Felon Voting
Pros and Cons
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Should felons who have completed their sentence (incarceration, probation, and parole) be allowed to vote?
Should felons who have completed their sentence (incarceration, probation, and parole) be allowed to vote?
An estimated 5.85 million people (as of 2010) with a felony conviction are barred from voting in elections - a condition known as disenfranchisement. Each state has its own laws on disenfranchisement. While Vermont and Maine allow felons to vote while in prison, nine other states permanently restrict certain felons from voting.

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 politically or racially motivated.

Opponents say felon voting restrictions are consistent with other voting limitations such as age, residency, sanity, etc., and other felon restrictions such as no guns for violent offenders and no sex offenders near schools. They say that convicted felons have demonstrated poor judgment and should not be trusted with a vote.

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Felon Voting ProCon.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit website that presents research, studies, and pro and con statements on questions related to whether or not felons should be allowed to vote.

Individuals and organizations that believe felons should not be re-enfranchised until they have paid all fines and restitution (in addition to having completed their term of incarceration and probation/parole) will be classified as Not Clearly Pro or Con.

Individuals and organizations that support re-enfranchisement of some categories of felons (after incarceration and probation/parole) and the disenfranchisement of other categories of felons (after incarceration and probation/parole) will also be classified as Not Clearly Pro or Con.


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Last updated on 10/27/2014 1:58:03 PM PST

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