Should Felons Be Allowed to Vote

Topics: Felony, United States, Criminal law Pages: 3 (984 words) Published: December 15, 2011
Should Felons Be Allowed To Vote?
The disenfranchisement of a person is a heavy topic that you only hear about every four years during the Presidential Election. Why though? The reason: everyone has an opinion on the issue, but only few are willing to say anything about it. Some are afraid of the racial issue our country sees, and some are afraid to sway against their preferred political party.

The Constitution of the United States of America, amendment 14, section 2, clearly states “…citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.” (US 1876) Of course, this has been ratified some and the age was changed from 21 years of age to 18 years of age in 1971 in the added 26th amendment (US 1971) and women were given the 14th amendment in 1971 as well in the 29th amendment. (US 1971) In 95 years, the Constitution was amended to include women and to change the minimum age of voting.

In estimate, 5.26 million people across the United States are disenfranchised (numbers established in 2004; ProCon.org) The U.S. PopClock projects that in the month of December 2011 there is approximately 312,764,889 people living in the United States. (Census.gov) According to self-calculations, approximately 1.7% of all citizens cannot vote due to being disenfranchised. Take into consideration, the 312.8 million people who live in the United States includes children under the age of 18 who are not able to vote due to the 26th amendment of the Constitution (US 1971).

“Proponents of felon re-enfranchisement say that felons who have paid their debt to society by completing their sentences should have all of their rights and privileges restored. They argue that efforts to block ex-felons from voting are unfair, undemocratic, and...
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