have to go through some sort of probationary period and prove that they have re-earned the right and privilege to vote again. Almost 6 million Americans are stripped of their right to vote because they are convicted felons which i agree with 100% but many of these people are permanently stripped of that right which i do not agree with. Once a felon is released from prison or wherever they are being detained i feel like they should be required to go through a probationary period where they have to earn back or maybe convince a judge that they are responsible enough to attain the right to vote.

    http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/should-convicted-felons-be-allowed-to-vote-after-theyve-served-their-time/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

  • Brook Robinson

    Felons should not have the right to vote. If they have the right to vote then they would be able to do what they want in life even if it is a crime. I feel as if the victims of the felons (felons theirselves) should not be able to vote whether they are of age because that is a risk for more crime. Their vote could count for a harmful reason. Americans are trying not to have crime in the United States. Yes, the felons represent the United States but a victim of circumstance for crime should not be allowed to put their two sense in. Probation victims (felons) should be able to have the right to vote because there are only certain circumstances on which they can vote. Yes, others have a strong belief on what they have to say about certain things that are able to be voted on but felons should not have a say whatsoever on what is going on. http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-convicted-felons-retain-the-right-to-vote

    • DuncanS_3BoydBence

      I disagree with you. After their through with their punishment they should have their rights restored. Just because someones allowed to vote doesn’t mean that they’re going to commit more crimes, and keeping their rights from them makes it even more likely for them to commit more crimes. “They’ve never been shown to prevent new crimes. In fact, they increase crime. They perpetuate a stigma, they isolate people, they prevent people from reintegrating into society. The Florida Parole Commission looked at this question and they found that those who are banned from voting were three times more likely to commit crimes than those who had their voting rights restored. Ninety-five percent of prisoners in this country are eventually released. We want policies that allow those folks to integrate into society and not commit crimes.” So if you’re so concerned about crimes you should want their rights restored to them.

  • Pat Tuck

    I believe that the answer to this question is an obvious one. Of course they should have the right to vote. I don’t agree with at all that once you’re a convicted felon you may not voice your say as an American.They represent the United States just as much as anyone of us. Your basic right as an American citizen should not be taken away due to mistakes you’ve made in the past. Everyone in America is seriously encouraged to vote every year because its your right and duty as a citizen. But yet we are disallowing perfectly good American citizens from voting because they messed up? This whole idea seems a little counterproductive to me, I’d like to hear a good explanation for this law.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/11/1276732/-Holder-Felons-should-not-lose-their-voting-rights-permanently#

    • dwiltse96

      I definitely have to disagree with you pat tuck . Felons cannot follow the rules in the first place and what makes you think that they are smart enough to vote for the correct choice especially when voting new laws into place. if they do not know to abide by our simple to understand laws why should they be able to help us create and form the way we run things. in the audio it says that nearly fifty percent of felons will be back in prison after five years so really they are just a load of trouble and should not be allowed to vote EVER!!!!!! Since they are all just a bunch of criminals anyway so who really cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-convicted-felons-retain-the-right-to-vote

  • Oryonah Ross

    in my opinion felons should not have the right to vote! within saying this i also believe it depends of the degree of the felony they have been convicted. i think that if you have a felony and have been convicted of a vicious crime you should not be able to vote, because of the fact that they don’t have the right state of mind not to do a wrong and vicious crime they wont have the right state of mind to actually vote. if they have a crime like tax evasion or going to the bathroom in public. that type of crime was a mistake and probably has not a very high chance of it happening again, thus saying that they should be able to vote. Just because you make a wrong choice doesn’t mean you cant have the right to vote, but if you have the state of mind to kill someone that does not give you the right to vote
    http://www.democracysghosts.org/whyfelonsvote/whyfelonsvote.html

    • Elyssa Bolinger

      I agree with Oryonah, I believe that the right to vote should be based on intensity of the crime. But i also agree having them apply for their rights back, as the video said 11 states already do so. If one of my family members went to jail for stealing i would not take away their voting rights however, if they went to jail for murder i would never give their right to vote back. This is a topic i dont really like to get involved in because i think felons get to much freedom, for example a druck driver hit my brother on his motorcycle…he got away and got to live the rest of his life with total freedom, yeah he may have had to pay a fine or whatever, but what about my brother he didnt do anything wrong and he is the one who couldnt spend the rest of with freedom. http://www.democracysghosts.org/whyfelonsvote/whyfelonsvote.html

  • Aaron B.

    I think that felons should be allowed to vote once released from prison. I don’t see any reason to think otherwise. In the statement above where United States Attorney General Eric Holder says “these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.” I do not agree with that statement. I feel that if felons are denied the right to vote they will be less inclined to follow or be interested in politics causing them to possibly fall back onto their bad habits. If they get involved in politics I believe they have a better chance of changing their ways and attitude for the better, so they should still receive their right to vote. http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/should-convicted-felons-be-allowed-to-vote-after-theyve-served-their-time/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    • Derek Bice

      Alright listen here Aaron B. I’m going to have to disagree with you. Felons should have their right to vote taken away after they get out of prison. Think about it this way, the laws in the United States really aren’t that hard to follow. If a person isn’t intelligent enough to follow these very basic laws, then they probably don’t have the mental capacity to make a well-informed vote. Also, felons are very corruptible. So if they did have the right vote, then it would be very easy for a politician to bribe them into voting for them, thus throwing off the election.

      http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-convicted-felons-retain-the-right-to-vote

    • Matt Cleland

      I agree felons should be able to vote when they are released from prison. If you get to vote when you
      get out of prison, It helps them with get back into the world. It also helps
      the community out by making the voting base better. From the video above, it said felons not being able to vote
      will most likely do a crime again. I think if they do not get to vote they do
      not feel like they have all the rights of a U.S citizen and that makes them
      feel different so they go out a commit another crime.If they don’t vote it
      is bad for The U.S because they lose votes.

      http://www.democracysghosts.org/whyfelonsvote/whyfelonsvote.html

    • Jeremy H.

      Well Aaron i have to disagree with you, felons shouldn’t be allowed to vote. While some see it as an injustice by barring felons from voting they really have no reason. The argument made that because they cant vote they a more likely to commit crimes makes no sense. If they did drugs, evaded taxes, or murdered someone voting was probably the last thing on their mind. So I’m pretty sure coming back into society they are either rehabilitated or not, voting for new bill isn’t going to make them change. Say we give it to them, allow them to vote, would they use it. Only 58% of the population actually votes, a majority of that being people of the older generation, which are for the most part not the ones in jail. Taking this into consideration most of them wouldn’t vote to begin with. http://elections.gmu.edu/Turnout_2012G.html

      Even so, the ways in which you can be charged as felon are pretty easy to avoid. Illegal drugs, murder, all of them being easy to avoid except the questionable manslaughter charges, but that a problem with felon itself, not voting rights. If you break these simple laws that are so easy to follow, how could you possibly be able to make decisions on the future of society.

  • Mark Smith

    I believe that felons
    should have the right to vote as soon as they are released from prison.
    Once released, they should be given a chance to take a fresh start.
    They shouldn’t have to continually live with restrictions as a result of
    mistakes they made in the past. In fact, research shows that being an
    active participant in the political system indeed helps former felons with
    rehabilitation. It is a crucial step in allowing them to start a healthy
    life and leave behind their darker past. They
    have served their time and made payment for their crimes, and should not be
    denied their rights as a result of prior mistakes. http://www.democracysghosts.org/whyfelonsvote/whyfelonsvote.html‎

  • Forrestofthetrees420

    I feel like prisoners and repeat offenders should lose the right to vote. Because they did that to themselves. But what say a completely rehabilitated convict? Should he/she lose the right to vote only because he made a mistake. Prisoners cannot fix their mistakes, but they can always move forward, and become a more productive member of American society, and being a productive member of American society usually requires the right to vote. Felons should have the right to vote, because everyone has a voice. But, repeat offenders should get screened before a voter reinstatement, or maybe permanently disenfranchised. only in an extreme situation. But, any active member of society should have the right to vote.

    • DennisS_2boydbence

      I totally agree with you. Repeat offenders and people currently in prison don’t have the rights anymore, but people who have committed one crime have made a mistake that they didn’t go out of their way to do. As long as they have the potential to help society, they should have the ability to keep voting.

  • t’ohno’pain

    should we rethink the idea about letting felons vote after the have done there time. Well my thought on this is that i think they should maybe earn there right back. not letting them do it for the rest of there lives does seem a little harsh. But giving them that right to vote imedility would be to easy, they wouldn’t learn there lesson. I say after a certain amount of time depending on there crime and how severe it was should determine how long this right should be taken away. i know that each state has its own different views and laws on this subject. But i believe that they can earn this basic right as a american citizen back. Because its our duty to vote.

    http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • Kat VanHuis

      i agree.

      felons should earn the right back. they are still part of the US and deserve as much right as a human being should. they have to live in the country too. every single person deserves another chance. if earned correctly i think they should have the right to vote. in the video above, they talked about after 3 years people could ask for there right back in 11 states. and 5 years in some of those 11 for more serious felonies. there has to be something for people to do to earn their right back. even if it means community service, volunteer work, and staying of parole. they should earn it.its super harsh to just give up on a person.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/21/stateline-voting-rights-for-felons/5675327/

  • Katie Wilson

    I
    believe that felons should have the right to vote because they will be affected
    by the future, whether they are in prison or not. “About 2.5 percent of the
    nation’s voting age population – are denied the right to vote because of
    current or previous felony convictions” (Source: KQED). When convicted of a crime, one does not lose
    their citizenship, therefor, should not lose their right to vote. The ability
    to vote gives people the opportunity to choose a path in which they would like
    to see America take. Felons could be in prison for life, or could be in for a
    few years. They should still have the opportunity to vote to state their
    opinion on who should lead America. “Thirty-five states
    prohibit at least some people from voting after they have been released from
    prison.” (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/11/opinion/felons-and-the-right-to-vote.html).
    In some states, even after released from prison, felons can’t regain their
    right to vote. How is that fair? They served the time they were sentenced and
    now are free living in America, so they should have the right to vote for who
    leads America.

    • jfk

      a felon that has commited a serious crime against the united states shouldnt be allowed to vote. they are considerd a threat to society and theirfor shouldnt be allowed to influence who represents us. as a felon they dont agree with the norms of soceity. they will more than likely vote for canidate who is more like them. thus they will be more likly to corupt the government. in the article attached is explains how someone who can and does vote has responsibility and has morals a felon has none of these. if we allow felons to vote than we might as well allow children and the mentally challenged to vote.. thirefor only those who are in control of their lives and can handle responsiblity should be allowed to vote. by limiting who can vote might also possibly help eliminate those that are incapable of doing the job from getting elected. A.K.A obama

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/opinion/why-felons-shouldnt-vote.html?_r=0

      • CJ_Bute2boydbence

        I agree with you JFK that felons should not get the right to vote. In the article it stated that “An estimated 5.8 million Americans — about 2.5
        percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to
        vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” Which means if 2.5 prisoners have been denied the right to vote, then how can we trust the rest of the prisoners with something so important.

      • BellaP_3boydbence

        I disagree with you completely. I believe that they should be allowed to vote, why would you take that right away from them because they made a mistake? Have you ever thought that maybe some people are in jail and they didn’t even commit a crime. They were just wrongfully accused. Plus if they did their time and they were let out it means that the people who assessed them say that they are ready to be trusted and ready to go back into society. I think we should allow them to vote.

      • Brandon Burlison

        I agree with you jfk i believe in the same principle that felons shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they are more corrupt than the average person

      • ColeW_4BoydBence

        The felons in jail shouldn’t be able to vote because they deserve the punishment. They don’t deserve a say in the society outside of the cell. Until they are clean and on probation outside of the cells.

      • Daniel K Period_2 Shuttle

        I agree with this. According to an article, “there are more than 2 states that completely ban felons to vote”. I do not believe that these states would block them out for no reason. Felons have started something that they chose to do, not what they didn’t. Being stuck in a dark cell for what they have committed can change the thoughts of one self.

      • Claire S 2

        However, you seem to forget that the government makes mistakes too, and it is possible that a lot of these “felons” could be unfairly put in prison, too.
        Granted, I know not all of them are like that, but why should we punish people and remove their right to vote? It’s a right, as stated in all of the amendments related to voting, and as long as you’re a citizen of the United States, your rights can’t be taken away.
        Besides, if felons are thrown in jail all the time after being caught, why would running for President even be a good idea? Too much publicity and importance on someone corrupt would easily get them caught for doing illegal things, or anything of the sort.

      • SpencerH_4

        I disagree. statistics show that 77% of felons living in states that allow them to vote go off living a normal life and having no more major conflicts with the law. if were trying to make them normal again this is an amazing thing to give back to them. just seeing the such high percentages with the felons having a normal life makes me want to start somthing to have every state let them vote!

      • SydneyA_Per4_BoydBence

        I agree with you. If felons can’t even follow the simple laws that the country sets for them, then why should they get the simple right to vote? Although I think that after they have done their parole and have a clean slate,then they should get that right back.

      • Lbateman_2boydbence

        I agree with you that the felons mind may be corrupted when they would go to vote, but I also think that they should regain their voting right once they are released.

      • JacobG_2_BoydBence

        I %100 agree with you, they should not be allowed to vote nor should they get a say while in or out of jail. If they do a crime we don’t want them to represent others while a convict. Its there fault for making the crimes that they did.

        • corrina cowden

          @KQEDedspace i disagree most people is jail or prison are very very intelligent and when they make a crime it is for some dumb reason or over a life choice. About 30% of the people the goes to prison or jail realize what they have done wrong and want to change their life around. so i believe that that some not all people should get their rights back. #DoNowVoter #davisss

    • NateDawg

      I agree with you that Felons should have the right to vote, both in jail and once they are out of jail. The reason being for this is although they have broken and laws, or very possibly were wrongly accused, that doesn’t make them even close to necessarily unintelligent. It actually could and probably does give them a leg up on truly being an informed voter. How many U.S. citizens who vote every year have seen the “other side” and are truly educated on one of the most major issues they vote about? I am of course referring to all of the votes that concern jail related issues/conditions, etc. According to http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/07/black-vote-felon-disenfranchisement-laws-florida , nearly 6 million Americans can’t vote because they are convicted felons. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/felon-voting-rights_n_1924535.html reports the same data. Just imagine how much of an impact 6 million more votes would have on our culture and politics. People can only make a truly educated decision and opinion on something if they have experienced it themselves. In a very specific way, votes from convicted felons could be more valuable than those of law-abiding citizens.

      • Lukep_3boydbence

        You make a very good point. Felons should have the right to vote, both in jail and once out of it. If 6 million Americans can’t vote cause they are convicted felons. They would have an impact, would it really be that big? We wouldn’t know cause we arent letting them vote. Arizona has the policy where if you only did one felony then your rights would be restored after time. If all states had that policy then perhaps those 6 million Americans could be able to vote. “An estimated 5.8 million Americans — about 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” If that was reduced then more would be able to vote and we could have more input into the voting and hear what they think.

      • BellaP_3boydbence

        I agree totally with you, they shouldn’t be taken away the right to vote. As you said they are not unintelligent, they just made a mistake that made them end up in jail. For all we know they could be one of the smartest people ever who made a huge mistake. They should be able to vote and the fact that 6 million Americans can’t vote is rediculous and that shouldn’t be the case. Everyone has rights, so why take them away even if they made a mistake?

      • Claire S 2

        Exactly. They aren’t unintelligent individuals. Even if a majority of them didn’t finish schooling, their opinions still matter, and they could overall help us to settle disputes or something else. 6 million is a huge number, and if we got 6 million more voters, there would definitely be a difference in voting and issues could actually maybe be resolved faster!

      • Maeve_K_Period2

        Nate, I agree with you. 6 more million votes would make a huge impact on our politics. I think that by giving a convict the right to vote, It allows them to keep a sense of normalcy when locked in a cell. It gives them something to look forward to be a part of for when they finish their jail time.

    • Julie_B_2_BenceBoyd

      Katie Wilson said “felons should have the right to vote because they will be affected by the future, whether they are in prison or not”. I can see your logic behind your opinion but not you think by giving felons the ability to vote will affect our future more than theirs. Most felons will live their lives in prison for breaking the law and won’t really get affected. If you give them the ability to vote you are giving them the ability to affect our futures, not just theirs. You must remember voting is a privilege, not a right. Think of this, the privilege to vote is a piece of candy and your a little kid. To get a piece of candy you must be good and not bad. When your good you get a piece of candy and when your bad you go to time-out and don’t get a piece of candy. By giving felons the ability to vote your basically giving the little kid that wasn’t good a piece of candy when they didn’t deserve it. I don’t think we should give felons the ability to vote because they don’t deserve that power for breaking the law(little kid being bad).

    • ChristineP_4BoydBence

      I disagree with you, Katie. You have logic in your statement, but when you abuse a right or privilege it is taken away from you. We all make mistakes, but this affects the entire nation, not just that person.

    • ColeW_4BoydBence

      Katie Wilson I believe they shouldn’t have the right while in jail but once they are clean they would gain back their rights an should be able to vote.

    • GianS_Per2_BoydBence

      I disagree, Katie. You have logical reasoning behind your answer, but I can’t say I agree with it. We aren’t teaching them a lesson if we let them vote right after they have been released. We are giving them a wrong message: Hey, it’s okay to keep breaking the law. We just get back all of our privileges and rights anyway! However, some are willing to change and I recognize that fact. They have served their time, but many do not learn their lesson and go back to repeating crimes again. Giving them that privilege of voting can affect the entire population’s future.

    • emily_p_2shuttle

      I agree with you. The amendments in the constitution are our “unalienable rights.” They can NOT be taken away no matter what. It is a right to vote not a privilege. Just because they are in jail doesn’t make them any less of a citizen. “States make up their own voting rules, and in eleven of them — including Florida, Arizona and Virginia — felons can be permanently disenfranchised.” They can not be disenfranchised, otherwise you are taking away one of their unalienable rights.

    • Tclark-2boydbence

      Katie,

      I agree that felons should not permanently lose their right to vote. After serving time and keeping a clean record after their time in jail they should be able to vote again. Keeping away rights might just make them rebel more, but giving felons something to work towards and be productive could help lessen the amount of repeat offenders. Here is the link to a voki I made discussing this issue. http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=9492158&height=267&width=200

      • Tateeana Ibarra

        @KQEDespace
        I disagree I do not think that felons should be able to vote. Why would you want to put our future in their hands?? If they cared about voting then they should have never committed a crime.
        #DoNowVoter
        #davisss

    • Brandon Burlison

      Katie i dont agree with you on the idea of felons should be able to vote because they made a bad choice to land them in jail so whats to say they aren’t going to make a bad choice when voting and later on in life

      • AlexW_2boydbence

        I agree, Now it’s bad choices later in life, then it’s repealing laws, and then total anarchy.

    • Riley_R_1BoydBence

      I don’t agree with you. I think when they get put in jail, their rights should be taken away. The only way they should be able to earn them back is to prove their worth after they get off of their parol.

    • TrinityS_Per3_BoydBence

      I agree that felons should get that right, and although I never looked at it that way, I see what you’re saying about them being as equally affected by the future as us. After all, we’re all still people. But I think that while they’re serving their time, that they should hold off. I’ve never been to prison and don’t plan on going in the near future, but I see it as a place of rehabilitation and while people are there, they might not make decisions that they would usually make, ending up with a different outcome for our country. But right after they serve their time, they can go right back and vote. There’s another site that I found which should probably be saved for another discussion, and that’s if voting is actually a right. In the video, you take a closer look at the Constitution and the voting part doesn’t appear to be included. Thank you for your opinions, I really enjoyed looking at your sources and numbers!
      Video: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/opinion/the-right-to-vote.html?_r=0

    • Shemar_D_2BoydBence

      I partially disagree with you, they should not have the right to vote while currently in prison. Its like they are still part of the outside world. Also so much drama and violence could occur from allowing them to vote. Also they don’t have much contact with the outside world with their limited TV and articles they don’t know much about politics and they would just vote to vote.

    • Claire S 2

      I agree! They will definitely be affected by the future, and while they may not be completely attached to society due to outside means, their opinion on important matters do mean something to society.

    • AshmeetS_3BoydBence

      I agree with you, Felons should be allowed to vote and I also liked your evidence “About 2.5 percent of thenation’s voting age population – are denied the right to vote because of
      current or previous felony convictions” (Source: KQED). When convicted of a crime, one does not lose
      their citizenship, therefor, should not lose their right to vote. The ability
      to vote gives people the opportunity to choose a path in which they would like to see America take. I really like that.

    • LawsonZ_3BoydBence

      First off they defiantly should not be allowed to vote while still in their sentence. But after that if they are not allowed to all of those states have ways for them to vote again. This just shows that if they wanted to vote then they would.

    • SpencerH_4

      I agree with you! statistics show that felons living in the states that allow them to vote live a non conflict life with the law. compared to the states that don’t allow them to vote that has 86% of them coming back to jail. If we want to make these people back to normal give them one of the most common rights back.

    • ClaireG_4boydbence

      Katie, I disagree. Felons should not have the privilege to vote while in prison. One of the consequences while in prison is that some of your rights and privileges as a citizen of the United States are revoked, because you disobeyed the law. However, if probation goes well and depending on the crime, the privilege to vote could possibly be given back. I think an important factor is what crime was committed and if they are a repeat offender.

      • corrina cowden

        @KQEDedspace i agree i think that people should not have the right to vote in prison or jail. If the person gets released from prison depending on how bad the crime was his/her request may be denied or accepted. I believe if the person has been sent back to jail or prison more than once than they should be automatically denied to get their rights back.#DoNowVote #davisss

    • SydneyA_Per4_BoydBence

      Katie I disagree. I think felons shouldn’t get the right to vote. Why should they get the right the vote when they can’t even follow the law that the country sets out for the. It is like a child being grounded, their privileges get taken away. I think the same concept should be for felons. After they have finished their parole they can get their rights back.

    • Maeve_K_Period2

      Katie, I completely agree with you. You make a very valid point that if they don’t loose their citizenship, the they shouldn’t loose their right to vote. And also that they may be affected by the results of the polls later in their life.

    • Lbateman_2boydbence

      I disagree with you because voting is a privilege and the prisoners minds would most likely be set on getting out of prison and make the wrong choise

    • JacobG_2_BoydBence

      I disagree with you, Why should they be able to vote while in prison? It wont matter cause either way they are still in prison and there vote wont matter in my opinion. If they are not apart of the outside world then they should not be able to vote while in jail.

    • MaxP_3boyd_bence

      I somewhat agree with you. Felons should have the right to vote if only they have been convicted of a misdemeanor and serve term of incarceration + parole + probation. But if they are convicted of a felon then they should lose the right to vote. It is a consequence that people face if they make the decision to commit a felony.

      This link shows what states think about convicted felons voting.
      http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • AlexW_2boydbence

      I disagree because if felons can vote during or right after sentencing, they can vote for a president that brings total anarchy. That’s why kids can’t vote.

      • Bryan Hellios

        Would the 5 million felon’s voices, which make up less than 2 percent of the population of our Country, really be able to “bring total anarchy?”

    • CallieH_2BoydBence

      If they’re in for life, they are not in society. Why should they have that right when they’re not living in it with everyone else? I understand the fact that some are released, but how do we determine they’re not doing more crimes, doing more things that are law-breaking? Plenty of criminals are never caught. How do we sort out the reformed felons, and while they are living in society, how do we keep track of them? How do we control things? There are cases of accidental conviction, but how do we determine that if the evidence is 15 years old and trace evidence has been cleaned away? Now, I personally am not a fan of government legislation of everything out there on this side of the sun, but how do we keep it consistent with new changes, laws, regulations, politicians? So, I guess what I’m trying to say is how would we organize and keep it clean and trimmed?

    • ChristenW_BoydBence

      Let’s say the worst happened and you were murdered, raped or stolen from by some nasty brute. Averagely when people murder or rape they are given life sentences. Are you telling me you want that person to able to vote on who is going to lead you?

  • Samantha_M

    I think that felons
    should be able to vote. They are still part of the U.S. and are citizens. Just
    because they have made a few bad life choices doesn’t mean you should take away
    their right to vote. Although while in jail their right should be revoked. When
    they get out, and if they are released on probation they should be able to vote.
    People can change their way of life, and become a good person. Maybe they
    regret what ever happened, and had time to think about it and become a better
    person. So yes I believe they should have the right to vote. http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

  • Chase L

    Asking if a felon should have the right to vote should not be a question. Would you say the same to an illegal immigrant?
    One isn’t a citizen but neither has followed the law. The ability to vote is a
    right and the foundation of a democracy. On a more intimate level though there
    is a difference between someone that is serving a life time sentence or a
    couple year sentence. A person that isn’t convicted for a life time sentence
    should have the ability to restore their voting rights after parole and
    probation.

    You can’t vote for laws when you don’t already abide them.

    • Josh

      Chase I think it’s interesting your comment at the end. It makes me think. I don’t have a problem with having them regain their voting rights. I think the waiting period of a few years is a good idea and should be done to have an automatic restoration of the right to vote, if they want to take initiative to file an appeal for early restoration then they can. As mentioned in the video 30-40% of felons are repeat offenders. If they can show that they are making a effort to reintegrate into society and haven’t been a repeat offender then they can have their rights again. According to http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286 In Michigan reinstates the rights after the term of incarceration is over.

    • Ashton Walker

      I disagree. If someone is legal and is an American citizen
      they should have the right to vote, even if they are behind bars. Even if you
      break the law and are locked up, you still are a citizen of the United States
      and therefore you still have the right to vote. Just because you made a mistake
      and went to prison doesn’t mean you still don’t deserve a say in the country
      that you live in. Every citizen that is born in the United States is born with rights;
      the right to vote is one. You can’t simply deny them the right because they are
      currently or have been in prison. http://www.democracysghosts.org/whyfelonsvote/whyfelonsvote.html

      • Luke_A_Period3

        It is my belief that someone who is locked up in prison can not determine what is best for America. Especially when felons do not know what is going on outside of their prison cell. When felons are convicted they lose the rights that they are born with. Felons lose the right to walk the streets, travel, see family, cook their own food, determine their own life. The liberties that we are born with include, but are not limited to, “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.” All of these things are lost when you are found guilty of a felony. That being said, certain felons should have the right to vote after prison, but non ought to have the right to cast a ballot while serving their sentence. Judges determine prison time during sentencing, they should also determine length of the voting ban.

      • madisono-2boydbence

        Ashton,

        I somewhat agree with you. I believe that they former criminals should have the right to vote but with certain regulations. For example, after being released, they should have a waiting period before they can regain rights and then if they have committed multiple offenses then they should have to have a sort of application process so we can evaluate if they should be trusted with the “fate” of our country. Having these regulations will help point out who is determined and really values their rights that they have as well as many other aspects.

        This website has a chart that shows what laws each state has.
        http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

      • ESigler-2boydbence

        Ashton, I agree with most of that.
        I agree that we are all American citizens, but if they are behind bars, but I don;t know if I would want someone behind bars voting for something that could possibly affect my life and my living environment.
        But, once they have done their time, learned their lesson, and moved on, I feel like that would then be okay for them to vote again.

      • ColinB_3BoydBence

        I disagree with you because even if they are americans and behind bars doesn’t take the fact away that they did break a law that took the privilege away from them in the first place. But i do believe that after they get out of jail and have learned there lesson, I think that then is a good opportunity to restore there voting rights back into use.

      • ChristineP_4BoydBence

        I disagree with you. They are Americans, but they broke the law. Would you let an illegal immigrant vote? No. They both broke the law. If you don’t abide by the law, you don’t get to help make them.

      • ChristineP_4BoydBence

        I disagree. They are Americans, but they broke the law. Would you let an illegal immigrant vote? No. If you don’t abide by the laws, you don’t get to help make them.

      • ChristineP_4BoydBence

        Would you let an illegal immigrant vote? No. i disagree with you. Even if they are Americans, they didn’t abide by the law. If you can’t follow the rules, you can’t help make them.

      • ChristineP_4BoydBence

        Would you let an illegal immigrant vote? No. i disagree with you. Even if they are Americans, they didn’t abide by the law. If you can’t follow the rules, you can’t help make them…

      • ChristineP_4BoydBence

        Would you let an illegal immigrant vote? No. i disagree with you. Even if they are Americans, they didn’t abide by the law. If you can’t follow the rules, you can’t help make them.

      • AndreaO_per4_BoydBence

        I agree, even though they committed a crime they are still american citizen and they deserve the right to vote for their won country. It doesn’t matter if they are in prison or not they deserve the right to vote.

      • Dylan_L_period3Bence/Boyd

        No. Criminals should not have the right to vote if the crime is bad enough. Like murderers should not be able to choose leaders of our country. Burglars should be given their right back to them.

      • GianS_Per2_BoydBence

        I disagree. They are a citizen, but they have abused their rights and privileges. I feel that some felons have the right to vote, based on if they have proved their willingness in the community and the severity of the crime. Nobody is perfect; but you can’t just forget how some of the mistakes they committed were heinous crimes.

      • ClaireG_4boydbence

        Ashton, I somewhat agree with you, but also disagree with you. First of all, citizens of the United States of America have the privilege to vote, not the right. Therefore, if a citizen does not abide by the law, their privileges and some rights are taken away. One of those privileges is voting. You said “Just because you made a mistake and went to prison doesn’t mean you still don’t deserve a say in the country that you live in,” I agree with you on this but I believe they should only have a say after they have proved themselves. A privilege is something earned, so they have to earn this privilege again. I believe that after they are released from prison and if they did not have any problems during probation, they can have their privilege to vote back, depending on the crime committed. A peer of mine responded to you as well and in his response he stated, “Judges determine prison time during sentencing, they should also determine length of the voting ban,” and I cannot agree more.

      • emily_p_2shuttle

        I agree with you mostly. I think that they shouldn’t be allowed to vote while in jail, but they should be able to the minute they step out. When they release somebody it means that the police and a lot of other people feel like that person has changed and can be out in the world again. They shouldn’t be restricted because they were in jail. They could be angered that they had their rights taken away from them. IN the article it says, “By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.” So why should we risk that?

      • LillyC_Per3_BoydBence

        I agree with you I think that if you are a legal citizen of the United states you should still be able to voice your opinion and vote.It is supposed to be a right for everyone and yet we don’t all have it. This info graph even shows that.

      • Luke_A_Period3

        It is my belief that someone who is locked up in prison can not determine what is best for America. Especially when felons do not know what is going on outside of their prison cell. When felons are convicted they lose the rights that they are born with. Felons lose the right to walk the streets, travel, see family, cook their own food, determine their own life. The liberties that we are born with include, but are not limited to, “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.” All of these things are lost when you are found guilty of a felony. That being said, certain felons should have the right to vote after prison, but non ought to have the right to cast a ballot while serving their sentence. Judges determine prison time during sentencing, they should also determine length of the voting ban. I read this article, which discusses recidivism very in depth. According to the study done, 67% of offenders were arrested again for a very serious crime, and 52% went back to prison for breaking the rules after being released. The system I have proposed would make sure that the criminals who stay out of court earn their rights, and the criminals that end up back in prison, will try again after being released. http://www.crimeinamerica.net/2010/09/29/percent-of-released-prisoners-returning-to-incarceration/

      • JacobG_2_BoydBence

        I disagree with you, The reason they are behind bars is because they committed an act of crime and what good would it do to let them vote?
        These crimes are not mistakes there act of breaking the law and the fellon knows that they are doing it. Plus what good would it do to let them vote while in prison? There in there for a reason. And these privileges such as voting, should be taken away

    • Joe LeBlanc

      Yes it makes sense if you can’t abide by the laws you shouldn’t be able to vote, but everyone makes mistakes. What about second chances? Nobody is perfect, and there is always the exception when somebody is convicted for a felony they didn’t commit, or there is some other weird situation for which they were charged with the felony in the first place. I think all states should have a policy like Arizona where if you have just one felony, your rights are automatically restored after a certain amount of time. If you have two felonies, your case must be reviewed before you are allowed to have your voting rights back.

      http://www.acluaz.org/get-help/restore-your-voting-rights

      • swannigan Christian

        i agree with u completly

      • madisono-2boydbence

        Joe,
        I agree with you, nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. So, if proven trustworthy and determined then, you should be able to regain your rights. I like the rule that you mentioned, “…states should have a policy like Arizona where if you have just one felony, your rights are automatically restored after a certain amount of time. If you have two felonies, your case must be reviewed before you are allowed to have your voting rights back.” But this question stills remains, after two felonies can you regain your voting rights back. In my opinion, they should at least have a chance to do so. That may mean having a waiting period, which was mentioned in the NPR radio segment. Along with more regulation to insure that it would be reasonable to restore the rights of this person.
        This link explains the law that Arizona has for felons and regaining rights. http://www.acluaz.org/get-help/restore-your-voting-rights

      • Jacob_W_Period3

        I completely disagree with you. Voting is a right to every single person who is over 18 and an American single. Prison does not need to change that. You can’t deny that voting is legal. Sure maybe have a felony limit but in the end Voting is something that every American citizen has the right to. The rules of the constitution convicted them but they should be able to vote on the government that made that document.

      • Lukep_3boydbence

        I agree with you Joe, Why not give people second chances? Everybody makes mistakes. Like you said”policy like Arizona where if you have just one felony, your rights are automatically restored after a certain amount of time. If you have two felonies, your case must be reviewed before you are allowed to have your voting rights back.” That is a good way to solve this. If all states had a policy like Arizona then everything would be fine.

      • ESigler-2boydbence

        Joe, I agree with you.
        We are all just human. There is such a thing as an accidental felony. If someone makes a mistake, they shouldn’t have to be reminded of it every day of their lives. Everyone should have the right to start over and make things up. We are called “Land of the Free” for a reason.
        America demands equality but refuses to give it.

      • CarlosR_3BoydBence

        I agree with you, the amount of people who can’t vote in the U.S. is around 6 million and just increasing. According to this chart from http://felonvoting.procon.org/ the number of people is huge. I don’t they should get their right to vote taken away from them forever, but there should be an amount of time you can get it back.

      • Olivia

        I couldn’t agree with you more. All states definitely should have a policy like Arizona, or just a policy in general.

      • ChristineP_4BoydBence

        I disagree with you. In a article I read it stated that “criminals are easily deceived and would most likely believewhatever they heard.” I know they have false convictions but some people are put on death row for false convictions. If an entire jury believes they did it and there is evidence against them, they took part in it. No voting if you can’t abide by the law.

      • Dylan_L_period3Bence/Boyd

        I don’t think second chances apply to murder and rape. Now if stealing were the only crime in the world than maybe we could give second chances. So no everything would not be “fine” like it is in Arizona.

      • GianS_Per2_BoydBence

        I agree, Joe. We are all just human beings and we do make mistakes. But you cannot overlook involuntary manslaughter, for instance. Like you stated, if you can’t follow the laws of society, why should you be given the privilege to vote?

      • emily_p_2shuttle

        I think that you are right. Felons are still citizens. Just because they are in jail doesn’t mean they are any less of a citizen. Voting is a right ( something that can not be taken away). Eric Holder says, ” “By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.” These people could be so angered that their rights have been taken away, that they may want to commit another crime. Why would we want to risk that?

      • PeytonP_4BoydBence

        Joe, I agree with what you’ve said about how the 50 states should do as Arizona does because that policy makes sense. It’s not fair that felons don’t get a second chance, but if they continue to not follow the law they should not have another chance.

      • trevorosterhout bence boyd

        i agree with you completely everyone make mistakes and should one mistake take away your voice in government and take away your voting privilege i say no

      • JasminR_3BoydBence

        I agree with you. “5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote
        because of a past felony conviction”(fairvote.org). Have the “one felony” policy like you said sound fair. The felony has served their time and have proven that they can obey the laws states would restore their right to vote.

      • MadelynR_3boydbence

        I agree Joe everyone makes mistakes and should be able to get a second change by getting there voting rights back.

    • daniel j. eberhart

      I agree with chase, every person should have the right to vote. it is a shame that 11 out or 50 states restrict post felon voting rights. Eric Holder of the Washington post believes the “current laws forbidding felons from voting make it harder for them to reintegrate into society.”
      It is not fair to restrict a law breaker, without giving them a voice in what the laws should be. its like our modern day “no taxation, without representation.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/eric-holder-makes-case-for-felons-to-get-voting-rights-back/2014/02/11/b0556492-932b-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html

      http://blogs.kqed.org/education/2014/02/28/should-felons-have-the-right-to-vote/

    • swannigan Christian

      i completly agree with u i think these to things go closely together #davisss

    • Julie_B_2_BenceBoyd

      Chase, I get how your feeling when you say “A person that isn’t convicted for a life time sentence should have the ability to restore their voting rights after parole and probation” but voting is a privilege and one should get that privilege back when you become productive in society again(you have a job, maybe a partner, and you have a steady income)? Voting is a privilege and not a right. Don’t you think that some one would have to redeem themselves from breaking the law to get that privilege back? Why would you let someone who broke the law vote for laws when they might break the laws again.

    • Jacob_W_Period3

      Why should voting be restricted to felons. That is something that is a right to every single American citizen over 18. Why should it be restricted against criminals. Everyone in America should get a say in who will be what. Maybe felons could help to push the voting in favor of what could become the better contender. Felons should be able to vote. I mean it is legal right?

    • ESigler-2boydbence

      Chase, I understand where you are coming from. Why should someone who doesn’t obey the laws be able to vote?
      But if you ask me, they have already paid their consequence. As the podcast has stated, it is wrong to not allow criminals who have paid their times to re build their lives.

    • Jae Hun

      I agree with the point that person who is convicted for a life time sentence should have ability to get their right to vote back. I believe that voting is a privilege that person gets as a citizen of a country. I think voting should be allowed to anyone because voting is about how everyone thinks.

      • BarrettC-3periodboydbence

        Jae Hun, I agree. ” The number of Americans who have lost their vote due to a conviction has spiked dramatically over the decades, from about 1.2 million in 1976 to 3.3 million in 1996, to more than 5.85 million in 2010, according to a report from the group.” All of those people lost their votes because of a crime they did. No matter how many criminals we have, no matter how bad their crime was. They should still have their right to vote. But only when they have learned their lesson. That’s when they deserve their second chance. But if they keep on doing crimes over and over and over again. Then they just lost our trust that they deserve another chance.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/felon-voting-rights_n_1924535.html

      • CallieH_2BoydBence

        Good point. However, an illegal immigrant is an illegal immigrant. The felon may be an actual citizen, and there is a difference between the amount of sentence served, but should we be giving these people a second chance? True the charges can be different degrees, but they broke the law. As for a lifetime sentence, why? They are in there for life. They are not out in society. We are the ones that are living in the proverbial real world and are the ones that are making our own living rather than mooching off public funds. Why should they have that right of they don’t live out here and are a contributing member of society?

      • MarcusO_Per4_BoydBence

        I think i’m going to have to disagree with what you’ve said. If a person were to commit a serious of enough crime to get life they most have done something horrid, and if that’s true they should be punished for it. Not being allowed to vote is one of those things. (If they do not abide by the laws themselves, why should they be allowed to make them by voting for representatives?)

    • Ryan_R_2

      Chase, I disagree with you. I think convicted felons should still have the right to vote because they are still affected by the choices of politicians. Felons are still affected by laws made by politicians. Laws could be made about the court system or anything else that might have an impact on their lives.

      • Olivia

        I agree with you. I also think that the felons should have to show good behavior and get back on their feet before restoring the rights they basically took away from themselves.

        • BellaP_3boydbence

          What about when they step out of jail? I think if they are making an effort to get their stuff together and get out of jail then they shouldn’t get their right to vote taken away. Do you agree with this?

        • trevorosterhout bence boyd

          Yes I agree they should make sure they are doing good in the
          world before they restore voting right but no one should have no voice in government

      • Kyle_C_3boydbence

        I completely agree with you. Felons are still human beings and are still affected by all the laws that congress past its not like they don’t exist anymore because they do. They all still have opinions too and different beliefs. But also I don’t think they should have the right to vote in jail. And then when they are out of jail they can slowly have their rights back once they show the government that they are worthy.

    • taylor_w_2nd

      Chase, I agree completely. These prisoners became prisoners by not abiding by the very laws that they now want to vote on. I strongly believe that prisoners should have to earn their right to vote back and then apply to receive it. These felons have already taken too much away from people who have done no wrong, so they should not be given the opportunity to do so more, until deemed trustworthy not to.

    • ColinB_3BoydBence

      I agree with you because if a felon had the right to vote while they were in jail because in would mess up the foundation, but also i think a waiting period of time for being able to vote would be a good way because they might not have learned there lesson yet and it would be inappropriate to restore there rights that were taken immanently afterwards.

    • Dylan_L_period3Bence/Boyd

      I understand where you are coming from, but I just don’t believe it is correct. Why should a felon get the right to vote back? They wanted to be morons and commit a crime so they have to live with the consequences. I don’t want someone whose judgement is clouded choosing my countries leaders.

    • BarrettC-3periodboydbence

      Chase I agree with your words, but there is one thing I have against it. “You can’t vote for laws when you don’t already abide them.” Once they did their crime, yes you would think they shouldn’t vote. But after they did their time and past probation/parole, I think they would of learned their lesson and should be given a second chance. But if you keep on doing crimes over and over again, then I would totally agree with your words. In this article, in the intro, this man has done many crimes consistently until it finally got to a point to him. But when he stopped he had a terrible time finding jobs and voting.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/felon-voting-rights_n_1924535.html

    • AndreaO_per4_BoydBence

      Why shouldn’t they be allowed to vote? Yes, they have not obeyed the law but still they deserve the right to vote because they belong to the country, it doesn’t matter if they are in jail or if their sentence has finished they deserve the right to make decisions for their own country.

    • taylors_4boydbence

      i agree strongly with your last line “You can’t vote for laws when you don’t already abide them” once you get out of prison then i think it would be ok to vote but if your in jail your there to be punished and you shouldn’t be able to vote!

    • emily_p_2shuttle

      I see what you are saying, but I disagree. Yes, they have broken the law, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Eric Holder said that it was time to “fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision.” They were released from jail, which means that the people who enforce the law think that they are good to go. If they are good to leave jail then they should be good to vote.

      • trevorosterhout bence boyd

        i totally agree with you because they are still citizens and still should have the right to vote

    • Kyle_C_3boydbence

      But the thing is Chase is voting a right or a privilege that is where the whole debate is. I think they should be able to vote but not instantly right as they get out of jail but just slowly get things back. Which I agree with you that some people should not be able to vote but everyone is different and has different opinions. So everyone should get their rights back but its only a matter of time.

    • PeytonP_4BoydBence

      Like you said, voting is a right, which means its not a privilege. Even if someone is behind bars they deserve to vote. They will be affected by the laws too so they need to have a say in what happens. I disagree with what you said because these people deserve the right to vote.

    • Riley_R_1BoydBence

      I agree with you. Felons shouldn’t be able to vote for laws because they aren’t abiding by them themselves. If they did abide by the laws, then they wouldn’t be in jail and they would be able to vote. A Felon should have all of their rights taken, except for the 9th amendment rights, once they are in jail. They should be able to earn them back after they get off of their parole and probation though.

    • TrinityS_Per3_BoydBence

      Interesting way of looking at it, and I’m not sure if I agree or not. I like the idea where as long as you’re under watch and seen as a criminal, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote, mainly because you aren’t allowed to do much else. And aside from taking away guns from past murderers, once you’re released, you should be able to have all of the rights as every other citizen. The main conflict I have with your statement above is that an illegal immigrant isn’t a member of the United States and therefore isn’t in any way eligible for the same rights. A United States felon is entitled to those rights by birth, which makes this discussion a lot more complicated. Laws and being a citizen may seem like they are similar, but one falls into the category of another. So maybe take a different look at your first thesis statement, and see what you think. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • DevonD_2boydbence

      Chase L why shouldn’t felons be given the right to vote? They are citizens of the U.S. Everyone should get a say in what laws are being put up even if they didn’t abide to some of the. Its even says in the 15th amendment that they prohibit the denial of the right to vote. Felon or not we should always be able to vote no matter what. The picture below show which states in the U.S agree with this statement and which disagree.

    • Brent_L_Per1

      I don’t think you can relate a felon to an illegal immigrant, a felon was born in the United States and had the same rights as you before they were arrested. A felon is the same as you and me after they have completed parole. If you were trying to return to your normal life, you wouldn’t appreciate having your rights stripped away.

    • AlexW_2boydbence

      I agree, saying someone can vote for laws when they don’t abide by them is like saying you can’t eat a cake, but you can decide who has to. Also I agree if the felon is not in for life then they can get their voting back.

    • Daniel K Period_2 Shuttle

      First of all, I think that felons and illegal immigrants are in completely different categories. Why would someone who chose to do something against the laws of the state, and a person who couldn’t take care of their family and is looking for a new and better life, in the same category? Also, once someone has proven that they cannot go by the thought out laws that took many years to complete, why would anyone think that they should be able to vote on something they think is right, when they have proven to do something wrong. According to Washington Post “The 14th Amendment permits states to deny the vote for participation in rebellion, or other crime. If it’s set and stone, why should we go against it?
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9785-2004Aug17.html

    • MichelleS_3_boydbence

      Chase L., I disagree with you. If someone has broken the law that means that they probably don’t respect the law and if they want their right to vote again then they must show that they have put forth effort in regaining responsibility. They also probably don’t have a lot of knowledge about who or what they are voting for.

    • MarcusO_Per4_BoydBence

      I agree with what you have said, Illegal immigrates and felons (That are in jail) shouldn’t be able to vote, but if said felon were to be released from jail they should have just as much rights as anyone else in the country.

    • NWeix-1stboydbence

      According to the podcast, almost every state in this nation bar 2 has it so that, one way or another, in jails you cannot vote. I feel it’s better to have it people be able to make up for actions depending on the crime rather than punish everyone with perm restrictions, or ones that take a long time to be lifted.

    • MaxP_3boyd_bence

      I agree with you, you can’t vote for laws if you don’t even follow them. Breaking the law has consequences, and potentially being stripped of your right to vote is one of them. But I think it can be improved by only letting a
      misdemeanor that have served term of incarceration + parole + probation
      the right to vote. Only felons lose the right to vote. These people chose to
      commit a felony, and then there are going to be consequences. That is why I agree with you.

      This link shows what states think about committed felons voting.
      http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • JasminR_3BoydBence

      I disagree with you if felon has served their time. Why should they have the right to vote. Once someone is released from jail they have to go through probation. To proven that you can follow the laws, so when you have proven that you can I don’t see a reason why they should be allowed to vote

    • MadelynR_3boydbence

      I agree with you Chase L. Anyone that is doing time should still be able to have there voting rights given to them.

  • CJofGrove

    “By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.”

    ^This just about sums up the question. Don’t you know any felons? Haven’t you seen any movies that portray them? If you do or have, then you should know that your average felon is the type of person to become aggravated if further hindered by “The Man.” I hate to stereotype but it is true. Obviously this does not apply to every single felon. Felons are still American citizens and as American citizens they have the right to vote and voice their political opinions, regardless of their past. Taking away voting rights from felons is like taking it away from anybody else — it’s unfair. After all, there are definitely less political informed people out there that vote than your typical felon. How do you think we ended up with Obama?
    http://prospect.org/article/americas-dumbest-voters

  • 18cloc

    I believe that felons should have the right to vote even if they are a inmate, parolee, or what ever they are. They are still part of the United States and they are still citizens. They have the right to vote like any other citizen. They can help change the future and what the futur will look like.

  • rocky_seeley

    Felons they are just people that made bad decisions, but
    does that mean that you ban them from voting. I believe that the felons are
    still citizens of the United States of America that have done a thing wrong,
    but they can change. Some felons change after they are in prison for so long,
    they can’t get most of their rights back. They will not be able to own guns
    which take away the 2nd amendment right. I get that taking away their
    guns may solve most of the past issues that they had but what does taking the right
    to vote? They can’t hurt anyone by voting like a gun can, a vote is what a
    person believes in not what is in their past. There are only two states that
    let felons vote while they are still in prison. Why would they do that if they
    didn’t trust or believe that they still have that right? I am not saying that
    all of the states should let felons vote from in prison but once they get out
    of prison and start going back to their somewhat normal life that they should
    be able to vote. It is a right that everyone has and it is a right that
    everyone should still have no matter what.

    http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • MaryBethD_3BoydBence

      Rocky, I agree with you that felons are people who made bad decisions, but that could also mean that they have impaired judgment. You said that “SOME” felons change after being in prison. There are others who don’t change at all. Every law-abiding citizen should have the right to vote for the lawmakers but the people who break the law should have no rights to vote. That is a privilege they lose when they break the law because they would be more likely to vote for people with the same values. So when you say, “They can’t hurt anyone by voting like a gun can, a vote is what a
 person believes in, not what is in their past.” Does that mean that all of them change from being in jail? They can still hurt people by voting. If they have compromised judgment, then by allowing them to vote, we are compromising the choices that our leader may make. You also said, “I am not saying that 
all of the states should let felons vote from in prison…” do you mean that some states should allow them to vote but some shouldn’t? If so, what do you mean?

      Also, I found a website
      that talks about Kentucky and how it could be heading for a historic change this year as it moves closer to abolishing its law banning felons from voting.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/21/stateline-voting-rights-for-felons/5675327/

      • DennisS_2boydbence

        I agree with both of you to some extent- Those people made their bad decisions, but they should have some leeway and be forgiven when their prison terms END. These are normal people, who have made bad decisions, and many of them have to fight their way back to normalcy. Just because they are humans who make mistakes doesn’t mean that they should be denied the right to vote when others who have yet to make those mistakes do.

  • kyle green

    i believe that prisoners should not be able to vote based on their felon if someone is jail for minor drug use they should be able to vote but if they are convicted for murder/ rape or something else that is very drastic i don’t think you should be able to vote for life. Better yet i don’t think convicted murders or rapists should never see the light of day again. But if you are convicted of minor drug use you should be just fine to vote.

    http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/fd_State_Level_Estimates_of_Felon_Disen_2010.pdf

    • Shane Myers

      I totally agree with you Kyle. If someone has been convicted of minor drug use should be able to vote but if they are convicted of heavy drug usage they should not be able to vote. And if someone is convicted of murder/rape they should not be able to vote.
      http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/fd_State_Level_Estimates_of_Felon_Disen_2010.pdf

    • Brenton Jakeway

      I agree a hundred percent with Kyle Green. Rape, murder, and other serious offenders should have no right to vote, no right for anything they should get death and nothing more. That being said minor charges such as drug use or drinking shouldn’t be a big deal. I mean lets be honest who hasn’t smoked a jay and had a beer. I live in Michigan where Kyle and I’s opinion is that of the states to. The law states after the offender has served his incarcerated period of time, he or she would be restored the right to vote. http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • KaraP_Per2_BoydBence

      I agree in some ways. I think they should have the right to vote once they have served their time. “Prisons have four major purposes. These purposes are retribution, incapacitation, deterrence and rehabilitation. Retribution means punishment for crimes against society. Depriving criminals of their freedom is a way of making them pay a debt to society for their crimes. Incapacitation refers to the removal of criminals from society so that they can no longer harm innocent people. Deterrence means the prevention of future crime” (found on http://www.stoptheaca.org/purpose.html ) If you read that quote you can see that prison is a way for felons to pay their debt to society, and if that is what prison is meant for then why our we taking away some of their rights for an even longer period of time. If felons did something bad enough that we think we should take away their right to vote forever then in my opinion they deserve a life sentence, and if they got one then this wouldn’t be an issue.

  • 18rche

    How is it fair if someone was put in jail for 10 years, and until then they can’t vote. I think that no matter if you’re on parole or an inmate, you should still be able to vote. Because even if you’re in jail, you still have your human rights. Human right #19 is freedom of expression and voting for a president can be expressing your feeling on who should be the leader of our country. Just because someone is in jail, doesn’t mean that they no longer belong in this country.

  • MaryBethD_3BoydBence

    Felons should not have the right to vote because if they have broken the law then there’s no reason to trust them with it. They have so many other opportunities in life; this is their consequence stemming from their choice to break the law. They have other
    ways of exercising their rights of being a citizen, but they have no right to vote. If they break the law, they shouldn’t be responsible for choosing the lawmakers. They could choose a leader that could damage/modify laws. The people who commit crimes (which include things similar to murder, arson, theft, rape, etc.) are more likely to choose a leader with similar values.

    There is a statement in the introduction that says, “It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision,” said Holder during an address at Georgetown University in February. “By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.”

    The fact that a felon can’t vote would not influence them to commit future crimes. Now, if they were to lose other rights as well (like shopping, eating, going to school, working,
    etc.) then that could be a more likely effect. They forfeit their right to vote, but they can still be involved in the election process. They could support their candidate through volunteering in many different capacities in their campaign. They can persuade their friends and family to vote, but they do NOT have the right to decide themselves.

    The website below lists each state’s laws on felon voting. If you click on the state name you will see more details about each state.
    http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • DennisS_2boydbence

      I respectfully disagree- I believe that committing one crime does not make a person incapable of living life as a good, normal person. Taking away the right to vote only reinforces the notion in their heads that they are inferior, horrible people. Give them a chance.

  • gehresj

    Felons should definitely have the right to vote. Denying them the right to vote is a form of discrimination and, while some may think it’s justifiable by stating that they are immoral or crooked, I strongly believe it goes against the purpose of the justice system (not to mention there have been many changes to the constitution to include more rights pertaining to voting). Many prisons are not simply for punishment, but also for rehabilitation from physical and social issues. If we impede the felons’ road to a better life by not allowing them to participate in society, then how can we expect them to make an effort to change their ways? Not long ago there was a study done showing how children are affected by how their teachers and parents perceive them. The more traditionally good-looking students tended to excel because that’s what was expected from them, and they often times even got extra help in achieving their goals. Children who were more plain were pushed to the back or looked at as those who will not succeed. The problem is, because they were treated this way, the children who were not tended to DID show a lower success rate. The same principle may apply to felons. If states show felons they don’t expect anything good to come from their votes then how can we expect them to want to participate in other aspects of society?
    http://healthland.time.com/2013/12/10/teachers-give-better-grades-to-more-attractive-students-study/

    Voting is not the only form of participation being denied. Many ex-felons cannot find a job in the career they choose, even if it has nothing to do with the crime they committed.
    http://okpolicy.org/get-a-job-why-restricting-employment-for-ex-felons-is-counterproductive

    • DennisS_2boydbence

      I agree that this denial of rights is discrimination of some sort. It is like saying that they are “Imperfect” and that we are completely perfect- this will never be true. Everyone can make mistakes, and nobody should be discriminated because of it. Also, if you think of inmates as potential sources of productive citizens, then it makes it much easier to allow them to reach their goals; the majority of their goals is not to continue committing crimes, but to avoid prison, raise a family, and live out the rest of their lives well.

  • Devon Schildge

    I think that they should have the right to vote because they are technically part of our nation. Everyone should have the right to vote because people have fought through so much to become equal in this country. Now whether they choose to use that right or not is up to them. These felons most likely do not care about the laws that they are voting for because they chose not to follow them. Only two states allow felons to vote which i think is the right thing to do. We should not be able to take this right away or we are kind of infringing on the rights that america is based on. They are already being punished for there crimes by being isolated from society but they should still be able to contribute in what occurs in the nation that they live in.

    http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • MaryBethD_3BoydBence

      Devon, you stated that felons most likely don’t care about the laws that they are voting for because they chose not to follow them, so why should they have the right to vote? They broke the law so how could they be trusted with choosing a lawmaker? They may have impaired judgment and as law-abiding citizens, we don’t want them to have the rights to vote for a lawmaker that could have compromised values. It’s human nature to vote for people with similar values, so by allowing felons to
      vote, we could be compromising the choice of integrity of our lawmakers. They are being punished for their crimes because they committed them; it wasn’t an “accident”. Here is a website that talks more in depth about violent and property crime. It also talks about the Federal State and Local Laws and punishments. http://crime.about.com/od/Crime_101/a/What-Is-A-Crime.htm

  • Hannah

    I’m very iffy between saying they should or they shouldn’t. Reasons are that yes, these people are still U.S citizens. Reason two is that most or some that land themselves in jail aren’t doing heinous crimes and may have only made that one bad mistake and truly regret it. On the other hand, they, while in jail, to me shouldn’t be given any rights because they abused them while free. I feel bad about that happening though because there are countless men and women wrongly accused and or just committed simple non-violent crimes. But, in my opinion, I’m not sure if I want someone who already clearly makes bad decisions and is secluded from society making a huge decision that will affect me more than that person who sits in jail. The link below shows percentages of length of time most convicts serve, so therefore proving my point that if most just will spend most of their life in jail why should they be able to affect life outside of jail for others who actually have to abide by what they choose.

    http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/PSATSFV.PDF

    • Julie_B_2_BenceBoyd

      I agree with you Hannah. Why should we give prisoners in jail the right to vote when it won’t affect them and will affect those who aren’t in jail. Like you stated and what the website you sourced said, most prisoners will spend the majority of their lives in prison. By giving them the right to vote on something that won’t affect their lives at that point in time would be pointless. We are the ones who would get affected by the voting, not them or not much at least. Most of the people in prison won’t even get to see the changes in the time they are in prison. Why should we give the ones who broke the law the right to vote a affect the lives of those who haven’t broke the law.

    • Lukep_3boydbence

      Nice point Hannah, they are still U.S citizens and yes some have made bad mistakes. But they have abused there rights, but what about second chances. Everybody should have a chance at a second time. If they make the same mistakes then so be it. No more voting for them, or we could be like Arizona.”policy like Arizona where if you have just one felony, your rights are automatically restored after a certain amount of time. If you have two felonies, your case must be reviewed before you are allowed to have your voting rights back.” Its just a matter of what the people of that state say.

    • Tayla_k_4BoydBence

      You make valid points, Hannah, but I still believe that they deserve to have a second chance because after all they are U.S citizens. They have bused their rights once, and if they abuse their rights again They shouldn’t be allowed to vote. I agree with you on the fact that they are voting for something that could affect us more than it could affect them. But I believe in second chances, some people deserve them.

    • CJ_Bute2boydbence

      I agree with you Hannah that prisoner should not have the right to vote. Because it in the article in states that “Most prisoners will
      spend the majority of their lives in prison.” So why should give them the right to
      vote on something that will affect their our lives so much, if they can’t even be trusted. Plus voting is a privilege, not something you should abuse. All felons abuse the laws, so what do think they are going to do if they have the right to vote?

    • taylors_4boydbence

      i agree with you I’m conflicted with my answer.. i think yes and no for many reasons but i have come to conclusion i think “You can’t vote for laws when you don’t already abide them”. someone used that in there statement and it really made me think about it!

    • Rachael P. 2nd BoydBence

      I agree with you that people shouldn’t be able to vote while still in jail. Jail is a place where people are pretty much striped of their rights. I believe they should earn their rights back. Like you said people who continuously commit crimes and end up in jail time after time shouldn’t be voting for our country’s future. You make a really good point at the end when you said if they spend their whole life in jail there is no point to them to change the life outside of jail. Voting is a right given to us that we must maintain and if someone doesn’t handle it correctly then the right is no longer theirs.

    • Tclark-2boydbence

      Hannah,

      I agree , someone who can’t make good decisions for themselves shouldn’t be allowed to make them for others. This article states “Scholars and courts often note that the Constitution nowhere says, “All individuals have the right to vote.” It simply rules out specific limitations on “the right to vote.” A right not guaranteed in affirmative terms isn’t really a “right” in a fundamental sense” This means that the right to vote doesn’t have to go to those who break the law right after they get out of prison or even in prison. This being said, People change and grow and evolve. After a felon serves their sentence and shows that they can be a law abiding citizen for a certain amount of time depending on the crime commited they should be able to vote.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/09/voting-right-or-privilege/262511/

    • PeytonP_4BoydBence

      I have a hard time deciding what side I’m on too. I agree with both the points you made, but I also feel like these people have a natural born right to vote. It should not be a privilege to vote, if you are a U.S citizen then you should be able to help decide the laws that we have to live by.

    • Riley_R_1BoydBence

      I think they shouldn’t have any rights, except for the 9th amendment rights, because they abused those rights while they had them. However, they should be able to earn them back after they get off of their parole and probation.

    • ESigler-2boydbence

      I agree you Hannah. On
      one hand, people make mistakes, and these people who truly regret their
      mistake, deserve the right to be able to put their lives back together.
      But on the other
      hand, we need to realize the people who we are allowing to help make decisions
      for the society that we are having to grow up in, and possibly even our
      children and etc.
      I like the idea of
      them being able to apply to have their rights back. They shouldn’t just be able
      to automatically get the rights that they took advantage of back.
      “They can actually apply to have them restored” Martin says in the podcast. Which I actually agree with.

    • taylor_w_2nd

      I agree, Hannah.

      People who make bad decisions and abused their rights shouldn’t be allowed to make huge choices that will affect the people of society. This is true because they are not even a part of society as of this point. In the article it states it in the article in states that “Most prisoners will spend the majority of their lives in prison.”. This means they will not even be affected, so they should not have a say.

    • DevonD_2boydbence

      Hannah I understand that yes it is difficult to choose weather felons should or shouldn’t be given the right to vote. But, just think about it they are american citizen who should be given a right that they are being deprived of. Even if they are or were a felon they should at least be able to vote like everyone else. I agree that they shouldn’t be given any rights while they are still in jail but , do you think they should still be able to have right while in probation? Even if they didn’t abide to the laws they still have a right to vote for them. The website below is a pros and Cons site. People are giving evidence from all different places to make either a pro and a con.

      http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=1319

    • Daniel K Period_2 Shuttle

      I completely agree with you. I too believe that some felons have been put in jail for something that wasn’t for their own good. The sentence of their crime can be settled with just one strike of a hammer, but maybe things have changed in some states. According to USA Today, “some states have even tightened laws”. Perhaps these changes in the world will help the people with such thoughts in their mind, will change. In some states, there is a period of time a felon must go through before eligibility to vote. I think if a person can go through this time without causing commotion should be able to have another chance.

    • AshmeetS_3BoydBence

      I agree…there are the goods and bad’s of this topic because how you said before you they had right’s as a free person but now they don’t deserve that privilege during that point of time. “Reason two is that most or some that land themselves in jail aren’t doing heinous crimes and may have only made that one bad mistake and truly regret it. On the other hand, they, while in jail, to me shouldn’t be given any rights because they abused them while free.”

    • LawsonZ_3BoydBence

      I agree completely with this. The only idea I have to fix this is to work on the justice system and find a middle ground for people who did more then just have drugs but not murder’s.

    • ClaireG_4boydbence

      Hannah, I agree with you. I have a hard time saying whether or not they should have the privilege or not. I believe that while in prison, they should not have the privilege to vote. However, if probation goes well for them, depending on the crime committed, they could have the privilege to vote again. This topic is very difficult for me, and I am assuming you as well, due to the fact that not every crime is the same. The podcast provided in the article discusses the political side of things mainly, I struggle with the moral and ethical side of things. I know what is politically correct, but what is morally correct is what is hard to decide. We often decide everyones fate based on one situation. I believe that this needs to come to an end. Everyone has a different situation, therefore not everyone deserves the privilege to vote after prison, while some do.

    • SpencerH_4

      I think they should be aloud to vote. statistics show that 77% of felons living in states that allow them to vote go off living a normal life and having no more major conflicts with the law. . just seeing the such high percentages with the felons having a normal life makes me want to start somthing to have every state let them vote, Plus if were trying to make them better people we need to make this a thing in every state because having 70-90% of them living a better life after is better than 0 or 20%

    • Maeve_K_Period2

      Hannah, I am sort of in the same position as you. I don’t completely agree on way or the other. This topic isn’t black and white, it’s mostly gray. I think weather convicts should be allowed to vote will always be a conflict.

    • Luke_A_Period3

      I disagree with your second thought, which is that certain criminals only made one bad mistake. I feel like that is possible for most PRISONERS, but we are talking about FELONS. The key difference between these two is: Felons committed a serious crime that had serious repercussions. Felonies include but are not limited to: Assault, Rape, and Murder. Because felonies are such serious crimes, I find it hard to believe that more than, maybe 10% of felons carried out the atrocity by accident. A solution to this is: A judge states during how long a felon must go, after being released, without committing a crime. After he has done this, he has earned his constitutional rights back.

    • MichelleS_3_boydbence

      Hannah, I agree with most of what you said in your post. I do feel bad because some people are falsely accused, but then again I don’t want someone like that making decisions that could have an impact in my life. If they truly want to regain their right to vote they must go to a sentencing judge and prove that they have put effort in gaining it back. In the video in the Do Now above it stated,”Well, the norm is in 39 states and also most countries around the world, people who have served their time can actually vote. And it’s just these 11 states in the U.S. where some or all people cannot vote. In fact, there are about four states where people who have – are returning to society just cannot vote. It’s pretty much blanket, right.” If they want their rights back they must earn them back.

    • CallieH_2BoydBence

      The constitution states that you have the right to vote and is “not to be denied based on birth, race, sex, previous condition of servitude, failure to pay a tax, or debt,” but says nothing on crime degree. If it did, we wouldn’t be seeing this KQED. But how do we prove the person is truly regretful? Lie detectors are failures; go look at the polygraph test. And just how can we prove that someone is innocent, ad for another the ratio of wrongly accused versus rightfully accused is pretty small. It’s more common for people to never be sent or acquitted wrongfully. We should give them another chance, but have them have to undergo a more strict process.

    • MadelynR_3boydbence

      I agree with you Hannah i’m iffy as well. I don’t necessarily think that they shouldn’t be able to vote, but there are still areas where I think that they shouldn’t. I agree they are still a U.S citizen and they are sitting in jail and doing there time, but I also feel that I wouldn’t want someone who did a crime that ended them up jail making this big decision.

  • Asia_32

    should felons have the right to vote? I think that everybody should be allowed the right to vote, no matter what the have done in the past or the present. When it comes to prisoners they should have the right to once they get out of jail. when they are in prison i don’t think they should be able to vote. if we want a diverse election we have to include former convicts. The point of being in prison is to learn how to be a proper and well behaved citizen, no person in jail can correct their ways if their not allowed to exercise the rights that every other well behaved citizen has. i think while your in prison you shouldn’t be able to vote you were put there because you broke the law and a person that isn’t convicted for a life time sentenceshould have the ability to restore their voting rights after parole and
    probation when they get out. but as long as your in prison and or convicted for a life sentence you shouldn’t be able to have the privilege to vote. http://swampland.time.com/2014/02/11/obama-administration-seeks-voting-rights-for-former-inmates/

    • MaryBethD_3BoydBence

      Asia, you considered the idea of them not being able to vote while they are in jail, but what about the people that didn’t change from their experience? We can’t be so quick to assume that they are automatically changed after spending time in jail. There are
      people with a messed up view on life that won’t change after being in jail for just
      a period of time. I agree with you that the point of someone being in jail is to teach him or her to behave under the laws of the nation as a good citizen but it doesn’t mean it always works. You said in your post that we want a
      diverse election and I agree, but we have to be wise about the diversity permitted. Diversity comes in many forms; for example, age, race, gender, economic status, religious preference, etc. A felony lawbreaker should not have
      the right to choose everyone’s lawmakers. This website talks more about what felon is. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-felon.htm

  • Austin Redes

    fellons should be able to vote baste on how severe there fellon is. they are part of this country, and had all the equal rights that we had before they made a bad decision. i don’t want people who have killed someone or raped someone voting on laws that would effect me. based on the voting Rights Act Congress have the authority to legislate felon voting in federal elections.
    http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • Amanda Stinger

      I agree with this statement Austin. I do believe that
      they should have the right to vote. No matter how long they were in prison for. In the voice recording it said that people that were not able to vote after a criminal offence were 3 times more likely to commit a crime again. The fact that prisoners lose many freedoms does not imply they should lose all their civil rights. “Denying prisoners the right to vote is likely to undermine respect for the rule of law… Allowing prisoners to vote, by contrast, may strengthen their social ties and commitment to the common good, thus promoting legally responsible participation in civil society.”
      http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000283
      Let them vote.

  • Zach Johnson

    In response to this issue I think that a felon should be able to vote after they have served their time in incarceration,parole and probation. I think that a felon must finish these three things in order to gain the ability to vote again. I see no reason why a felon should forever completely lose their right to vote. I think that is a bit to excessive to remove a right permanently. If a man or woman serves their sentence then why shouldn’t they get back their rights they lost in prison. As an add on I have attached the current laws in place in each state.

    Article: http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • ellielynn

      I would have to completely agree with your response. Felon’s need to go through everything for committing the crime they committed but they shouldn’t be banished from recreating themselves in their society. I think its wrong in states like Florida, and Virginia that they can never vote again or even have the chance too. These criminals need to earn their right back but they should not be denied for life. Currently, in Michigan all a person has to do to get back their voting rights is to finish their full time of incarceration but after that they can vote again. I like how other states wait for the person to go from Incarceration, Parole, and Probation before they have gained that right back. You had the perfect article so others are well aware of how the laws differ from state to state. There definitely should be changes in the laws for felons voting.

      http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    • Josh Knight

      I agree with you zack, felons should not be able to vote after they have done those things (incarceration,parole and probation). I also agree with felons should not loose their right vote, once they did the three things above they should be able to vote. i also agree men and women who are a felon and trying to get there lives back on track should be able to vote, and not loose there rights permanently. They shouldn’t loose there rights vote after they serve.

  • Jalen Lewis

    I think that felons should be able to vote only after they have served their time in jail and/or their probation. While in jail, I do not think that they should have the right to vote because it really wouldn’t affect them anyway. I do agree with the fact that if a felon is isolated from the community, they will commit future crimes, so I think after their sentence is served, the right should be restored.

    • John Clark

      I agree with you Jalen Lewis. While felons are in prison they cant vote and that’s good enough for me. If they get life in prison they can never vote again and that’s good enough. they said that felons feel like society is holding them back from becoming full citizens again and there true. felons are more likely to keep with there felon ways and go back to prison if we restrict them from becoming citizens. In Michigan there aloud to vote after they serve there term of incarceration. i believe that is the way that it should be. http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

  • Caelen.J.Smith

    Voting is no longer a rite it’s an obligation, just turning eight-teen
    I have thought about it. If I were a felon I personally wouldn’t care if I could
    vote or not because most issues are matters that do not involve me. If I have
    no attachment to the subject why would I lean to one side or the other, why
    show support for one side just because you don’t like the alternative as much. If
    I can’t find anything appealing about either thing why would I have an opinion,
    I will simply abstain from showing support one way or the other.

    http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

    Voting rights are restored after the end of the person’s incarceration.

  • Alec Viera

    Sure, I think felons have a right to vote as citizens of America- I think some states’ few year waiting period is a decent way to allow many convicted felons to enjoy this basic right. However, I really think the statistics presented on African American adult convicted felons aren’t statistically significant to the issue at hand. That information feels like it was thrown as a side note to spur tertiary conversation… I don’t think race is something that needs to be factored in here. The issue affects all that have committed felonies.

    #Stepp5

  • E C

    Every felon should have the right to vote because in a Democracy everyone who is a US citizen should have a say in what goes on. They should all have a chance to vote and help contribute to the government system of the US. They could help express their views to help prevent future crimes that are similar to their own.

  • Lea

    Every US citizen in jail should have the right to vote and express their views on the world around them in an socially acceptable way. Felons could help the US government learn from its mistakes on its citizens. Every felon has a reason for committing a crime and it is up to the US government to learn more to prevent crimes.

    • Petty_Period2_BoydBence

      I’m all for freedom, I’m all for the right to vote! But with issues like this, i have to put my foot down! Knowing that a convicted felon having a say in this nations government gives me knots in my stomach! Maybe its because my family are all Cops, but i have a problem with it! A crime is a crime, weather they have a reason or not! Stripping a person of the right to vote is very much an okay thing to do! Things like this happen, and they need to be punished when they do!

  • DuncanS_3BoydBence

    Should felons be given the right to vote after they’ve served their sentence? Some say it depends on their crime and the circumstances surrounding it, but it’s really a matter of forgiveness, whether we’re able to forgive them or not. We all need to open up our hearts and forgive them for what they’ve done. The laws that keep their rights from them makes it more likely for them to commit more crimes. The article says “They’ve never been shown to prevent new crimes. In fact, they increase crime. They perpetuate a stigma, they isolate people, they prevent people from reintegrating into society. The Florida Parole Commission looked at this question and they found that those who are banned from voting were three times more likely to commit crimes than those who had their voting rights restored. Ninety-five percent of prisoners in this country are eventually released. We want policies that allow those folks to integrate into society and not commit crimes.” If felons believe they were protecting other people when they committed a felony, then people would say that they should be able to vote. If they went and did bad things because they felt like it, then people would say that they shouldn’t be given the right to vote. For example if someone purposely aggravated another person so the other person attacked them, then the first person killed the second during the attack, then some would say the felon shouldn’t be given the right to vote. If someone accidentally killed somebody else then others would say they should be allowed to vote. We’re a society based on Christianity, Christians are supposed to forgive everybody regardless of what they’ve done. So why is it so hard for us to just forgive people for their crimes and just move on as we’re supposed to. We need to forgive people no matter what, and give them their rights back. Putting people to death and sentencing criminals to life in prison with no chance of parole is not forgiving.

    Here’s a voki inspired by this topic. http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=9465597&height=267&width=200

  • Julie_B_2_BenceBoyd

    I think that prisoners shouldn’t be able to vote because
    voting is a privilege. In a article I read it stated that “most of the people
    in prison either dropped out of school or never received an education”. The
    article also stated “Criminals are easily deceived and would most likely believe
    whatever they heard. I believe that because they broke the law they shouldn’t
    get the privilege to vote. Also, prisoners might be forced to vote the way
    other prisoners want them to vote, for example a gang might force prisoner to
    vote a certain way. The right to vote should only be returned to someone after
    he or she has become productive in society.

    • Bryan

      /)

  • Ty Sweno

    I believe that most felons should not have the right to vote after they are released from jail. I believe that if a felon is sent to serve for more that 5-10 years that they should not have the right to be able to vote. But depending on the charge that you are being convicted with some felons might be able to regain their voting rights. If you are convicted of a crime that causes you to have to serve 1-5 years in jail i believe that you should have an ability to be able to regain your voting rights. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/felon-voting-rights_n_1924535.html In this article a man had to serve 14 months in prison. With a charge like the one this man got he should be able to regain his voting rights. Maybe for some of the felons to regains their rights they have to do some community service or maybe undergo a test to make sure that they are mentally stable and fit so they can vote like normal none criminal citizens. But if you are serving a sentence that is over 5-10 years then no you shouldn’t have the right to regain this right. Voting is a privilege and there are many people in today’s society who choose not to vote at all, and these people who have to serve all this time don’t know many of the facts about the people they would be voting for because they are in the jail and unable to learn about the candidates.

    • madisono-2boydbence

      Ty,
      I disagree that most felons should not have the right to vote, we are known as the “Land of The Free” so, if we deprive these people of that right we are slowly moving further from that “state”. This being said we shouldn’t just give this voting right back to these criminals, like said in the NPR Radio segment, in some states, like Virginia, having a waiting period. The criminals should have to earn it back and there should be a waiting period (but this period of time shouldn’t be extensively long) because, many criminals commit multiple crimes and that sometimes shows us that they are not ready for these responsibilities.
      Maybe a reason that former criminals commit crimes after being released from prison, etc. is because they do not feel like they are a average citizen. This may be because they are deprived of some of the rights everyone else has.
      This attachment is about prisons in the US.

    • Jacob_W_Period3

      Every American citizen over 18 should get the right to vote. Even if they committed heinous crimes. They should be allowed to vote because that is not a privilege but a right. Even if they are serving multiple life sentences they should be able to vote. There is no reason that a person should not get to vote. Why can a person out of prison get the right given by the constitution then why should one in jail have that removed. Thats basically saying that they aren’t a citizen any more. Being in prison should not change your rights.

      • Katherine

        I agree with you that voting is a right, not a privilege. But we do take away rights after felony convictions. We take away freedom (prison) and privacy (parole). I’d rather give up my right to vote than go to prison, personally.

        “That’s basically saying that they aren’t a citizen any more.” I think I get what you are saying, but we do treat non-citizens differently. If someone is not a citizen and commits a felony, we can deport them. We don’t deport US citizens.

        I think people who are still serving their time can be deprived of the right to vote. I personally don’t want to see a Bernie Madoff type, who swindled people out of billions, to be voting while he is serving his 300+ years in prison. I don’t trust his ability to make good decisions, nor his morals to be a part of the group decision-making that is voting. I know his one vote probably isn’t going to make a difference, but I think it’s fair to take away his ability to vote.

    • David_N_2

      I apologized, but I have to disagree. I have stated this many times, but being imprisoned is similar to being grounded. Your privileges are restricted until you have served your term or punishment. Katherine, a fellow commenter, said: “I’d like to hear a justification from the states that permanently disenfranchise people.” Which is what I’d like to hear as well. Voting means you are deciding whether a potential president could do better for the country, and what harm could allowing an ex-felon voting be? Even if the “lesser” qualified leader is elected and guides the country down the wrong path, then the citizens could well overthrow that president and elect a new one! There is not reasonable and logical reason to deny any citizen to vote!

    • Ryan_R_2

      I disagree with you. Using the wise words of miley cyrus,
      Everybody makes mistakes… Everybody has those days… 1 2 3 4!
      Everybody makes mistakes… Everybody has those days… Everybody knows what what I’m talkin’ ’bout… Everybody gets that way…
      Nobody’s Perfect!
      I gotta work it!
      Again and again ’til I get it right
      Nobody’s Perfect!
      You live and you learn it!
      And if I mess it up sometimes…
      Nobody’s perfect

      Every one deserves a second chance, because the laws might affect their lives.

  • swannigan Christian

    i feel that depending on the degree of that person crime should determine whether they should vote if the person did a petty crime like a B&E he should be a given a right to vote after probation time and someone that did a more serious crime like narcotics or murder , rape, and things of that matter should have their voting rights revoked #davisss

  • madisono-2boydbence

    We are known as the “Land of The Free” so, we should all have the right to vote.
    As said in the NPR radio segment, ” Critics say that such rules are unfair and, discourage former criminals from rebuilding their lives as productive citizens.” This maybe a reason so many former criminals commit crimes after being released from prisons, etc. So, I believe that we should let these former criminals have the right to vote but, with some regulations.
    One of the regulations would be to have a waiting period before they regain the right. During this time period they would have to earn it back and prove to us that this is important to them. By doing this, it shows us who actually cares about regaining their former rights and who doesn’t, which would be helpful to know in the future.
    A good thing to think about is that the USA is home to 4% of the world’s population and home to 25% of the world’s prison population. Like I said before, a reason for this is that we, as the USA, deprive former criminals from the rights that they previously had.
    In conclusion, if proven trustworthy and and determined then within a short amount of time former criminals should be able to regain their rights.

  • CJ_Bute2boydbence

    I believe that prisoners should not be allowed to vote because it is privilege to vote. Because you need to show that you care about our world. Most prisoners don’t even respect our world, so why should we give the privilege to vote if they abuse it. The article states “It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision,” said Holder during an address at Georgetown University in February. “By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.” Which means if they broke law, then they are showing that cannot be trusted to vote. If they did not broke a law and were productive in society then should have the privilege to vote. I also don’t believe if they don’t have their life together then how can I expect them to vote for something that so important.

  • Guest

    Felons in the U.S. are not able to vote and I don’t think that it should stay that way. This article says that “An estimated 5.8 million Americans — about 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” It’s unfortunate to hear that literally millions of people are not able to vote but most of them clearly lost their right to. However, both people and laws aren’t perfect. There is still a decent percentage of felons who may be innocent or that haven’t done something exceedingly terrible. This brings up the need for an alternative way for them to gain back their right if they’re willing and deserve to. I think that a third route would be a good compromise between giving the right to no one or everyone.

  • Jacob_W_Period3

    I believe that felons should be able to vote once they are released. Sure if they are a murderer serving a life time sentence then no they shouldn’t. However if its someone who simply robbed a gas station and became released. Then yes they should be allowed to vote. Besides does it really matter if they can. They should be able to because thats a right to all people who are citizens of the U.S.A. Why shouldn’t they be able to vote. Theres no reason that felons or former felons shouldn’t vote. Thats a right to everyone so we have to restrict it from felons in prison. Unless they are People who committed very heinous crimes they should be allowed to vote. Criminals should be allowed to vote because you can’t be arrested for voting.

  • Katherine

    In my opinion, the most serious concern with felon disenfranchisement is the disproportionate impact on communities of color. Permanent disenfranchisement is particularly concerning. For an individual, permanent disenfranchisement suggests that the person can never be rehabilitated. For a community, permanent disenfranchisement suggests that an entire group of people has no place in making decisions that impact all of us. I think that having voting rights restored, either after release from prison or after successful completion of parole, provides incentive to use that right. People who vote are people who care about their community and who are taking steps to try to make it better.

    I will admit that it’s a safe assumption that someone who ends up with a felony conviction has at least made one seriously bad decision. Stripping away their freedom (prison), privacy (parole supervision), and reputation (criminal record) are heavy penalties. But in most cases, people get their freedom and privacy back. What is the justification to let people out of prison, where they could choose to commit more theft crimes, drug crimes, and violent crimes, but not to let them get informed and go to their polling place to fill out a ballot? Who is that going to hurt?

    I’d like to hear a justification from the states that permanently disenfranchise people. Do they believe that there is nothing a person can do the earn back the trust of their community? Is the real concern with felons that they are going to vote? I would think that restoring people’s right to vote would have a positive impact, if it has any impact at all.

    • David_N_2

      Very great, Katherine!
      I agree with you that convicted felons should be able to vote once they have been released from imprisonment. Prison, parole supervision, and reputation are all already great punishment for a committed crime, but not being able to vote? That’s just downright ridiculous! Has stated: “…to see whether the people really have learned their lesson…” which is a good moral reason, but if you look at the picture whole and compare it with current punishments they have been sentenced to, you would say it is a rather pathetic to restrain ex-felons from voting. Also, I agree with you when you said not allowing ex-felons to vote is saying that they are not trustworthy to have a say in the future impact of out nation. There really is no logical reason to deny ex-felons of the right to vote, and none at all.

    • Ryan_R_2

      I agree with you, Katherine.
      The law may affect them and their whole lives and they should be able to have a say on it. Its only fair, because they ares till citizens of the USA.

  • ClaireB_period2_BoydBence

    If someone convicts a felony than they should bot have the
    right to vote. When they work off the crime by time in jail, community serves
    or paying a fine than they can gain their privilege back. There are only 3 amendments
    in the constitution that say what is needed to be eligible to vote. The 15th
    amendment stated that you have to be a US citizen to vote, the 19th
    amendment says you can be either male or female, and the 26th
    amendment says you have to be at least 18 to vote. In the constitution it never
    says that a felony makes you ineligible to vote, but if you are in jail you
    lost the privilege or a US citizen until your time in jail is done.

  • David_N_2

    I am on the verge of deciding whether I believe prisoners should vote or not vote, but if I were to decide on one, I would say prisoners should not be allowed to vote until their term is over. A prisoner is like a child who is grounded. They are deprived of privileges for their wrong doings. Their freedom is very limited, so they cannot continue a “normal” life, but one thing that differs here between the two is that after a child has been ungrounded, that child can continue to use their privileges, unlike prisoners. Hans stated: “…I don’t think there’s also a problem with states like Virginia, for example, that has a waiting period…to see whether the people really have learned their lesson…” and I can slightly agree. Morally, that is a very ample reason to keep ex-felons from voting. Logically, though, it would be selfish and unreasonable to restrain a prisoner from voting who has already served their term and has been accepted back into society. Prisoners should be able to vote once they have been “ungrounded” no matter what the case. Even if they have been sent to prison again, they should still be able to vote once they have served their term. If one were to still be deprived of rights even after imprisonment, then what is the point of being free? We have rights and those rights cannot be taken aware because this is the United States of America: Land of the Free, not the United States of America: Land of the Imprisoned!

  • RemiK

    I believe that felons should have the right to vote they are still citizens of the United States after all

  • John Diep

    #DoNowVoter/ I believe that all felons should have the right to vote despite their criminal background because its a right. There is a reason why people have to be 18 to be eligible to vote because it a requirement not a privilege. If it was a privilege not everybody would be qualified however that the situation, felons are excluded from voting due to their criminal background which is absurd. People of all backgrounds should be allowed to vote because their votes make a difference otherwise voting would be only for individuals whom haven’t done any misdemeanors.

  • chance

    I think it depends on what they were arrested for. #davisss

  • Tanya

    I believe that felons should have the right to vote, as long as they don’t commit really bad crimes, such as murder. A person should be allowed to vote according to how many years they have spent in jail. If a person is under 15 years, they should be able to vote when they get out of jail. They are still part of the population of the country, but they should not be allowed to take part in selecting leaders anymore if they keep committing crime over and over, or commit a really bad crime.

  • fgsvbg espinola

    I don’t think they should have the right to vote while they are in jail or prison because they are

    • MichelleS_3_boydbence

      fgsvbg espinola, I partially agree with you. I agree with you when you said in your post,”I don’t think they should have the right to vote while they are in jail or prison because they are criminals who have been stripped of their rights…”. I am going to have to disagree with you when you said,”when they are out of jail or prison I feel like they have done their time and now they are given their rights back.” If they don’t want to follow the law and respect it then they shouldn’t be able to vote. Even if they are citizens of America, they have chosen to break the law. I also think that if they really want their right to vote again then they should go to a sentencing judge in court and it would be up to the judge to decide if they truly deserve their right to vote back.

  • caciliya c.

    I don’t believe felon should have THEIR right to vote taken away from them. I believe felons have had their rights taken away from them long enough during their imprisonment. ALL American citizen should have the right to vote weather they are a felon or not….

  • http://youtube.com/pronztv kevin R.

    Sometimes i like to go in my room and pretend im a potato.The point im trying to make here is that in my opinion they should get to vote.Not getting to vote is like not getting to vote…or something like that.p.s illegal immigrants should get to vote we..i mean they don’t commit felonies do all the dirty jobs nobody wants to do and still don’t get to vote.

    • taylors_4boydbence

      i don’t see how your first sentence has anything to do with this it is irrelevant. and i disagree they should be able to vote when they get out but not when they are in jail.

    • emily_p_2shuttle

      I agree with you that felons should be allowed to vote. In the article it says, “It is time to fundamentally reconsider laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision.” and I think so too. They should be allowed to vote no matter if they’re in jail.

    • Brent_L_Per1

      I think the point your trying to make with the potato statement is that the fact that they did time doesn’t matter, just like the fact that you like to be a potato doesn’t affect your decision? If that is the point you were trying to make then I totally agree, just because someone did something bad in there past should not prevent them from trying to be a normal person.

  • Adrian Ramos

    I believe that prisoners should be allowed to vote once they are released. It’s not fair to strip them from their rights. They are still a citizen of this country and being a citizen I think they should have a say in what is going on. if not they might feel that they don’t need to listen to the laws since they don’t have a say, which might cause them to break even more laws causing them to get locked up again. So once again I think they should be allowed to vote.

    • MarkL_3BoydBence

      I completely agree. It’s not fair to strip them from their rights after they’ve already had their punishment. I recently came across an article about a felon’s point of view in this situation. If you’re interested, here’s the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/01/should-felons-lose-the-right-to-vote/282846/

    • Melody_M_2

      I agree with you. I think that felons should be able to vote because they did their time and they should have their right to vote back. and i also dont think its fair to take that right away they are still a part of this country so they should get their rights back

  • T.J.

    I don’t see why they cant vote they got they freedom took already for a long period of time so why will try to take there voting rights from them

  • caciliya c.

    I think felons should have the right to vote if they do their time in prison because they learn from their mistakes and will make it right

  • A. Hall

    A. Hall
    If you are a felon and you get released I believe you should get all your rights back. You did your time in the jail , prison , or whatever already with NO FREEDOM. If anything I believe that its okay for a felon to vote . WHY? because it doesn’t matter if you are a felon or not everybody should be able to have their own opinion. Like voting is a way of letting your opinion count in this world just like everybody that has bad credit or is a high school drop-out . They vote so it should be okay for a felon to vote.

  • Trong Y.

    i think this it’s wrong to forbid prisoners from voting because they still have rights. just because they made a mistake and was put in prison, their voting privileges should not be taken away from them.

    • NWeix-1stboydbence

      It’s not wrong in a “Vengeance” like perspective but looking at it morally, if they are sorry they should keep the rights of voting.

    • brittneyd_3boydbence

      I agree. Just because someone is a felon, it doesn’t mean that they should have their basic rights taken away.

  • Briana D

    I think felons should be able to vote because when you take all their rights away it will make them think their not allowed or are apart of society. When not allowed to vote it could turn them to crime because they feel like theres nothing out there to do.

    • Petty_Period2_BoydBence

      What about the people who have a problem staying clean once out of prison? They continue to go out and commit crimes, and continue to struggle to meet the standard that they are expected to meet to live in this country! I’m all for freedom, i’m all for power of the people… But in situations like this i put my foot down! Once a felon always a felon! Stripping the right to vote is the price to pay if your going to commit a crime!

  • Jessica T

    I think felons should be able to vote bc its apart of the constitution to be able to vote

  • Breanna R

    if it was me , I would let them vote , only because we don’t want the felons feeling like they are left out and yes , they committed crimes , but voting shouldn’t be taken away from them , we are a country , a nation , we should let them be part of voting

  • Belen A.

    This is wrong to take people’s rights whats whole point of freedom of speech. Its like taking their freedom away being in other prison.

    • Petty_Period2_BoydBence

      What about for the people who have committed multiple crimes? For the people who have committed volentary man slaughter, murder, or worse? What about the people who have a problem staying away from the crimes? Would you really want them to have a say in our government? Obviously they would go for the person who would give them more freedoms once out of jail. They are biased to the one who is more for the freedom of the nation! So to me, once a felon as committed a crime, they should be stripped of their right to vote!

    • Melody_M_2

      I agree. I think that it is wrong to take someones rights just because they made a bad choice and i think that they should still be able to vote. They are still a part of this nation and I dont think they should take the right to vote away just because they were in prison

  • chue v.

    I disagree with this law. Prisoners are still human beings and they still have rights like everyone else. If their votes are taken away, so does their freedom.

    • David_N_2

      Thats is true. Felons or ex-felons are still citizens in the United States. They ave every bit of right to vote as the next person. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been in jail or not, they’re still a citizen! Being imprisoned is like being grounded. You privileges are taken away until you serve your time and earned them back. Honestly, there would be no point in being a citizen again if it isn’t the same. It’s just sad that 5.8 million people have been stripped of that right. The United States governors needs to straighten its priorities and start thinking logically and reasonably, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand what is right!

    • Tayla_k_4BoydBence

      I agree with you Chue, The Felons are still humans that have made mistakes, but should get a second chance to make up for their mistakes. Of course they have to earn the right back by proving themselves trustworthy and if they do not deserve the rights anymore, they can be taken away.

    • MadiT_Per3_BoydBence

      I disagree. I think that having the right to vote taken away is not taking away their freedom, that is putting them in jail. Taking away their right to vote takes away the possibility to vote on laws that they have proved to not be able to follow.
      I think that the best way to deal with this would be to have there be a period of time that they have to live without these rights after they are released (the time could be determined by a judge depending on their crime) and then once they prove they can be trusted, they can receive their rights back.
      While yes, prisoners are human being, they are human being that have proven that they will not abide by the laws that they had previously voted on. Once they can prove to once again follow them like everyone else is doing, then they can vote again.

    • IsabellaV_3boydbence

      Chue V,

      I agree with you. Felons are still human beings. It is a right to vote. Felons become isolated after they are released from prison when they cannot vote. This causes them to commit more crimes, according to : http://www.npr.org/2014/02/21/280688684/voting-rights-time-to-think-differently-for-those-whove-done-time

  • MarkL_3BoydBence

    Felons in the U.S. are not able to vote and I don’t think that it should stay that way. This article says that “An estimated 5.8 million Americans — about 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” It’s unfortunate to hear that literally millions of people are not able to vote but most of them clearly lost their right to. However, both people and laws aren’t perfect. There is still a decent percentage of felons who may be innocent or that haven’t done something exceedingly terrible. This brings up the need for an alternative way for them to gain back their right if they’re willing and deserve to. I think that this would be a good compromise between giving the right to no one or everyone.

    • CJ_Bute2boydbence

      I agree with you that felons should not be able to vote. Since in the article stated that “most of the people in prison either dropped out of school or never received an education”. “Criminals are easily deceived and would most likely believe
      whatever they heard”. Which mean we shouldn’t trust them, so how can we trust them with voting. Plus they broke the law they shouldn’t
      get the privilege to vote.

    • DuncanS_3BoydBence

      I disagree with you. Felons should get their rights back after they’ve served their sentence. it’s not right to keep it from them. The USA is based on Christianity and Christians are supposed to always forgive everyone for everything regardless of the scenario. Keeping their rights from them increases the chance that they will commit more crimes. The application process isn’t an efficient way to restore their rights because most of them don’t even want to think about what they did, let alone revisit it or be reminded of it. The article says “In 11 states, you have to apply to have them restored. Not surprisingly, a lot of people don’t want to revisit, they just don’t want to revisit the worst thing that they’ve done or a bad experience. And so they don’t go back through the process and fill out the paperwork and apply to have their rights restored.”

    • madisono-2boydbence

      I agree with you, it’s sad that so many americans do not have the right to vote, it shouldn’t be that way. But, at the same time these people may not be trustworthy enough to decide the “fate” of the USA. We need to have certain rules and regulations before a felon can regain their previous rights. By having these rules and regulations, we can monitor and see who is determined and willing to work to earn back the rights that were once their and those who don’t put forth very much effort.
      Here is the link to a voki I created talking about this issue.
      http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=9472135&height=267&width=200

    • Tayla_k_4BoydBence

      I disagree, Felons should get their right to vote back after they have served there sentence, they learned their lesson and deserve a chance to start over. Of course if they abuse this privilege then they should not be able to vote ever again. But like you stated, most prisoners have done something horrible to end up where they are today. So it really depends on what they did, and what state they are in.

    • Luke_A_Period3

      I both agree and disagree with your thoughts. Yes I believe that felons should earn all their constitutional rights back, however, I do not feel like prison time alone is enough. After leaving prison, a felon should have to go for an amount of time without committing a felony before he can earn all of his rights back. The amount of time would be stated by the judge during sentencing, and the length would depend on the crime he was convicted for.

  • Luke_A_Period3

    Upon perusal of the facts, I conclude that whether felons have the right to vote should be determined by a judge during sentencing. The legislative branch ought to forge a law that give the judiciary branch the power to determine if felons can cast a ballot. If a judge says that a felon can vote after he/she gets out of prison, then so be it. However, if a judge claims that a felon shall never vote, then that should also be an option. Just like we have minimum and maximum sentences for prison time, we could add minimum and maximum sentences on voting bans. I hold judges in a high regard, and if the judge can determine how long someone will be in prison, then they can also rule on if they can vote.

  • Guest

    I believe that Felons in the U.S. should be able to vote. This article speaks about how “An estimated 5.8 million Americans — about 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” Regardless of what they’ve done, they’re still a part of the nation. Besides, if they’re identified, then it means that they’ve already had their punishment in prison. I think that this should be enough.

    • NWeix-1stboydbence

      If they have served their punishment and truly feel remorse for their crimes, I feel they should be able to vote.

    • Melody_M_2

      I agree. I think that felons should be able to vote because being in prison is enough punishment and they should at least let them vote. They are still a part of this nation even if the made a bad choice

  • MarkL_3BoydBence

    I believe that Felons in the U.S. should be able to vote. This article speaks about how “An estimated 5.8 million Americans — about 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” Regardless of what they’ve done, they’re still a part of the nation. Besides, if they’re identified, then it means that they’ve already had their punishment in prison. I think that this should be enough. Also, if they’re stripped of their right to vote, then that’s one more reason to give up, and commit more crimes.

  • Shirley Mei

    The ability to vote is stated in the Constitution if the United States. However, I do not think felons should be able to vote. A felon has broken the law, which is why they are put in jail. Granting a felon a vote to create new legislation when they themselves do not abide by those very laws is completely contradictory.

    • Miguel_A_Period2

      A lot of things are contradictory in the world. It seems like such a grudge filled thing to deny voting rights to reformed felons.

    • brittneyd_3boydbence

      I disagree. In my opinion, disenfranchisement for felons falls under the category of ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, as stated in the eighth amendment. These people still have opinions and thoughts and they should be valued just as much as any other citizens’.

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/cruel_and_unusual_punishment

    • Trent_H_Period3 Boyd?/Bence?

      I think that if they go through reformation they might be able to have a second chance.

  • Riley_R_1BoydBence

    I think that prisoners should not have the right to vote. If they are in jail, it means that they have done something really bad and that means that they don’t deserve to do the same things that we can do, like having the ability to vote.

  • Tayla_k_4BoydBence

    I think Felons should have the right to vote, but not right after they have been released. They need time to recover from prison and make sure that when they vote they aren’t making a mistake. In the constitution, it states that every man has freedom. Of course the felons have done something horrible to get their rights takes and being thrown into prison, but everyone deserves a second chance right? But if they abuse their rights, then they should no longer be able to vote. Of course, this all depends on where you are, it is different in many states.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=felons+voting&safe=active&espv=210&es_sm=91&tbm=isch&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=_NgXU_3ZFsWh2AWQ84CQDQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg&biw=1242&bih=611#facrc=_&imgdii=AbQyh80laqiVvM%3A%3BJC1SQvDl1fFSeM%3BAbQyh80laqiVvM%3A&imgrc=AbQyh80laqiVvM%253A%3B0OhFsQiFRE_YkM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.laprogressive.com%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2011%252F11%252Ffelons-voting-Q4.gif%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.laprogressive.com%252Fvoting-rights-for-felons%252F%3B350%3B263

  • GianS_Per2_BoydBence

    I think that most felons should not be granted the privilege to vote. They have broken a law that coincides with the government. Why break a law in the first place when you pay the consequences later? Simple as that. Yes, there are certain degrees of lawbreaking, like robbing a bank for instance. I agree that voting circumstances can be lifted accordingly due to the fact that the crime itself isn’t that horrendous. There are some felons who are willing to change and gain back those rights and there are some who aren’t.

  • KENNETH CHAN

    Its better if non-serious felons on good behavior have the right to vote but serious felons that are convicted murderers or rapists definitely should not be allowed to vote.

    • Miguel_A_Period2

      I don’t completely agree with statement #2 because I feel as though if the serious felons were reformed and choose to make a better life, they should have that chance.

    • MadiT_Per3_BoydBence

      I partially agree with you. While yes, felons with good behavior should behavior should be able to vote, I also think that people who have proved that they are trustworthy and responsible after living without their rights for a period of time should also be able to vote.
      Statistics show that people who have had their right to vote taken are three times more likely to commit and crime then people who are given them back. I think that this shows that taking them away forever would not only keep them more isolated from society, but up the chances of them committing another felony.
      But I do think that judges could differ the amount of time they have to live without this right once they are released, that way people who had committed more serious crimes would have to wait longer.

    • brittneyd_3boydbence

      Why not? People shouldn’t have their basic rights taken away just for committing a crime. They still have opinions as well as us citizenship.

    • JTM_3boydbence

      I really don’t think you get it. Our founding father fought a war against one of the greatest empires in the world at the time over these principles . “That all men are created equal.” – Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. This also applies to people who have committed crimes. if you look at the 13 , was a colonies were deters and criminals were sent to. and if I recall They were one of the founding colonies and had representation in congress. They were aloud to vote so why cant they vote now?

  • brittneyd_3boydbence

    I have created a voki that states my thesis statement as well as some evidence.

    http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=9485076&height=267&width=200

    (Felons should be able to vote after completion of jail or probation time. For example, on fair vote.org, it shows that many states have no disenfranchised felons. I think this should be something all the states should enforce.)

    Sources: fairvote.org, http://www.fairvote.org/research-and-analysis/voting-rights/felon-disenfranchisement/

  • Chewy_5683

    I don’t think this is right, I don’t think it’s right to take some of those rights away from people who were committed of a fellony. I can see takin them away from some people, but to refuse them to ever be able to vote again is rediculous. They should all be able to sign up and actually have a chance to get their rights back. I think it’s also good to have a waiting period, and make sure that they have learned their lesson.
    http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-convicted-felons-retain-the-right-to-vote
    On this page above me 50% people say felons should have the right to vote, and 50% say they shouldn’t. There are posts from many people explaining their decisions and I see the point of view of almost all of them. But convicted felons are effected by the choice of politicians and telling them they can’t do anything to show their point of view or their opinion, isn’t right. Telling them they have to abide by other peoples believes and can’t voice theirs isn’t constitutional.

    • KaraP_Per2_BoydBence

      I agree. Felons should get their rights back after they have served their time in prison. “The right to vote and to cast a free and secret ballot is supposed to be the cornerstone of democracy. Yet, upwards of 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of a past felony conviction.” (found on http://www.fairvote.org/research-and-analysis/voting-rights/felon-disenfranchisement/ ) Prison is for people to pay their debt to society, once they have done so then they deserve to get their rights back.

  • ESigler-2boydbence

    I think that felons should have their rights restored. Once they are out of jail, they have learned their lesson, and they are only human. With that being said, all humans need to have the same right if we expect equality between each other.
    America demands equality but does not give it to everyone.
    They shouldn’t be allowed to vote IN jail, cause they are still serving their time and paying consequences, but when they get out, they should be allowed to have their voting rights restored.

  • Maliha M

    I think that if someone has served their time and worked off their felony, than they are elligable to vote. Saying that because someone made a mistake will affect every decision they make in life, is frankly unfair and doesn’t make sense. It is every person’s right to vote in the country that they live in. Every human being makes mistakes and some are given time for them, while others that may have committed worse ones have gotten off. They do the crime, they do the time, don’t punish them anymore.

    • ClaireB_period2_BoydBence

      Maliha M

      I somewhat agree with you. “The Florida Parole
      Commission looked at this question and they found that those who are banned
      from voting were three times more likely to commit crimes than those who had
      their voting rights restored. Ninety-five percent of prisoners in this country
      are eventually released.” If you give them there voting rights back than they
      are less likely to commit another crime, but “anywhere from 30, to 40, to 50
      percent of felons going back in prison So having a waiting period and then if
      they come out and they clearly have shown they’ve learned their lesson, then
      restoring their voting rights I think is a good idea and it should be done.” I
      think that it is a good idea to have a 7-year waiting period before criminals
      can regain their voting privileges back.

    • MadiT_Per3_BoydBence

      With all due respect, I disagree with you. I don’t see how someone who has not abided by the laws should get to vote on them. Look at this statistic – Up to 50% of felons RETURN to jail within 4 years of being released. Now, this isn’t all of them, but it is still enough for that to be an issue. I believe that they should have to prove themselves of being worthy of getting their rights. Keep in mind that not only do they lose their right to vote, but to serve on a jury, to own a gun, and to obtain a job like a police officer. If you give them one back as soon as they are released, then you give all of them right. If 50% of the felons are going to commit another crime in the following years of their release, why should we trust them with these rights?
      I think that it would be a good situation (like 11 states have now) to have a period of the time where the felon would have to completely abide by the rules and prove that they can be trusted. Once this is up, they will be granted the rights they had lost.

    • ChristianH_2boydbence

      I agree with you Maliha. Someone who has served their time and gone through the steps of reintegration should be able to act just like any other man. They should have the ability as a member of this country that is founded on these rights to preform them.

    • Trent_H_Period3 Boyd?/Bence?

      I agree with you, if they learn that what they did is wrong we might be able to give them a second chance.

  • Nikki J.

    Felons should not have the right to vote. They have committed crimes and broken laws. What gives them the right to vote for how the country should be ran, when they don’t know how to abide by the rules? If felons were allowed to vote, that would go against the democracy we have built in our country. Our democracy is built on rules that are meant to be followed. Those who have followed those rules, have the right to vote further on how the country should be ran. It’s a right for every American to vote, but only if you are willing to reflect the ideals of democracy in your everyday actions.

    http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/18/should-convicted-felons-be-allowed-to-vote-after-theyve-served-their-time/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    • ClaireB_period2_BoydBence

      Nikki J.

      I agree with you. To add to that, “If you look at the three to five-year period,
      and depending on the crime, it’s anywhere from 30, to 40, to 50 percent of
      felons going back in prison.” We should not regain there rights to vote because
      its is more than likely that they will end up back in prison. They should be
      able to regain their rights once they have gone 7 years without committing
      another felony.

    • Tclark-2boydbence

      Nikki,

      I agree that felons have commited serious crimes and cannot immediately be given the right to vote. They have broken the trust of the country and they need to have time to fix that before being able to vote. After they have proved they have changed and are trustworthy again they should have that right restored. This map shows states and their policies regarding felons and voting rights.

    • Brandon Burlison

      I agree with you that felons should not have the right to vote because they have proven themselves un trustworthy and why should we give them that privilege if they have done something that is against the law

    • ChristianH_2boydbence

      But if you think about it the definition of a right is a moral or legal entitlement that everyone should have. If we keep those rights away from people after they have served their time and probation we are alienating our own people constantly reminding them of a past they wish to let go.

    • JTM_3boydbence

      Nikki,
      I really don’t think you get it. Our founding father fought a war against one of the greatest empires in the world at the time over these principles . “That all men are created equal.” – Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. This also applies to people who have committed crimes. if you look at the 13 , was a colonies were deters and criminals were sent to. and if I recall They were one of the founding colonies and had representation in congress. They were aloud to vote so why cant they vote now?

  • Francesca Botto

    Voting is a right for every American citizen above the age of 18. Everyone has made mistakes, some bigger than others. Felons who have broken laws and are not serving time should not have the right to vote. They broke the laws, so why would they vote in an attempt to make the better. However, I do think that if a felon has done their time, spent time in jail, participated in a rehabilitation program, and/or done service time, then they can vote. While some are repenting for their mistakes, others are not and they should not have the right to vote. There should be a program or a list of criteria that criminals have to follow or abide by in order to earn back their voting right.

    • Miguel_A_Period2

      I wholly agree with this. Prisoners who have been reformed usually wish to reform both themselves and the world so denying them the chance to better their community would be wrong of us.

    • JoelR_Per 3_BoydBence

      I agree with you that felons have to show that they are ready to vote by having like a wait time. Research shows that individuals who vote after completing their sentences are half as likely to commit another crime as those who do not vote.
      Voting demonstrates a commitment to our democracy and an interest in state and community affairs. For former felons, it is one of the ways in which they can become engaged and invested in our society, thus aiding their full reintegration into society.
      source: http://www.virginia-organizing.org/content/felon-disenfranchisement-virginia

    • taylor_w_2nd

      Perfectly said, Francesca!
      I could not agree more with what you just said. If they are trying to get better and be a part of society again, they should prove that and then earn the voting privilege back, if they qualify and deserve it. Otherwise, there is no reason they should be given the opportunity to hurt society again.

    • alexm_3boydbence

      I agree with you completely. They should regain the right by doing their time, once they’re out the right to vote should be granted back to them. they should have the right to vote again, espicially since the recidivism rates are lower when you let them vote once they get out of jail.

    • Trent_H_Period3 Boyd?/Bence?

      I agree with you Francesca, if people change I think that we should let them have a second chance.

    • JTM_3boydbence

      I don’t agree, If you look at the system that some states have in place you will realize that so criteria dose not work. OVERTON: They can actually apply to have them restored the problem is that that’s ineffective. Mark Warner restored rights to just about everyone who applied, and he restored rights to only 1 percent of the people who were eligible. So the application process is not effective.

  • Caroline P

    Felons should not have the right to vote. The consequences of being a felon should be the lack of voting rights. When felons decided to break the law, they decided to disobey rules, and thus should not be allowed to vote in our country anymore. If they are unable to make good enough judgements in day to day life, how can we trust them with decisions having to do with our government? Though some felons do have a change of heart, this does not apply to all felons, and so the law should still remain. They do not deserve the same rights as law abiding citizens.

    • ClaireB_period2_BoydBence

      Caroline P

      I agree with you. I found that, “You
      don’t just lose your right to vote when you’re convicted of a felony, you lose
      your right to serve on a jury, you lose your right to own a gun, a Second
      Amendment right, you lose your right to certain kinds of public employment,
      like being a police officer. There was not one word in what Eric Holder said
      about restoring any of those other rights. Now if he really believes this will
      reintegrate people into society, they’ve paid their debt, why isn’t he saying
      anything about all of those other rights that you lose?” If you convict a felony
      you can regain your right to vote but you cannot regain all the other rights
      you lost. When criminals can regain all their other rights then they can gain
      the right to vote back too.

    • EmilyA_Per3_boydBence

      I do agree with you when you said, “Though some felons do have a change of heart, this does not apply to all felons, and so the law should still remain. They do not deserve the same rights as law abiding citizens.” But, even if they had a change of heart or not, the court can decide to give them another chance. When you’re in jail, you can ask for parole; that doesn’t mean its always given. If you killed someone and you still dont want to admit its wrong? Youre staying in there. You have to work your way back out of the system, not get out with one shot.

  • Miguel_A_Period2

    Prisoners are people who’ve committed a crime and are in prison. After people have been released, they are usually reformed or try to lead a better life than the mistakes they’ve made. Sometimes, people like to give back to the community. Giving back to your community is one of the best things you can do. Why do we deny the right to vote for people who have been reformed and try to create a better place than the world they created for themselves? Surely people should be rewarded for their efforts to remove all of their impurities. The idea that felons cannot vote even after being reformed reminds of the literary classic “Les Miserables”. Even after being released from 20 years of prison, Jean Valjean was forced to turn himself in every now and then to his parole officer but did not wish to do that. Jean then denied his parole and created a new identity for himself which became the mayor of a town. Due to the shackles of unfair laws, Jean had to stoop the creating a new identity so he could better himself and the world around him.
    Prisoners should not have to follow the same path that poor 24601 had to.
    Besides, I really doubt that if every prisoner WAS allowed to vote, that anything negative could happen.

  • Petty_Period2_BoydBence

    Dad, Uncle, Grandpa, Cousions, all of them are/were part of a Police Force at some point in their lives. All of them, got to be put in a situation were they were forced to work with convicted felons and with people who struggled with the law. All of witch, deserved to be in that situation they were in. They did something to break the law, and the officers are then forced to step in.
    So why would we want these felons to have say in what goes on in the government that directly effects us? Sure they might be citizens of the United States, Sure they might work their butts off to get themselves better. But that doesn’t give them the right to come back in and give their opinions in the government! Voting is a privilege, not a right. So yes, if you do something wrong, you can get your rights taken away!
    For example, when you go against your parents you get a privilege taken away! You may say its a right, when in fact it is actually a privilege!
    To sum it up: you get rights taken away, you can try like crazy to get it back but sometimes it just docent happen that way! Once a Felon, Always a Felon!

  • Ryan_R_2

    I think convicted felons should still have the right to vote because they are still affected by the choices of politicians. Felons are still affected by laws made by politicians. Laws could be made about the court system or anything else that might have an impact on their lives. It would be wrong to take away the right to choose the people affecting them, since they are still a part of our democracy. Voting is a right for every American citizen. Everyone has made mistakes, some bigger than others. But everyone deserves a second chance.

  • Tclark-2boydbence

    I believe that while felons are still citizens they have commited huge crimes that don’t just go away as soon as they are out of prison and need a period of time before their full rights and privileges are restored, including voting. If they didn’t have the good judgement not to commit that huge of a crime then they might not have the best judgement when it comes to voting. They have shown that they don’t obey or respect laws so how do we know they won’t keep that mindset when voting.

    Felons need time after being in prison to prove their trustworthiness. As soon as someone’s prison sentence is up doesn’t mean they can just pick up where they left off and have all the rights and privileges as someone who didn’t break the law in such a huge way.

    As expressed in this article, “one of every 40 adults in this country is unable to vote.” This is a lot of people who may deserve the right to vote depending on the crime the committed and the circumstances. This needs to be a case by case procedure where after prison they can apply to vote again and based on their records the right can be restored .http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roy-speckhardt/felons-deserve-the-right-_b_3689568.html After all they are still citizens and still should be able to vote eventually.

  • DennisS_2boydbence

    While in jail, felons shouldn’t have the right to vote. Prison sentence is taking away your freedoms and rights, and voting is a right that Americans have. Some people, however, committed smaller crimes that they most likely will never commit again. I think that once they are free from prison, they should be allowed to vote, allowed to make their impact as productive American citizens. Only the very worst crimes should be inexcusable, and people who commit them should be in jail, not running free in this case. Removing the right to vote from those who have made mistakes in their lives is too hard a punishment, especially when nobody in this world could possibly be perfect.

  • taylor_w_2nd

    I believe that prisoners should not be allowed vote. If you are a prisoner, you are no longer a part of society, so you should not be allowed to make decisions that affect people that have done no wrong. Allowing prisoners to vote is allowing them to wrongly affect society once again. The 15thamendment stated that you have to be a US citizen to vote. Then, in the 19th
    amendment it states you can be either male or female, while in the 26th
    amendment it says you have to be at least 18 to vote. There are rules and amendments set on voting because it is not something taken lightly. Allowing prisoners to vote is allowing them to make an impact on society, which they have already done plenty of if they are a prisoner in the first place.

  • Daniel K Period_2 Shuttle

    I honestly think that felons shouldn’t be able and have the right to vote. When you are stuck in a jail cell for a period of time, what if the outside world has come to a change?What if to be able to vote, you would need to know the differences from right and wrong. These are the things that felons don’t know, which is why they were sentenced to jail time in the first place. When you are put in jail or prison, it is because you have done something against the law, and you are being punished for it. Do you think that people who cannot follow the few rules that help the community, should be able to change the whole country just with that single life changing vote? In the graph below, it shows that the amount of felons who are not aloud to vote has risen. I don’t think that these choices are considered wrong. According to the podcast above, in some states, after the felon has served their time in prison, they must wait, depending on the size of the crime, from months to years. I think this is a very good solution to this. It proves that if they can keep up a clean record, perhaps they are ready for another chance.

    • CarlosR_3BoydBence

      Criminals aren’t children… They know what is right and wrong, they choose to do wrong. Everyone does things they know is wrong. Felons just do it bigger and more hardcore. They are caught and sent to jail because they didn’t know how to do their crime right, not because they don’t know what’s right and wrong. And why should right and wrong matter in voting. Aren’t politicians here to make things right? Crimes don’t exclude you from society they make you a big part of it because chances are good you’ve seen some stuff and know things others don’t. According to many psychological reports and articles criminals are different kinds of thinkers(http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/index.html), They’re more abstract and different in the way they think. I think we need that input in our votes.

    • EmilyA_Per3_boydBence

      It all depends on how long they’ve been in prison..Being stuck in a jail cell for any period of time could make you go crazy, right? But that doesn’t take away judgement. Secluding the felon when they can’t have basic rights? Thats wrong. If we could, give one right at a time.

    • ChristianH_2boydbence

      I disagree with you, criminals who have served their time and are out or on probation are trying to be reintegrated into society as a functioning individual. If we keep certain rights away from them how do you expect someone to become apart of a nation that is based on those very rights?

  • Guest

    I honestly think that felons shouldn’t be able and have the right to vote. When you are stuck in a jail cell for a period of time, what if the outside world has come to a change?What if to be able to vote, you would need to know the differences from right and wrong. These are the things that felons don’t know, which is why they were sentenced to jail time in the first place. When you are put in jail or prison, it is because you have done something against the law, and you are being punished for it. Do you think that people who cannot follow the few rules that help the community, should be able to change the whole country just with that single life changing vote? In the graph below, it shows that the amount of felons who are not aloud to vote has risen. I don’t think that these choices are considered wrong. According to the podcast above, in some states, after the felon has served their time in prison, they must wait, depending on the size of the crime, from months to years. I think this is a very good solution to this. It proves that if they can keep up a clean record, perhaps they are ready for another chance.

    • Alice_B_4boydbence

      Probation is that waiting period, though. Do you want additional waiting time after probation, though Spencer Overton, professor at George Washington University Law School said that “The Florida Parole Commission looked at this question and they found that those who are banned from voting were three times more likely to commit crimes than those who had their voting rights restored.”? Not restoring a person’s voting rights after serving time would be unconstitutional–the thirteenth amendment says that slavery is banned, except for in prison, and the fifteenth bans us from denying people the right to vote based on previous conditions of involuntary servitude. We must also consider that more young people are in prison than adults (eji.org reports that “Nearly 3000 [children] nationwide have been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole”) and young people are more prone to change than adults, and therefore, turning their lives around.

    • alexm_3boydbence

      I agree with you that felons shouldn’t be able to vote when they’re in jail, but once their sentence is done they should be able to. Voting is considered a right in my opinion, and all human beings should have the right to vote. Plus, the podcast up above states.”but other studies have shown even in other states that automatically restore voting rights, that those people have lower recidivism rates.”

  • Shemar_D_2BoydBence

    I think that people currently in prison should not be able to vote. Voting is a right and the definition of right is
    “a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.” And when they committed the crime that got them incarcerated they lost certain entitlements. However I believe that as soon as they are released they can vote again. As they have obviously served their time and/or done something to be released.Let them contribute to society. It’s not like they would have an vendetta against America and purposely vote for the worst candidate to win.

  • KnowEl

    I don’t think that inmates currently in jail or those on probation should be able to vote, but those that are out should be able to vote I think after a certain amount of time outside of jail.

    • Shemar_D_2BoydBence

      That’s a pretty sound idea, basically what I believe except that I think once they are on probation they can vote too.

    • CarlosR_3BoydBence

      I can say that I agree with you. In jail/prison you are serving a punishment for a crime you committed. So as an inmate, you shouldn’t be able to vote. AFTER your sentence though you should vote. Many states don’t take away your right to vote and some take it away for a while and others select who can get theirs back. This chart from https://www.aclu.org/maps/map-state-felony-disfranchisement-laws shows what states have disenfranchisement laws. I just dislike how felons can’t vote but people who aren’t even citizens can.

    • ColeW_4BoydBence

      I completely agree with you. If you are an inmate you shouldn’t be able to vote but once you have passed that and you are clean. You should gain your rights back and be able to vote.

    • NWeix-1stboydbence

      I think that the crime should be taken into consideration here, generally if your willing to accept and server your punishment, you should have the right to vote, as you truly repent and are sorry. Those that clearly oppose and try to get out, and aren’t sorry should have the right revoked until they are able to make up for their respective crimes.

    • EmilyA_Per3_boydBence

      How long are you saying we should wait? In the podcast, they say that few states actually give their rights back. But if you’re talking about after probation, then thats when they may use it. But if they give back voting right shouldn’t they give back the right to bear arms, amendment 2? What if the court/judge/jury watches them after they’re freed? Maybe if the court could keep an eye on the parolee, perhaps the rights could be restored.

    • Alice_B_4boydbence

      I live in Texas, and in 2012, our population was 26.06 million. Let’s say about 20 million of those people are adults, some 5,000 of those adults are ex-convicts who have completed their probation, and about half of all adults actually vote. How much would 2,500 people–who would not all vote for the same person–out of 10 million really sway a race? It wouldn’t have much effect at all, and our constitution prohibits denying ex-felons the right to vote.

    • alexm_3boydbence

      I agree with you that people in jail shouldnt vote, but I believe that once ur out of jail you should be able to vote, even without a certain amount of time out. studies shown if you let them vote right when they get out their is a lower rate that they will commit the crime again,

    • JacobF_Per4_BoydBence

      I disagree. Not only should they not have to wait a certain time out of jail to have the right restored, but I don’t think they should have it revoked even while serving time. It isn’t like how somebody convicted of a crime can’t own a firearm. A felon may choose to harm somebody or something with a gun, but the same can’t be said for the right to vote. A vote isn’t something usable for wrongdoing.

    • Nicholas_M_Period1

      I completely agree! This way all law abiding citizens earn their right back and criminals lose this right. This way its completely un-biased and fair, compared to other plans.

    • ChristenW_BoydBence

      How long are you talking about exactly? If people are not allowed privileges for too long, they are forced to do things like steal.

  • CarlosR_3BoydBence

    In my opinion felons should be able to vote. People who commit crimes commit them for a reason, good or bad (there are good reasons to commit crimes), they should still vote. According to felonvoting.ProCon.org there are almost 6 million people who cannot vote. 6 million people can make a huge difference in a political poll. If ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS can vote than why can’t felons. Neither have followed the law, but only one of them are citizens. I find that just stupid. Voting should be a right for all U.S. citizens, felon or not.

    • CarlosR_3BoydBence

      What I meant by “good reasons to commit crime” would be like if justice is needed to be served that can’t be done by the courts. I wouldn’t go as crazy as the man in the movie Law Abiding Citizen, but more like in the movie Jack and Jill where they rob their scandalous boss of everyones retirement money, and in another similar case in Madea’s Witness Protection where Madea and other characters rob a big company to get the charity money back into the charities they belong to. Things of that sort. I am not a fan of revenge killing or stealing.

  • ColinB_3BoydBence

    I think that prisoners shouldn’t be able to vote based on it being a right. This right comes from whether or not you respect the united states or not. The right to vote is also a privilege because as long as you follow the U.S. laws than you should be able to use that privilege but while you are in jail then you should not have that privilege because you lost that right when you broke one of the american laws. But as long as you are in jail i agree that you should not have the right to vote, but as soon as you get out of jail i think that you should be able to vote as long as it is in an appropriate manor

  • Dylan_L_period3Bence/Boyd

    Here is a statement I found “Felony is a big deal. Felons have been convicted of a crime including murder, rape, and arson. It is because of this that many believe that felons do not deserve the right to vote. Those against felons voting believe that those convicted of crime have shown bad-judgment, which proves them unfit to make good decisions, especially choosing the nation’s leaders.” I think that this statement is exactly the truth. A person who has committed a crime as bad as these should not be able to vote. If they have the mindset to do these acts of crime than their judgement is clearly clouded. I dont want someone who has bad judgement voting for the leaders of my country.

    Source: http://www.teenink.com/opinion/current_events_politics/article/174188/Should-Felons-be-Allowed-to-Vote/

  • MadiT_Per3_BoydBence

    I think that previous felons should have to go through a 4 year period when they must prove themselves to be worthy of getting their rights back. In the 3-5 year period after felons are released from jail, up to 50% of them commit another crime and are sent back to the court room. If these people are refusing to abide by the laws that this country has, they should not have the opportunity to vote on them. I think that by enforcing a 4 year period where previous felons must abide by all laws and adhering to the restriction of their rights, there will be a group coming out of this that is responsible and trust-worthy enough to gain their rights back.

    “SPAKOVSKY: Well, the difference is that when you’re voting, you are voting on the laws and rules under which society will operate. I mean, that’s basically what you’re doing. These are individuals who have demonstrated that they weren’t willing to abide by those rules and laws.”

    The people who have committed a felony should have to prove that they are now willing to abide by the laws and rules which society will operate, like Spakovsky said above.

    This chart below shows the different states and what their law for felon’s rights to vote is.

  • BarrettC-3periodboydbence

    I think that the level of their crime should be the deciding factor weather or not they should be able to vote or not. But if a prisoner was to finish his time and be released from probation, then I think he would learn his lesson and should be given a second chance. “Well, the norm is in 39 states and also most countries around the world, people who have served their time can actually vote. And it’s just these 11 states in the U.S. where some or all people cannot vote. In fact, there are about four states where people who have – are returning to society just cannot vote.” I think voting is both a human right and a privilege to have. So to sum it all up, I think that criminals have two ways to still have their voting privileges. Either to do their time to and be released from probation, or they should still have their voting privileges if their crime was misdemeanor.

    http://www.npr.org/2014/02/21/280688684/voting-rights-time-to-think-differently-for-those-whove-done-time

  • EmilyA_Per3_boydBence

    In the podcast, for voting right featuring Michael Martin, Hans von Spakovsky, and Spencer Overton, they mention how “Rand Paul supports restoration of rights. Governor Bob McDonnell in Virginia worked to restore voting rights. Governor George Bush in Texas restored voting rights to a hundred percent of people automatically.” and that Rand Paul didnt mention any of the other rights. If Voting is considered a right and the court says that after the felon gets out of jail, they’ve proven that they can be trusted back into the society and that we can live next door to them without really worrying. But he never mentioned the other right that should really be included with the voting rights. Maybe if we let them vote, give them all their rights back.

    Source: http://www.npr.org/2014/02/21/280688684/voting-rights-time-to-think-differently-for-those-whove-done-time

  • Norisha Edge

    @KQEDEdspace @mrsdjoh1228 if you can not obey they laws that were given to you as a citizen, then why should you have be able to vote but it can also be an arguement aganist that by using the term forgiveness because if you were an inmate in prison, you would want to vote for your president. Also few of many inmates can be wrongly committed of a crime so you can not hold that aganist them.#DoNowVoter

    • Alice_B_4boydbence

      Considering our thirteenth amendment considers prison a form of involuntary servitude, and our fifteenth says that we cannot deny people the right to vote based on reasons of “race, color, or previous conditions of servitude”, felons have every right to vote, and to deny them that would go against a sort of American myth that came about in the 20s–one that a person can be anyone they want to be, provided they work for it, and considering prison is a punishment, they have worked for it.

    • LawsonZ_3BoydBence

      I do not agree with this. We all make mistakes. And to look at the list of felon’s then you would see that their are some pretty minor one’s. This includes people who in the eye’s of the law have drug’s and they think they are going to sell it.

      • Norisha Edge

        Thats why I used an con with it with the term forgiveness.

    • SydneyA_Per4_BoydBence

      I agree with you. Everything you put I completely agree with! If they can’t follow the simple laws that the country sets for us, then why should they get the right to vote. Although I think that after they have done their parole then can get that right back.

      • Norisha Edge

        I agree!!! :)

    • Lbateman_2boydbence

      I agree that these felons are not following the laws and should have their privilege of voting taken away, but we need to give them the privilege back once they are released.

      • Norisha Edge

        I kind of agree but how will they really get the message of committing a crime. They should get it back after a few years.

    • MaxP_3boyd_bence

      I agree with you, citizens are expected to follow rules and if you do not obey them, there are consequences. But I think it can be improved by only letting a misdemeanor that have served term of incarceration + parole + probation the right to vote. Only felons lose the right to vote. These people chose to commit a felony, then there are going to be consequences.

      • Norisha Edge

        I agree. Are you and Dorian related?

        • Norisha Edge

          Never mind I see your class because some commented on my comment

    • DorianM_3boydbence

      I agree with you Norisha that felons should have their privilege of voting taken away, when there felons “they just don’t want to revisit the worst thing that they’ve done or a bad experience. And so they don’t go back through the process and fill out the paperwork and apply to have their rights restored.”In the article it says some felons dont want to apply to get there voting right back if they dont want to apply to get there right back why should we just give to them they need to want to work to earn something they lost

      • Norisha Edge

        I definetly agree!!!!!! :)

    • ChristenW_BoydBence

      Okay, for starters, are telling me that you have never and will never break ANY law in your life? Such as speeding, watching a pirated movie, forgetting to pay a ticket, etc..? Are you telling me that you never stole a piece of candy from the store when you were little?
      Should a little kid who stole a piece of candy never be allowed to vote in his life??
      I know that’s not what you meant, but just had to point that out…

      • Norisha Edge

        Thats why I said the term forgiveness because everyone has made a mistake in their life, everyone is not perfect.

  • Olivia

    I think that prisoners should be able to vote, depending on what and how many crimes were committed. After an inmate gets out of jail and has shown good behavior for a good amount of time, they should be allowed to vote. There’s always an opportunity for a second chance, and this should be one of them.

    • JoelR_Per 3_BoydBence

      I agree with you because humans aren’t prefect and we get off track sometimes. Ex-felons pay tax, and normal citizen have a right to say how their money is spent. This reminded me of a old slogan that americans came up with No taxation without representation! They came up with this because they didn’t have the representative they wanted in the British Parliament. Same case here as well.

    • TrinityS_Per3_BoydBence

      I agree for the most part, and I also agree with the part concerning the number of crimes that have been committed which I think is an easy aspect to overlook. When people have served their time, they should be able to get back their right to vote, although in the attached link below, there is a video with some argument over whether the United States actually has that right…
      But we can talk about that on a different day. I do believe that they should set a limit on the felons that can be committed by one person before something should be done, yet I honestly don’t know what would be done. If the right to vote is an actual right, then you are born with it and it’s unalienable. I do understand taking away weapons from murderers, but taking away someone’s right to vote won’t stop them from committing the crime. All in all, I don’t think it’s worth taking away someone’s rights when it won’t directly affect their future actions.
      Voting video: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/opinion/the-right-to-vote.html?_r=0

    • CadenM_Per1_BoydBence

      I agree with you prisoners should get the right to vote and there should be a barrier that cannot be crossed otherwise they cannot vote.

    • IsabellaV_3boydbence

      Olivia,
      I agree with you. Felons should have a second chance. Voting is a right. It shouldn’t be taken away from you. On the other hand, taking a weapon away from them is for safety reasons. They can cause injure someone or make a place unsafe with a weapon, but they can’t do that when they vote.

  • davidjenny

    Since voting is privilege I don’t think criminals should be able to vote. On the contrary I think everyone deserves a second chance. So, I think you should suspend felons privilege to vote for like eight years or what not. But we should, give them a chance to win their right to vote back. We don’t know if jail time has changed a certain felon or not. I do think everyone deserves to be heard.

    • JoelR_Per 3_BoydBence

      I agree with you David I believe that restricting their right to vote while in prison is an essential part of their punishment, but after they have completed their sentence they should be allowed to participate in voting. If they have paid their debt to society then why should they continue to be punished? There are about 5.85 million Americans not able to vote because of a criminal conviction in their past according to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tomas-lopez/felony-disenfranchisement-kentucky_b_4849349.html. Most of these people have changed and we should take to consideration what they have to say too.

    • Rachael P. 2nd BoydBence

      I agree with you that voting is a privilege. America is big on second chances and thats why I also agree with your statement that felons deserve another try. If felons face their consequences and do all that they are asked then the right to vote should be given back. It is the person’s choice wether they will change or go back to their lifestyle. Voting is a right given to all of us but it is us who choose wether to take advantage of that.

    • JohannaS_BoydBence2

      Davidjenny,
      I agree with you. We don’t know if jain time has changed them, so that’s why we need other ways for them to prove themselves before being able to vote again. I also agree with your thoughts about criminals not being able to vote because I don’t want those people making any kind of impact on our country. So the second chance point here is great, we shouldn’t let people in jail vote, but once they’re out they can be award a second chance to vote and prove themselves.

    • RaagP_4BoydBence

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. That is exactly what I said. But, if a person commits multiple crimes, or do a serious crime they should not be able to vote. Other than that they should be able to.

    • Brent_L_Per1

      I somewhat agree with you, I believe that you should be able to begin voting again after you have served your sentence. I agree that everyone deserves a second chance and I think treating them like a normal person would be the best way to do that.

  • Brandon C

    Honestly I think voting is a right that every citizen of the US has a right to. Just because you’ve been in prison doesn’t mean you’re automatically a brainless moron who can’t tell wrong from right. It just means you’ve made a questionable decision that ended badly. Should a bad act when you were 22 really still affect you when you’re 50? Denying felons the vote is like saying you’re a terrible person. You will always be a terrible person and as a result you will never again get to have a say in the world you live in. It’s demeaning. Isn’t prison supposed to be a place where prisoners are rehabilitated? Not a stigma that denies one of your basic American rights

    • AndreaO_per4_BoydBence

      I agree, they deserve the right to vote, they are american citizens they need to decide what they want for their country.

    • Kyle_C_3boydbence

      I completely agree with you but if they are purposely abusing the law I think they should be temporarily suspended from their rights of voting and others rights that fit into their crime they have done. I also think they should be able to vote in jail though because there are a lot of things that can go wrong. So once they get out of jail they can slowly get all their rights back.

    • JohannaS_BoydBence2

      Brandon,
      I agree with you 100 percent. You’re right; your choices made years and years ago should not affect you or deny your basic rights. As soon as someone is able to prove they are in the right state of mind, they should be given the right to vote again. I don’t think we should immediately give it back to every single person right as they get out, but rather once they’ve proven themselves.

    • MikeM_3boydbence

      I totally agree with this. A lot of people that I know that just because you went to jail your a bad person who is very dangerous. I personally know people who have been to jail for many years and they are so nice and smart. They should be able to vote no matter what. Its true that they took the wrong path in life but it maybe was not there decision, maybe they were forced to do it.

    • CadenM_Per1_BoydBence

      I agree they should have the right to vote even though they made a mistake. They deserve the get second chances.

    • JasminR_3BoydBence

      I agreewith you. To vote gives people the opportunity determined
      how they want to see America. 5.3 million
      Americans are denied the right to vote because of a past felony conviction.
      Felonies go through probation, which “subject
      to a period of good behavior under supervision.” once they
      go through that why should they not have their right
      to vote restored back to them.

  • ChristineP_4BoydBence

    Prisoners shouldn’t be allowed to vote. We fought for our rights and they shouldn’t get the same ones. They can’t follow the rules, they shouldn’t have a say in what they are. In this article I saw it stated that “most of the people
    in prison either dropped out of school or never received an education”. While this isn’t quite justified, it shows that people may not be educated enough to vote, and they broke the law so they obviously shouldn’t receive the same privileges as everyone else. Once they have gotten out of prison, and served probation, I believe they should get to vote again. They have earned that privilege back.

  • AndreaO_per4_BoydBence

    “Currently, 11 states bar some or all ex-felons from voting. But critics believe that such rules are unfair and actually discourage former criminals from rebuilding their lives as productive citizens.” This sentence said by the host is what opens the debate. I believe that felons should be able to done after they are done with their sentence because as said before we want them to rebuild their lives and what better way to do it than getting involved in their own countries politics. We also need to remember that even though they committed a crime they are still considered citizens and they should be issued the right to vote. It doesn’t matter if they are still in jail or if they are out and they have completed their sentence, they are part of this country and they have the right to make opinions and decide what they want on their country because even though if they are still in jail or if they are out they live here.

  • ColeW_4BoydBence

    I think prisoners shouldn’t be able vote. They chose to commit the crime that put them behind the bars. Although in the article I noticed that it stated that “most of the peoplein prison either dropped out of school or never received an education”. This is the common reason why I think the prisoners shouldn’t be able to vote, because they are un educated while in bars. But once they get out and go through some recovery, they should be able to vote like any other human.

  • taylors_4boydbence

    I think felons should have the right to vote after they have served their time or probation. like the guy in the podcast was saying in some places you have to sign up for it and people may not want to go back over what they did wrong. I think that as soon as you are released you get your right to vote back. Its a right and if your out of prison or off probation then obviously we trust you or else they wouldn’t let them run free. so if we can let them out then they should be able to vote.

  • Alice_B_4boydbence

    As the purpose of a prison is to rehabilitate prisoners, ex-felons should be allowed to vote. Spencer Overton, a professor at George Washington University Law School, says that even though ex-felons can apply to have their rights restored in states where they can no longer vote otherwise, “the application process is not effective,” because he did a blanket approval although only 1% were eligible, and Attorney General Eric Holder is urging lawmakers to make these laws clear and consistent. As Martin said, we expect ex-felons to contribute to society and to want to contribute to society, at least through work, and to reintegrate into society, but we take away one of their most basic rights as a US citizen. Our fifteenth amendment bans lawmakers from denying a person the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” and our thirteenth amendment considers prison a form of servitude. It’s unconstitutional to deny ex-felons voting rights, and goes against the moral code we have here: that every US citizen 18 and older has a right to vote, and we cannot take that away, not permanently. Felons have already proven through following their probation that they are responsible, and we can’t expect more of them.

  • ClaireG_4boydbence

    I have a difficult time with this topic because I have a split opinion. Voting is a privilege that can be easily taken away if an individual does not abide by the laws of the nation/state. I agree that if and when a citizen commits a crime and is sentenced to prison their privilege to vote needs to be revoked. Whether or not they regain this particular privilege is where I struggle. In the podcast above, Spakovsky brought up the point that Attorney General Eric Holder did not mention restoring any other rights revoked from a citizen when sent to prison. I question why that is? If one can not be trusted to be a police officer or own a gun, then why should they be able to vote? When I ask myself this question I feel conflicted for a number of reasons. I wonder if not giving citizens, who have been released from prison and completed probation without any issues, the privilege to vote is not only politically correct but also morally correct? I believe that each case, each crime, and each person is different. I believe that not everyone deserves the same exact consequence for whatever crime they committed because each crime is different. With this being said, how can we sit here and say “they committed a crime and even though they were released from prison and did not have any issues during probation, they do not have the privilege to vote,” how can we say that? What about the falsely accused? They went to prison, but did not commit the crime, so do they get the privilege to vote? Each case should be looked at differently. I don’t particularly think a serial killer deserves the privilege to vote, but not every criminal is a serial killer. Each case is different. Each person is different. We need to give them the opportunity to possibly have the privilege to vote again. Like I said earlier, this topic is difficult for me. You have to think about flaws in the system (government wise), what is politically correct, but at the same time what is morally correct. It’s a matter of being conflicted by what your heart says and what your mind says. However, I do know for a fact that not every criminal deserves the privilege to vote, but some do.

  • NWeix-1stboydbence

    I believe this comes down to a matter of ethics; regarding the question: what exactly is “evil”. In my opinion, basically any action is able to be “Redeemed”, and thus one should be able to earn rights back if they are taken away. Rather, it’s how much you have to do to be able to get them back that I think is difficult. If someone stole something, I think a temp punishment and merely returning said stolen item is enough, in the case of murder, life sentence would be more appropriate. This is my own opinion though, and I’m just a kid so what do I know right?

  • emily_p_2shuttle

    I believe that felons should be able to vote. The amendments in the constitution are our “unalienable rights”. Even though they have convicted a crime, they still have those rights when they get out of jail. In the article it states “2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” There are probably people out there that can’t remember their own name that will vote just because they are legally allowed to. The people that have convicted a felony, should be able to vote also. Voting is a right, not a privilege. They should be allowed to vote the second they step out of their jail cell.

    • Rachael P. 2nd BoydBence

      I agree that the felons should be able to vote when they get out of jail. I believe they need to prove that they deserve this right. If everyone was given rights and freedoms with no repercussions and they abused those rights time after time then what is the point of the system. It isn’t fair to the people who don’t break the rules and have earned their rights. We were all given the right to vote when we turned 18 but convicts chose to abuse and loose that right. Therefore felons need to work and prove themselves to earn their rights back.

    • MikeM_3boydbence

      I agree with this. An attorney general named Eric Holder is wanting to end it to where even if your a felon you should be able to vote. It says that its not allowing 5.8 million voters vote which could make a big difference.

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/its-time-let-felons-vote-holder-says-n26906

    • HunterE_Per 2_BoydBence

      Think of it this way. Say you’re a parent, and you hear about a really bad felon being released from jail. Wouldn’t you worry that that person has the opportunity to vote for who runs this country? So, no, I don’t think felons should be able to vote. They’ve lost that opportunity. And they should’ve been thinking about that when they were convicted of that felony.

  • emily_p_2shuttle

    I think that felons should be allowed to vote. Voting is a right and a right is something you can’t take away. I know that the felons are being punished for abusing their rights, but they are in a jail cell with police watching over them at all times. They can;t abuse them again. They should be allowed to vote in jail or not. The article states that “about 2.5 percent of the nation’s voting age population — are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” It may not seem like a lot, but it could make a lot of difference. There are people that can’t remember their own name that are voting. If those people can vote then felons should be able to also.

  • Kyle_C_3boydbence

    I think it should really determine on what they were put in jail for or if they have really changed once they are out of prison. Also they should have to wait lets just say like 5 weeks and if there is nothing that happens in those 5 weeks they get only the voting right back then another 6 weeks goes by they get another right back and so on and so forth. So slowly but surely they get all their rights back and if there is a slip up or something goes wrong they go back in jail or get rights taken away depending on how severe the whole mess up was.

  • JoelR_Per 3_BoydBence

    I believe that a felony conviction alone should not preclude your right to vote. However I do support what Virginia doing as Spakovsky stated in the podcast. I also believe that the person who committed the felony should be completely free of all legal obligations. A felon “deserves punishment”. That’s fine, until the day they are released. At that point the tables turn: this individual will be part of our society. They may live next door. They may have kids. Their kids may be in our schools. I want every free adult person to be “in” the political system, not “out.”

  • Dezha

    They should be able to vote. I mean, it’s not like they are going to vote for the wrong person. I feel like everyone makes mistakes and it is our individual responsibility to accept that and move on-get over it. They’ve served their time so why keep punishing them? While they are incarcerated, though, the judge should include the ability to vote in their sentence. Once they are released, their rights should be automatically restored.

    • BellaP_3boydbence

      I agree with you completely and you took the words right out of my mouth. They served their time, they got out, they are going back into society. So why are we still stopping them from being able to vote. “Ninety-five percent of prisoners in this country are eventually released” Says Overton, so let those ninety-five percent vote!

    • JohannaS_BoydBence2

      Dezha,

      I agree with you partially. I think you’re right about letting them get their rights back, but I think they should have to prove they are a better person. A study (http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=17 ) showed that nearly 70% of people originally convicted were rearrested in 3 years, 46% were re-convicted, and 25% were re-sentenced to prison for a new crime. These are all people who would potentially be voting, so this is why I believe they should have to prove themselves before being allowed to vote.

    • Shemar_D_2BoydBence

      In theory you vote for who you feel is the best candidate and will make the best changes. But how will they know what each candidate proposes they have limited TV and news. But once they are released they should have their rights restored I’m with you on that.

    • DevonD_2boydbence

      Dezha I agree with you that they should be able to vote. Everyone makes mistakes we just need to accept that and move-on. We dont need to punish them more than they already have. They are citizens so they should have the right to vote. The video below has great information on this topic.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3dOHAcmZXI

    • LillyC_Per3_BoydBence

      Exactly I agree with what you said its not like their vote is going to change the world.

    • RaagP_4BoydBence

      I don’t think that all of their rights should be restored. Such as voting. If they committed a crime on the lower end of the scale then they should be able to vote, but if they go on the higher end of the scale then they should not be able to vote.

    • IsabellaV_3boydbence

      Dezha,
      I agree with you. I’ve heard people complain about how some people don’t care enough to vote, and if we don’t let the felons vote, there are less people who aren’t voting. In the debate between Spencer Overton and Hans von Spakovsky, Overton said “Ninety-five percent of prisoners in this country are eventually released”. So there’s more people who care enough to vote for laws and the president.

    • CadenM_Per1_BoydBence

      I agree people do make mistakes and some are bigger than others but that doesn’t mean they should be striped of their rights in prison. I also agree that out of prison even with the history they have now should be able to vote.

    • MikeM_3boydbence

      I agree with this. If there not alowed to vote in jail then they should definitely be able to vote right when they get out. This picture shows a map of states that lets felons vote.

    • JacobF_Per4_BoydBence

      I agree, but I think that all convicts incarcerated should be able to vote. Like you said, “it’s not like they are going to vote for the wrong person.” They won’t be harming anyone through voicing their political opinion.

    • DorianM_3boydbence

      I disagree with you i believe that if your felon you shouldn’t be able to vote because you have earn the right. when you were little and disobey you parents took something away from you so can learn your lesson how are the felons going to learn if we just give them things? “There states in which there is no way you can have your voting rights restored” Now i believe this is wrong i believe things shouldn’t be given to people they need to earn it.

    • Nicholas_M_Period1

      I agree mostly with your claim I just don’t think they should be able to vote as soon as they get out. I believe it should be a 2-3 year waiting period before they can vote, this way if they choose to commit another crime within those 2-3 years then they lost the right but if they are law abiding then they should earn that right back.

    • HunterE_Per 2_BoydBence

      I disagree. If someone causes a felony in the U.S., we should just forget about it once they’ve “done their time”? I think that you should not be allowed to vote once convicted of a felony. Yes, it’s harsh. I understand. But that’s just how I see it.

  • BellaP_3boydbence

    Felons should be able to vote, they did their time and they are ready to be apart of society. They did their time, they were on probation, they probably went to rehab and they were released. This means they are ready to come back to society and be in society. When Overton says “Because they don’t have a purpose. They’ve never been shown to prevent new crimes. In fact, they increase crime. They perpetuate a stigma, they isolate people, they prevent people from reintegrating into society.” It made me think. It made me think what if I were in their position? I would feel isolated, not treated as an equal and voting is one of the biggest ways we can treat them equally. Voting to me is like standing up for what you believe in and who you believe in. If they can’t stand up for who and what they believe in isn’t that just cruel? We should let felons vote because its a great way for them to get back into society and because it could help them not feel isolated.

  • Rachael P. 2nd BoydBence

    George Washington was elected to be president in the year 1775 and since then, voting has been an essential part of deciding this country’s future. In America when you turn 18, a legal adult, you receive the privilege to vote. From then on it is your obligation to show respect to your country and vote. Therefore people with a criminal record should earn their right to vote again.
    Once your given the right to vote it is your job to maintain that responsibility. When the trust is broken and a crime is committed that power should be taken away until they face their consequences. Felons, once out of prison make the choice wether they want go back to their old lifestyle or work towards becoming a better person. The ones who face community service and parol officers with an optimistic view deserve to have their voting right provided to them again. ‘I call upon state leaders and other elected officials across this country to pass clear and consistent reforms to restore the voting rights of all who have served their terms in prison or jail, completed their parole or probation, and paid their fines.” (Voting rights: Podcast) I agree with this statement to the extent that if the convicted person takes the steps needed like, completing probation and paying their fines then they should be permitted their right to vote. Even with their background America is about rights, freedom, and being respectful and responsible. If America’s government can’t forgive them, then who can?
    Voting determines the state of this country. It is a right and privilege to be one of the many Americans who gets to take part. Felons were given the right in the beginning like the rest of us but they lost the authorization once the crime was committed. It is then, themselves that have to prove that they deserve the rights back. Only you can decide your own fate.

  • PeytonP_4BoydBence

    What if one day you woke up and didn’t have the rights you had yesterday? How would it make you feel? The felons who have done their time and/or probation should be able to vote just like the rest of us. Spencer Overton, a professor at the George Washington University Law School, states that out of the 50 states there are still 11 that only some or all people cannot vote. Our 15th amendment prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, skin color, or previous condition of servitude. What is happening in these 11 states is against what our amendments say to do. Being able to vote should not be a privilege but a right.

  • Brandon Burlison

    I think Prisoners shouldn’t be able to vote because i see it as a privilege to get to elect your next leader, I feel like a criminal should not have that voting right because they chose to commit a act that was against the law and even though they served time in jail it should be used to show others that going to jail is a bad thing, this graph shows what states allow criminals to apply to vote again, but on the same site it says that most criminals that did apply and were given the okay to vote again didn’t.

    • KaraP_Per2_BoydBence

      I disagree. I think once someone is released from prison then they should get all their rights back. “The right to vote and to cast a free and secret ballot is supposed to be the cornerstone of democracy. Yet, upwards of 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of a past felony conviction.” ( found on http://www.fairvote.org/research-and-analysis/voting-rights/felon-disenfranchisement/ ) If you look at this it talks about voting like it is a right, not a privilage. If voting is a right, and i do believe it is, then the only time someone shouldn’t have their full rights is the time they spend in prison. Also if you look on http://www.ushistory.org/documents/amendments.htm You will find that on it is the Bill of Rights, where it states “The right of citizens of the United States to vote” many times. Therefore voting is a right because that is how it is written in our Bill of Rights. Unless imprisoned, everyone deserves their rights.

  • LillyC_Per3_BoydBence

    Huffington posts article talks about a guy who was a felon and he says. “I owned up to my crime. I served my time and I just want my rights back,” Bates, 53, an unemployed electrical engineer, told The Huffington Post. “I want to participate. But it’s just as well as if I murdered somebody. It’s a life sentence.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/felon-voting-rights_n_1924535.html

    I agree with him if he owned up to his crime like he said he shouldn’t be held back from being a free man with the ability to speak his mind on important things.
    This is a serious thing that people need to recognize that it should be changed Huffington post also says. “Hastings said many of the new laws are akin to a “backdoor poll tax,” referring to Jim Crow-era voting laws that required blacks to pay a special fee to vote.”
    “That impacts African Americans doubly,” he said.
    I think that we should be forgiving and except the fact that people change with a lot of effort and help.Which is what these felons are getting and paying for.
    I honestly think that we are changing a lot and becoming more naive and careless as to whats going on . There are people who think they have rights when they really don’t. check this info graphic below.

  • TrinityS_Per3_BoydBence

    With felons and their right to vote, once they are done serving their time and are off of probation, they should get their right to vote back. In the audio clip above, one of the representatives was saying to have a waiting period and, “see whether people really have learned their lesson and reintegrated into society.” I disagree with that because once the criminal has served their time, as well as the probation that comes with it, they should’ve learned their lesson. When you’re an American citizen, you get all of the rights that every other citizen gets. Now, I understand taking a gun away from a man who has just committed murder, but no one can cause harm by voting. It has about as much affect as if that person were to stay at a resort: they are supporting a cause or company by giving them something. And if people are afraid that these criminals are going to vote for the “wrong” people, they can’t complain. Attached is an info graphic about percents of voters in the United States, and it states that in the age group with the highest amount of voters (75+ year olds), only 67.8% of them vote. So until there is a proven pattern that felons are purposefully hurting someone by voting, they should be allowed to have the rights they were born with and be able to vote.

    Info graphic: http://graphs.net/demographics-of-voters-in-america.html

  • DevonD_2boydbence

    All felons should always have the right to vote. They are in fact U.S citizens . So why wouldn’t they be given the chance to vote. The 15th amendment says ” Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, race, or previous condition of servitude”. So why shouldn’t felons be able to vote? Once they have payed their dues and done probation the should be able to vote. Even once convicted felons should be able to vote. In the article it says ” An estimated 5.8 million americans – about 2.5 % of the nations voting age population – are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felon convictions. But, it says in the 15th amendment that it prohibit the denial of the right to vote. So why cant they vote? Just because they were or are felons doesn’t mean they should be deprived of the rights to vote. The link below is a website that is debating on weather felons should be able to vote or should not. With their vote they are giving short paragraphs on what they think about this problem. Overall I feel that is or was a felon you should always be given the right to vote.

    Link VVVV

    http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-convicted-felons-retain-the-right-to-vote

  • KaraP_Per2_BoydBence

    When people are released from prison it is because the judge feels like the felon is ready to return to society. If they are ready to return to society how can we deny them their right to vote? How can we say they are ready to come back and then turn around and say that they can’t participate in our society?
    “During 2007, a total of 1,180,469 persons on parole were at-risk of reincarceration. This includes persons under parole supervision on January 1 or those entering parole during the year. Of these parolees, about 16% were returned to incarceration in 2007.” ( found on http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=17 ) Maybe the reason so many convicted felons go back to prison is because they are denied their rights. Once felons get released from prison then they should be allowed to get all their rights back, including their voting right.
    Also please check out this voki I made about this topic.
    http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=9493479&height=267&width=200

  • Brent_L_Per1

    I think that people that are currently in prison or on parole should not be able to vote, but people who have served their time and are off parole should be able to vote. If someone is making an effort to become a normal member of society we shouldn’t limit their rights. Voting is one of our basic rights as American citizens and people who did something stupid in their past should not be continually be punished for their mistake after they have already served their punishment. As Eric Holder said “By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.” if you want to let these former felons return to normal life you shouldn’t treat them differently than you would anyone else.

  • Melody_M_2

    I think convicted felons should still have the right to vote because they are still apart of this country and they should still be able to vote. Just because they did something wrong doesn’t mean you can take their rights away. Everyone makes mistakes but that doesn’t mean that you can take their voting rights away.

  • Lindsay Tong

    I think prisoners should not be able to vote while doing their time. The reason being either they were not able to follow the law or they just disobeyed the law. Either way, this person chose not to do the right thing and should not have the privelege to vote. Voting is a privelege that should not be taken advantage of. Although prisoners are at faut, I do understand that they have the same rights as anyone else. So after they are released, there could be an exception to allow them to vote. It just depends whether they have the right intentions or not. Allowing them to vote can go either way; problematic or beneficial.

    • AshmeetS_3BoydBence

      I kind of disagree but, yes they should not be able to vote because of the right to vote they had freedom at one point but they took advantage of it.

    • LillyC_Per3_BoydBence

      I agree with you that after they are released they should be able to vote a not when they’re in prison because it doesn’t effect them anyway.

    • RaagP_4BoydBence

      I agree with you. But what about people that go to jail for small things. My dad’s friend’s son went to jail for ‘indecent exposure’. The kid was outside and he needed to pee, so he peed behind a tree. The cop thought he was doing something bad. So, should he not be able to vote? I think not, he should be able to vote. Also other people. Some kids that are in there for DUI or something should be allowed to vote after a period of time.

    • MarcusO_Per4_BoydBence

      I agree during their sentence they shouldn’t be allowed to vote, but once they are released they should have the same rights as any other citizen. They payed for the crime they committed.

    • JacobF_Per4_BoydBence

      I disagree, while they are criminals and they shouldn’t have all the rights a normal citizen would have doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get to vote. It is a constitutional right and I don’t see any ways that letting a prisoner vote could be problematic.

    • DorianM_3boydbence

      I argee with you felons shouldnt be able to vote when they are still a felon in the pod cast it say ” In 11 states, you have to apply to have them restored. Not surprisingly, a lot of people don’t want to revisit, they just don’t want to revisit the worst thing that they’ve done or a bad experience.”
      I think if there not mature enough to deal with the fact that they did something wrong then why should they be able to vote if they wont even apply to get there right back

    • Nicholas_M_Period1

      I agree, the way they should be able to vote once they are released is a waiting period. This way law-abiding citizens will be the ones able to vote and we wont be discriminating against minorities.

    • HunterE_Per 2_BoydBence

      I agree that shouldn’t be able to vote during their time, but I don’t think there can be “exceptions” after they get out. I think once you’re convicted of a felony, your privilege to vote is gone. No exceptions.

  • Claire S 2

    Prisoners should have the right to vote, in my opinion. The 15th Amendment states that nobody’s right, note that voting is a right, to vote should be taken away based on their color, race, or previous servitude, while this doesn’t affect imprisonment or felonies, if you are a citizen of the United States, you have the right to vote.
    Besides, even if everyone had the right to vote, what would prisoners even vote for? A bill that states “All prisoners are to be freed” would never even make it to a voting stage, and most voting topics would probably be related to social problems anyways, not anything related to felonies.
    Granted, I feel as though people who have committed a violent crime, such as rape, manslaughter or murder should not be able to vote. But anything lower than that should be fine, in my opinion. So long as they go to vote with an officer or something to ensure they can be taken back to prison afterwards.

  • ChristianH_2boydbence

    After listening to the podcast I can agree more with the thoughts of Spencer Overton. Listening to him he believes that after serving your time and probation you should be allowed to regain all rights taken away from you while in jail. This really affirms my belief that convicted felons after serving their time and parole, they should regain all the rights that a normal U.S. Citizen has. The definition of a right is a moral of legal entitlement given to a person no matter their denomination or gender. After being incarcerated and leaving prison those people are trying to re-enter society, If you don’t have the rights of the common man than how can you be part of a society governed around these principles?”Overton: It’s not a partisan issue. Rand Paul supports restoration of rights. Governor Bob McDonnell in Virginia worked to restore voting rights. Governor George, and the attorney general called for the automatic restoration of voting rights once people finish their sentences.”” The Florida Parole Commission looked at this question and they found that those who are banned from voting were three times more likely to commit crimes than those who had their voting rights restored. Ninety-five percent of prisoners in this country are eventually released. We want policies that allow those folks to integrate into society and not commit crimes.” Allowing convicted felons to regain all alienated rights after serving their time, and going on parole is the better way to keep people honest and off the streets committing crimes.

  • AlexW_2boydbence

    Should felons be able to vote after their time has been served? I believe that there should be a test or application to see if one should be able to vote again. I mean kids are not able to vote because they are uneducated, so why should uneducated prisoners decide on our laws. Look at the picture. Only 29% of inmates in Louisiana are educated above 10th grade level. I don’t want ex felons to have no voting rights at all, but have them apply or test for it, so they can make good choices.

  • CadenM_Per1_BoydBence

    Felons should have the right to vote but there should be a barrier of trust or past history and current actions. There are people in prison who will never get out then there are people in prison who will get out and then we have the small amount of people who get misplaced as in they didn’t actually do the crime and had no part in it.
    There are also people in prison gaining trust and getting to move out of their cell and live with the other inmates on a bed with their own space and they actually get jobs to do in prison. They can loose that trust and get moved back into the small confined space and be in there all day if they fail to keep the trust. I think in prison people who have that trust should be able to vote but if they loose that trust that the guards or the other inmates have in him/her because of a bad action they should loose the right to vote in prison. It should be a controlled line of who gets what and how they get it in prison. Yes the felons broke the law and got put into prison and are serving time for their actions but that doesn’t mean that the whole time they are in there they are always going to be bad. There are people who are trying go get better to this day and those types of people who are trusted in prison should have the right to vote. While listening to a podcast with spencer Overton he stated that they should not get the right until they have served their time and probation or just probation and then regain the right to vote. I agree with him that when out of prison it should work that way but I think they should have a chance in prison as well.

  • Shemar_D_2BoydBence
  • CallieH_2BoydBence

    I think that people currently in prison that have committed violent crime should not be able to vote. If you were something like a pedophile, manslaughter with intent to kill, any degree of murder charge, drug dealer with a large sentence, things like that, you shouldn’t have the right to vote while in prison. You are serving a sentence for a crime and you shouldn’t get the privilege of deciding who oversees us and represents us while your’e cooped up in a jail cell. In the podcast, it states that 17 states require you to apply and those who didn’t have their voting rights restored were 3 times more likely to commit a felony, and others restored them immediately but there was also a high rate of reentering jail for a crime. So, it looks like your privileges as a member of society have an effect on your likeliness to commit a crime, but if you’ve proven untrustworthy once, why should you get a second or even a third or fourth chance if you keep screwing it up?

  • trevorosterhout bence boyd

    OK so felons which
    means
they committed a felony, “typically one involving violence, regarded
    as
more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment
    for
more than one year” so the question is should a person not be able to vote
    because
they went to jail I thing that they should have to right to vote but
    after they
served their sentence and stay out of jail for 6 months. Statistics
    show the a
person 66% return to prison within 3 years that’s 2/3 I think that
    the reason
they go back to jail is they can’t blend back normal life style with
    includes Voting I think
voting can help them stay out of jail. I think they
    should have a say in the direction of their country goes because they are still
    citizen and that mean they are under the constitution with says that all 18 +
    male and female that are citizen should have the right to vote and that
    shouldn’t be taken away because they went to jail.

  • alexm_3boydbence

    I believe felons should not have the right to vote as long as they’re in jail. In the podcast up above overton states,”Studies have shown even in other states that automatically restore voting rights, that those people have lower recidivism rates.” Therefore, we should give them the right to vote after they get out of jail because they have a lower rate of committing the crime again.

  • AshmeetS_3BoydBence

    I think Felons should be allowed to vote because, even though they committed a crime they have done, after that they are just as human as everyone else. If they commit a crime again, then I might say not to let them vote but I would say yes, they should be allowed to vote. they will be affectedby the future, whether they are in prison or not. “About 2.5 percent of the
    nation’s voting age population – are denied the right to vote because of
    current or previous felony convictions” (Source: KQED). When convicted of a crime, one does not lose
    their citizenship, therefor, should not lose their right to vote.

  • LawsonZ_3BoydBence

    I believe that they should have to vote, but I suggest that they have to fill out the form. Its not a lot but it basically just sets up an extra measure that they would need to make. The form would consist of contact information just so that if they did something again it would be easy to find them. And to those who say this will alienate them I say your wrong, and this is because if they truly wanted to vote then they would get this done it’s easy and doesn’t ask for much. In short I feel like they should be able to vote but they need to take an extra step for legal reason’s.

  • MikeM_3boydbence

    I think that jail inmates should be able to vote no matter what they have done. Even though they have commited crimes and sold drugs and things worse than that they are still citizens and should have the write to choose who there leaders are.

  • MichelleS_3_boydbence

    By breaking the law the felons were choosing to not respect it. Some felons were in jail for doing worse things than others. I believe that if a felon wants to regain the right to vote then they should go to a sentencing judge and it should be up to the judge to decide if they actually deserve the right to vote again. If someone doesn’t respect the law and does not put forth effort to gain the responsibility back, then why should they regain the right to vote automatically? The New York Times said,”To the contrary, the fundamental reason we do not let felons vote is that we have certain minimum, objective standards of responsibility, trustworthiness and loyalty to our laws that must be met before someone can participate in the sacred enterprise of self-government.” If you are not willing to follow the law then you cannot demand the right to elect those who make the law

  • SpencerH_4

    I think it just depends on what type of felony you have and if you are a citizen of america. If your illegally crossed the boarder from mexico into america and then was proved to killing someone and got a felony then no you shouldn’t have voting rights. But theres a study that went on and it showed that 77% of felons that were in states that aloud them to vote went on to normal life and not run into the law again. Then they did a study but with a state that didn’t allow them to vote. 86% of the felons that were in the non Voting state ended up back in jail. with knowing that fact I believe they should have the right to vote.

  • Alice_B_4boydbence
  • RaagP_4BoydBence

    I think that inmates voting should be based on the crimes that they have committed. For example, Alex Forenzo, a teen in Montana went to jail for DUI. After he would be released, he should be suspended of his voting rights for 4 years at a minimum. But, if someone went and killed a lot of people or something, then that person should not be able to vote, forever. It is a privilege to vote. Not a right. I think that if a person does wrong for a community, he/she should not be able to vote in the next election, or the next 2 elections or something. There are about 2.2 million people in jail across the US. Those 2.2 million people should not be allowed to vote for a certain amount of time. Based off of the Justice’s website there are 7.9% of people who committed violent crimes in jail. That is about 462,000 people. Those 462,000 people should not be able to vote.

  • MarcusO_Per4_BoydBence

    Should felons have a right to vote? In my opinion it depends whether or not they are still in jail. If this felon is in jail it most likely due to the fact that they were not abiding by the laws. With this said if a felon is not willing to follow the laws, why should they be allowed to vote for representatives that make said laws? On the other hand if this person served their sentence in jail then their should be no “Waiting period for felons” (- Podcast above) they should be allowed the same rights as any other citizen in the case of voting.

  • RaagP_4BoydBence
  • SydneyA_Per4_BoydBence

    Should felons be allowed to vote? There are many different opinions about this, and there many strong ones too. . I think that they shouldn’t be allowed the simple right to vote. If they can’t follow laws that the country sets for them, then why should they make a decision that effects the country? Its like a child that is grounded, they don’t get their privileges that they used to have. They got taken away because they didn’t follow the simple rules that their parents set for them. There shouldn’t even be a moment to think about it, they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. They know the laws and rules that the country sets for them. Those people also have rights that make them free. There are consequences if you don’t follow those laws and rules that the country sets for you, not being allowed to vote should be one of those consequences. I’m not saying that they won’t ever be allowed to vote. Like a child being grounded, there is a certain time frame in which they are grounded. When their time is up they get their privileges back. I think it should be the same concept. Once they have done their time and finished their parole, they can get the privilege to vote again.

  • Maeve_K_Period2

    As stated in our constitution, every one has the right to vote. The article states that “5.8 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions.” If someone commits a crime, maybe they had a bad upbringing. Maybe they had to steal food for their family. I’m not saying that all criminals have good justifications for their actions, but that revoking a basic human from any person, no matter the reason, is going against the laws of founding fathers created. However, based on the nature of the crime, I think that maybe some or psychopathic criminals or brutal murderers maybe shouldn’t receive the right to vote. If for some reason they are released and found not guilty, they shall be allowed to vote once more. Again, voting is a basic human right that shouldn’t be taken away.

  • Luke_A_Period3

    After perusing the facts, I conclude that a judge should determine if/when felons receive their rights back. Judges have the power to determine how long a felon will be in prison. Judges should also have the right to announce how long a prisoner goes with out his rights after he is released. If, after he is discharged, the felon is able to live without committing another crime, then he has proven that he earned his rights back. The amount of time he is required to go without carrying out a criminal offense will be determined by the judge. This solution allows our judges to give what we entrust them to achieve, a fair sentencing. The result can also be kept in check with minimum and maximum sentencing laws, just like the ones that are currently in place for the amount of prison time a judge can give. This article discusses repeat offenders. 77% of defendants have had at least one prior arrest. These are the felons that, according to the above proposed system, would not earn their rights back.

    http://www.crimeinamerica.net/2010/06/02/repeat-felons-dominate-the-criminal-justice-system%E2%80%94most-convicted-felons-do-not-serve-time-in-prison%E2%80%94part-one/

  • IsabellaV_3boydbence

    I believe that felons should be able to vote. They went to jail and they went through probation. By the time that they are out, they should be ready to go back into society. In the debate, Spencer Overton said “The Florida Parole Commission looked at this question and they found that those who are banned from voting were three times more likely to commit crimes than those who had their voting rights restored.” He said that they are more likely to do crimes because they are isolated. The laws that prevents felons from voting makes it more difficult for them to restore into society. Since felons are banned from voting (which makes them commit more crimes), can’t that can also be considered as a safety hazard to the community? Voting is a right for everyone. Everybody should be able to vote.

  • Trent_H_Period3 Boyd?/Bence?

    I believe that people should be able to vote even if they commit a crime but they should at least go through waiting period like Sparkovsky said ‘Im saying that if states want to have a waiting period, to be sure, and sure that these people have learned their lesson and aren’t going to again commit crimes like up to 50 percent do.” I think that if they did this we would have better communities and people would understand that consequences will happen.

    • nathanl_period4_boydandbence

      I agree that a waiting period is reasonable but often times they can’t get there voting right back because of the ineffectiveness of the system.

  • Lbateman_2boydbence

    I believe that when felons are in prison they shouldn’t be able to vote because you are striped of your privileges in prison. After they are released I believe that they should regain their right to vote because if we didn’t it would be wrong. Voting is a privilege because if a felon in prison voted they would vote for the guy that would get them out of prison and that person might not be the right person

  • MaxP_3boyd_bence

    Felons are punished by serving time in jail, parole, and are presented with the title of “Felon”. The list goes on forever, and I think that list should include no longer having the right to vote. Felons have broken the law, they should be punished, and voting is a consequence of being prosecuted. To me, most Americans are very dedicated to politics and want to keep their right to vote. So this might just be another reason to obey the law. In my state you get your voting privileges after your term of incarceration + parole + probation. I agree with this, its a consequence when you brake the law. However I think felons, depending on what they did, should lose their right to vote completely. From robbing to murder and everything in between people should lose their right to vote. But if we are talking a misdemeanor like assault or vandalism then those rules should not apply. In 11 states you have the potential to lose your right to vote just protecting your self from someone who is threatening you. That is why I believe if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor you should only have to serve your term of incarceration + parole + probation. But if you have been convicted of a felony then you should lose your right to vote.

    The link below shows what states think about felons voting.

    http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000286

  • JTM_3boydbence

    I don’t believe that we should let inmates vote from in jail. But when they get out I believe that they should not have to fill out some paper work because that is simply ineffective. “OVERTON: They can actually apply to have them restored the problem is that that’s ineffective. Mark Warner restored rights to just about everyone who applied, and he restored rights to only 1 percent of the people who were eligible. So the application process is not effective.” I believe that you should get your constitutional rights at least 24 hours after you get out of prison. I am not just saying the right to vote I am talking every single constitutional right.

  • JacobG_2_BoydBence

    In my opinion I think felons should not be able to vote until taken out of prison or containment facility. These prisoners did something to break the law, they broke the rules and they are getting punished for it. They are serving there time for what they once did. Yet some fellons are in prison for life, therefore them never paying there debt to society. Its a right to be able to vote but at the same time in my opinion it could be a privilege. A Privilege is something that can be earned and something that can be taken away. On the other hand a right can not be taken away it is somewhat that was established, it should not be able to be taken away. If people in prison want to vote what difference can it make? Yes there vote will count but as long as they are in jail, in a sense it wont matter. The actions made by humans only come from your mind, weather it is right or wrong, the wrong decision can end up in consequences. What choices they made are there own fault. Therefore what should give them any privilege to vote? Once he or she has gotten out of the prison or containment facility and has ben a productive member of society then he or she should be given back the privilege to vote. The image below shows the average time a convict will spent in jail. As you can the the graph rises, meaning that more convicts are being putting in jail and they are spending more time as well. In the podcast a member says “some people do not want to go through the process to get there rights back after being sentenced” In a sense this could me that some people could be lazy or just not have the time therefore thinking that they don’t care for it. There would be no point to let them vote if they don’t want to go through the process to gain it back.

  • DorianM_3boydbence

    I
    believe that felons should be able to vote. After They went to jail and they
    put the time in and went through probation. I believe once they do those
    actions of finishing there probation they have gained the right back to vote.
    And should be able to vote when they gain there voting right back but not
    before they do that.When your a child and you disobey your parents you get a
    consquince until you earn your parents trust back this is exactly the same
    thing but for adults. You shouldn’t just get to vote if you disobey the law you
    need to earn it “An
    estimated 5.8 million Americans are disenfranchised as a result of these
    policies” So just because felons are acting up because they don’t get the right
    to vote we should just give them the
    right there not going to stop being felons if we just give them there rights without
    them earning them. That teaches them nothing.

  • JacobF_Per4_BoydBence

    I think prisoners should have the right to vote, and not just once their released, while they’re incarcerated too. While they lose a lot of their rights for good reason voting is not one. By voting they get to voice their opinion. Your opinion isn’t a right that should be able to be taken away, It doesn’t hurt anybody else by them voting, in fact it helps the country by giving us more votes to go by in elections. If we don’t give current prisoners the right to vote we at least shouldn’t be allowed to permanently disenfranchise former prisoners. Voting is a constitutional right and the fact that “an estimated 5.8 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of current or previous felony convictions” is ridiculous and unfair.

  • Nicholas_M_Period1

    I believe that prisoners should be able to earn their right to vote after a waiting period (like Virginia). This way if a person reinstates themselves within in society they can vote just like the rest of society, but if they break their probation and don’t try to become apart of society they do not earn their right to vote back. I believe this is imperative because we shouldn’t let all of the felons get out of jail vote but we are still ignoring big portions of people by letting none of them vote, for example one if four African Americans are being ignored within Florida and this is a big issue. I believe the waiting period will help solve this problem and hopefully reduce that number.

  • HunterE_Per 2_BoydBence

    This is a hard thing to answer really. I don’t want to sound like a bad guy here, but I honestly don’t think they should be allowed. At all. That sounds harsh but let’s think about this.
    If a person killed another man or woman, went to jail, then came out several years later, would you want them having the privilege to vote? And I put a lot of emphasis on “privilege”. Voting is not a right. It is a privilege. And if a person has lost that privilege then why should we give it back? Because they served their time? That means nothing. It was their punishment, but that doesn’t mean it never happened. I don’t want a felon being able to vote who runs the country that I live in.
    If you are convicted for a felony, your privilege to vote is gone. That’s just how I see it. Call me a harsh person. I don’t care. Why should you be able to choose who runs the U.S. when you wreak havoc on its very soil?

    I hope you see my point.

    • nathanl_period4_boydandbence

      Judging someone for their past actions is not a reasonable way to make an assumption about them. People change a lot over time, how can you know that someone is just as bad a person as they were the as they are now? Or that they even were bad people then, not just good people forced into a bad situation with a bad outcome? Don’t judge people because of their past but by the actions you witness.

  • JasminR_3BoydBence

    Voting is a right, so felons/criminals should
    have the right to vote. The results will affect them if they are in jail or
    not. Once felons/ criminal get out of jail they are assigned probation.
    “Probation is to show that you can follow the norm of society”(podcast).
    I think once felon/criminals are done with your probation they should have the
    right to vote again. In Texas 2.3% of the population is disenfranchised. This
    is affecting a lot of families. To vote gives people the opportunity determined
    how they want to see America. In some states, even after released from
    prison, felons can’t regain their right to vote. If the Felon
    have served the time. They the right to vote again they have been
    punished, and they have proven they can follow the laws.

  • Rosa Chea

    I believe that felons should not have the right to vote. In prison, they have no right to vote as they broke the law and they are no longer a part of the society. But if they are released out of prison, I assume that we should allowed them to vote again.

  • ChristenW_BoydBence

    According to the FBI’s 2008 Estimated Number of Arrests,
    drug abuse violations ranked number one, 1,702,537 people, for the reason
    people get arrested, and the number has gone up since then. The number of
    people in federal prison for drug abuse is 98, 554, about 51% of all federal
    inmates. It is estimated that about 9% of Americans have used some kind of
    prohibited drug at some point.

    Let’s think about that a moment.

    Almost a tenth of America uses drugs; the huge majority of
    Americans who use drugs never go to prison. About half of the people who do go
    to federal prison are imprisoned because of drugs. If you know anything about
    life after prison, you know that it is extremely hard to find a job for those
    with criminal charges, meaning that those former inmates who are trying to
    start over are forced to steal, meaning that they get sent right back to
    prison. What does that tell us?

    It reminds us that we think that at least 10% of America
    should be in prison. It reminds us that we don’t think at least 10% of America should
    be allowed to hold jobs, to vote, to ever really be free again. How can anyone
    change if society has pinned them down as monsters and is holding them by the
    throat? We NEED to allow those who are freed from prison the right to vote. We
    need to give them a chance to start over.

  • Tateeana Ibarra

    @KQEDespace
    I do not think that felons should be able to vote because like everybody else is saying it is a privilege to be able to vote and have a say so about what should be the next thing in life. If they really cared and really wanted to be able to vote then they should have followed the laws that all the rest of us have to follow.
    Besides why would we want to put our future in the hands of felons?? When they could be the reason why things could get worst.
    #DoNowVoter
    #davisss

  • Tateeana Ibarra

    @KQEDespace
    #DoNowVoter
    #davisss

  • corrina cowden

    @KQEDedspace i believe that people should have to register to be able to vote. I also believe that they can be denied or accepted.I believe that people do change when they are in prison or jail. The majority of the people that get freed from prison will end up back in prison. There is always that small percent of people that get so scared or miss there family or even realize that the crime they have committed have only made their life turn to the worse and want to change their life around. #DoNowVoter #davisss

  • corrina cowden

    @KQEDedspace i think they should get to vote only if they have changed their way of life and not have been to prison more than once.

    s://www.google.com/search?q=felons+rights+to+vote+graph&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=ExwdU5aeCYqTyQHJmIGQDw&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=666#q=taking+away+prisoners+rights+to+vote+cartoon&tbm=isch&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=tGUXwI17xsvpFM%253A%3Bu0BJt0tZvfQFWM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fi.telegraph.co.uk%252Fmultimedia%252Farchive%252F01822%252F100211-MATT-web_1822531a.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.thespoof.com%252Fforum%252Fmessages.cfm%253FfID%253D49%2526tID%253D197082%3B620%3B396

    #DoNowVoter #davisss

    • nathanl_period4_boydandbence

      Why does the amount of times someone has been sent to prison matter if after the second or third time they do change the way that they live.

  • Sierra Spring

    I think that people that commit serious crimes should have to wait a certain amount of time before being able to vote again. I think that it is something that all American Citizens should be allowed to do, and I would be very disappointed if I were to get out of prison and get my life together and still not be able to vote. However, not everyone that gets out of jail is going to change their lifestyle, which is why I think that they need to wait, and then be checked on from there to see if they deserve the right to vote.

  • MadelynR_3boydbence

    I believe that should be able to vote. In the NPR segment it says that
    “Because the recidivism rate is so high for felons – if you look at the
    three to five-year period, and depending on the crime, it’s anywhere from 30,
    to 40, to 50 percent of felons going back in prison. So having a waiting period
    and then if they come out and they clearly have shown they’ve learned their
    lesson, then restoring their voting rights I think is a good idea and it should
    be done”. this is explaining that it’s a good idea because of
    the fact that they have done there time and learned there lesson.

  • nathanl_period4_boydandbence

    I don’t think that the right to vote is some thing that should be allowed to be taken away from citizens, as it is a right that we are given by the constitution as citizens. I especially disagree with not let ex-cons vote, due to the fact they have done their time and have been released. Plus on a state wide basses if prisoners could vote i doubt that it would make a huge difference on the voting outcomes of elections, given that prisoners don’t make up that large of a percent of the population.

    • Bryan

      i agree felons should not have the right to vote because becoming a felon requires, in most cases, a serious crime to be committed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony And as such it only makes sense that we should strip them of their rights.

  • Bryan

    Felons should have the right to vote, but since it was easier for me to argue for the against… i will! Because my English teacher has assigned this as classwork making the easy route the best route.
    Felons should not have the right to vote because becoming a felon requires, in most cases, a serious crime to be committed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony And as such it only makes sense that we should strip them of their rights.

  • Bryan Hellios
  • Bryan Hellios

    Many people take the right to vote for granted. That is, until that right is taken from them.

    I am a citizen, but I cannot vote. I am a felon on probation. Consequently, laws are passed that directly affect me, and I have no voice to promote or protest. In fact, I cannot even circulate a petition to voice my concerns because only registered voters are allowed to circulate petitions.

    I am glad I don’t have children like so many felons do. I don’t know how I would feel if I had kids looking up to me to protect them when I can’t even have a voice in their school referendums.

    Every time I heard any of the candidates say “Everybody’s voice counts,” I guess they were not talking about my voice, or the voices of millions of felons in this country.

    — Bryan Hellios, Granton

    Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/mailbag/bryan-hellios-everybody-s-voice-counts-except-felons/article_b74c50f8-2e96-11e2-915d-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz2zP1RdEfX

  • shana cobb

    i blieve that fellons that have already paid their doues should be to able to vote