How can we build more jobs? Essay

Submitted By willh035
Words: 811
Pages: 4

Prisoner and Convicted Felon Voting Rights In the United States of America, the right to vote is given to all American citizens. When a citizen of the United States turns eighteen, he or she gains the right to vote in state and federal matters. These matters range from voting for the mayor of ones city or town to voting for the next President of the United States. Although the right to vote is a privilege granted to all citizens, what happens if one of these citizens is convicted of a state or federal crime? Well depending on the state in which one is convicted in, this may mean a temporary suspension of voting rights or, in some states, the complete termination of all voting rights. Although some may argue that if a person wishes to benefit from the right to vote then they should also be required to follow the rule of law and failure to do so should result in the termination of a citizens right to vote. While this is a valid point and should be taken into consideration, it must also be noted that regardless of one's criminal record they must still reside within this nation's borders and thus should be allowed to vote for the people who run said nation. In the United States, the right to vote is regulated at both state and federal levels. While one must be a United Stats citizen to vote on a federal level, each state holds the right to create laws as they see fit when it comes to voting. Concerning the decision in which to allow convicted felons the right to vote, there are no federal limitations and and the laws differ from state to state. Some states only allow individuals who have completed their sentence and are on probation to vote while others only allow those on probation as well as parole to vote. There are only two states as of present, Kentucky and Virginia, in which convicted felons relinquish all voting rights upon incarceration. However, in Kentucky one may regain these rights by completing a strict restoration process. In addition, all states, excluding Maine and Vermont, deny prisoners the right to vote while in prison. Many individuals argue that allowing prisoners to vote is a waste of money and effort and should not be allowed. This, however, is not the case. Denying prisoners the right to vote is likely to undermine their respect for the law and cause them to regress back to the lifestyle which landed them in prison in the first place. The opposite happens when prisoners are allowed to vote, as a study showed that these prisoners were more likely to form important social ties and work towards the greater good of society. The act of denying an individual the right to vote is called felony disenfranchisement. Depending on what state the convicted criminal resides in, this disenfranchisement may be permanent or temporary. If a state decides on the latter choice, then voting privileges are usually restored upon the completion of a criminals jail sentence, probation, and/or parole. When an individual commits a crime, the crime is put into one of three categories: Infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are petty crimes which