Intent of 2nd Amendment Essay

Submitted By benkassaw
Words: 795
Pages: 4

The 5.3 Million Americans That Can’t Vote

As of 2004 over 5.3 Million Americans have been denied the right to vote. Not because of age, residency or sanity, but because of disenfranchisement. Disenfranchisement is the taking away of voting rights. By disenfranchising Americans you are taking away their Constitutional Rights, therefore the question that a lot of Americans are asking is, should felons in America be given the right to vote? The overwhelming amount of research done has pointed to one answer, YES! Therefore, felons should be allowed to vote for representation within the Government, when said felons have met civil and societal conditions. There are many sides to this subject. On one side we hear people say “felons have made bad choices in there lives, why would we ever trust them to vote for the better of America” (John Conyers, Jr., LLB, U.S. Representative (D-MI), Mar. 15, 2005 bill H.R. 1300, the Civic Participation and Rehabilitation Act of 2005). On the other side of the argument we hear “We let ex-convicts marry, reproduce, buy beer, own property and drive. They don't lose their freedom of religion, their right against self-incrimination or their right not to have soldiers quartered in their homes in time of war. But in many places, the assumption is that they can't be trusted to help choose our leaders... If we thought criminals could never be reformed, we wouldn't let them out of prison in the first place"(Steve Chapman, StarTribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul 23-24). Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution stated in Amendment XV, which was ratified by the states in 1870: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous conditions…” Many of Americans believe that the day your debt to society is paid you should get your voting rights back. When felons are released from prison they are told to reintegrate into society and to become a good upstanding member of society once again. Consider this, “laws in America forbid felons from voting; but by 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"( Manza, Jeff, and Christopher Uggen. "Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement." University of Minnesota American Democracy (2006): 12+. Print). If we would allow felons to vote then those felons would feel more connected to America and the community they live in. America went to war with England in 1775 for many reasons; one reason was that the new colonies were being taxed without representation. This is known today as taxation without representation. Today over 5.3 million Americans are facing the same injustice. David S. Mitchell, Professor for Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado said this:
"Ex-felons who manage to become gainfully employed are still required to pay taxes even though they are denied the benefits associated with those duties such as the ability to elect their representatives or to decide on policies that will govern their lives, and lives of their families. Centuries ago this prospect of