Last updated on: 4/5/2017 11:16:42 AM PST

Should Felons Who Have Completed Their Sentence (Incarceration, Probation, and Parole) Be Allowed to Vote?

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PRO (yes) Comments (100)

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  • +43 +62 -19 AK Jul. 3, 2012
    "Once a felon completes their entire sentence or probation, felons should have their rights back."
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    • -1 0 -1 Nuna May. 15, 2017
      "So true"
  • +41 +53 -12 Felicia Christian Jul. 10, 2012
    "As convicted felon who hasnt gotten into any trouble since my release in 1997 I feel my right to vote should be restored. How long do I have to pay for my mistake. I did my time and since I got out I have been gainfuly employed. My biggest issue no is due to the economy my past is keeping me from getting a job. Most jobs now ask have you ever been convicted of a crime. Even thought my charge is so old I still have to check that box. If a person hasnt been in trouble for 3 or more years you shouldnt have to anwser that question and you should be able to vote.As soon as you you get out and get a job you have to pay taxes voting should be the same. If I cant vote then I should have to pay taxes either. I read some of the arguments and some of them said felones shouldnt be able to help create laws by voting then we shouldnt have to help by for them either. I made some mistakes I did my time all I is the right to vote get a job that will allow me to support myself.
    My past is my past. I try not to let it hinder my future. But not being able to vote or get a job leaves me with few options."
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    • +1 +1 0 Sara Jan. 17, 2017
      "Even though I'm not yet old enough to vote, If we say everyone deserves a second chance, we should actually give that second chance."
    • +1 +1 0 Phil420 Aug. 29, 2016
      "People who are not convicted felons just don't know what it is like and never will,unless it happens to them."
    • 0 0 0 MIchellei Arellano Mar. 22, 2017
      "i Agree with you and i think you should have your rights back and that you dont need to pay any more you paid by given your time in prision"
    • -3 +1 -4 AJ Nov. 8, 2016
      "I do not know what crime you committed, and frankly it is none of my business, but you should have thought about your voting rights when you committed your crime. You should NEVER have the right to vote!!! Can you possess a firearm, sit on jury duty? If not, then why do you feel you should have the right to vote. I hold myself to a higher moral and ethical standard than you so why should you have the same rights as I do?"
  • +24 +38 -14 Anonymous Sep. 13, 2012
    "Tax Payer should = American Voter"
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    • 0 0 0 AJ Nov. 8, 2016
      "You are delusional. What makes you think that every convicted ex-felon pays taxes???"
    • 0 0 0 Billy the Kid Feb. 4, 2016
      "I agree. I have been convicted of 2 felonies and have no rights. If I have no rights then charge me no TAXES. They obviously do not think of me as a human so I would like all my tax money back and be exempt from paying taxes forever. If you don't recognize me why should I recognize you."
  • +23 +32 -9 Angel Sanchez Sep. 9, 2012
    "I have turned my life around after being convicted as an adult when I was 16, however, I cannot vote even after I complete my probation of 10 year, because in Florida, the Governor requires that I have to wait at least 5 years to apply for clemency and many years after that for a decision. Today I am an Honor Student in Valencia College (Orlando, Florida) despite living in a homeless shelter and holding a part-time job for over a year; I mentor other GED homeless students who aspire to attend college someday; and yet, every election I am reminded that despite all my efforts, I will be a political outcast for most of my life due to Florida's disenfranchisement laws. Lastly, the restoration process in Florida is so long and cumbersome (to apply, process, and approve) that it seems that it is in place more to give a false sense of hope than to actually restore a person back into the social fabric of the county; even if I after successfully completing 10 years of probations, I will have to wait at least 7 years after that to BEGIN the application process for restoration."
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    • -1 0 -1 AJ Nov. 8, 2016
      "Happy to hear that you have turned your life around. However with that said, you should lose your right to vote for life! If you do not like the Florida law, then move. Or would that be a violation of your parole?"
  • +22 +43 -21 Mara Jun. 9, 2012
    "Not allowing people with felony records to vote is not only a breach of civil rights, it amounts to sanctioned racism and classism. Felony convictions are overwhelmingly against people of color and the poor (see Michele Alexander's "The New Jim Crow), not because more of this population commits crimes, but because they are in neighborhoods targeted by law enforcement and cannot afford the legal representation that would reduce or void their sentence. While a new method of controlling, disempowering and silencing these populations may not have been the original intent, it is unconstitutional that someone can lose their right to choose their government representation because they have not been able to pay or litigate their way out of an unjust system. In our country, more money = more justice, and until that changes, taking away someone's right to vote because of a conviction is one more way of handing power to the wealthy and silencing the poor."
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    • +2 +2 0 Mike Laughlin Sep. 10, 2013
      "Did the person do the felony crime ... and was subsequently convicted in a court of law? Yes. You seem to be skipping over that point."
  • +21 +31 -10 Arby Sep. 11, 2012
    "Displaying "poor judgment" should not prevent one from voting. If judgment was a requirement, most US Americans would be excluded..."
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    • -1 0 -1 AJ Nov. 8, 2016
      "I have made some bad choices in my life, but none severe enough to warrant going to prison for a felony. You should lose your right to vote for life!! End of story."
  • +18 +23 -5 Hilary Dec. 3, 2012
    "So many of those against felons rights to vote want to point to felons being untrustworthy as justification for stipping a citizen of their basic rights. Let me ask a question. Is there any person that can tell me they have never told a lie? By definition then, are you a liar? For the rest of your life should your word never be taken as true, because you once lied? I think it is unjust to peg someone as a "felon" for the rest of their life. Denying them one of their basic RIGHTS as a citizen is further perpetuating the criminal behavior. People subscribe to the labels placed on them, that is basic sociology. A person who does not pay taxes or has not paid their taxes has every right to vote, as stated in the constitution. These people are not paying the government and supporting the system. How are their rights more important? Felons count for representation, and can even run for congress. If they count for representation of their state shouldn't their vote count? Voting is a right and a choice that does not have a wrong answer. There is no right and wrong when it comes to voting."
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  • +18 +24 -6 Erica Sep. 13, 2012
    "Not every felon is a violent offender. I have a non violent felony. It's a felony for marijuana...sad enough to say here in Kansas...but they took my right to vote away. When I asked if I could vote my probation officer gave me a look I can't even describe. She told me she had never been asked that before. Here everybody has violent felonies, murder, rape, theft, kidnapping. Not me...why should I have my right to vote taken from me when I did nothing to harm nobody? I am not a stupid person. I enjoy politics I was 18 when I got arrested I am 20 years old now and will not be able to vote in my first presidential election that I would have been allowed to do and I am absolutely devastated. (OBAMA ! ! ! ! ! !)

    Anyways, I believe that having a non violent felony should not prevent you from the law taking your right to vote away, I think that is ridiculous and unfair. For all you probably "republicans" who say a felony is "murder, breaking and entering, and more serious than a misdemeanor, no, its not always that way, think about it a little more...stop the one way mind set and open up a little bit and think about others and not just about yourself."
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  • +15 +19 -4 Brenda Nov. 6, 2012
    "I'm a felon and I did vote today.. I served my time and I'm no longer on probation or a threat to society.. Lesson well learned!! Voting is my right I messed up but I don't think I should be banned from voting for the rest of my life because of it. I mean what do we teach our children on a day to day bases that when you mess up.. you own it and learn from your mistakes and move on. I mean we are human and we will make mistakes! but you can't or shouldn't want to punish a person forever for getting in trouble once in there life time.. and felon is only a "title" and people do change not all stay the same and not all situations are the same..."
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  • +15 +20 -5 Jaymee Oct. 3, 2012
    "I believe they should be allowed to vote once they have completed their sentence. I have met many people with felony convictions that are more responsible and more aware of the political issues than most other people. They lost their rights for a while and they take them seriously. Once they do their time, then they should be treated as equals."
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  • +14 +17 -3 Taylor Nov. 13, 2012
    "I am a felon. I commited the crime at age 19 and am now 23. My felony has cost me many hardships in life. The ability to vote is perhaps one of the most unreasonable i have suffered. I made a mistake and paid my dues for it. I love this country understand whats going on and through my knowledge have formed opinions. i would love to be able to vote and through doing so maybe make a difference to better this country. What harm would it do to let felons vote? it is easier for an illegal alien to vote for the next president than it is for me being a felon. so ask yourself, whats worse, a felon who has served his time and paid his restitution to have a say in what goes on in his country or some person from another country which by the way is commiting a felony just by being on our soil to walk up to the polling places and cast his vote on issues to which he has no right to have a say in. I mean really think about it."
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  • +12 +14 -2 Zack Nov. 6, 2014
    "I am a felon and get infuriated at every paycheck I receive. I was Valedictorian of my high school and have been very vocal on my political views since the age of fifteen. Currently I am twenty one years old and to me it becomes quite a simple argument; having paid my due to society and being a working class citizen I should either have the right to vote OR be tax exempt. It's a simple "No taxation without representation" concept and though I believe politics is flawed and my vote does not count for shit if I don't have the opportunity to participate in the political process and cast my vote for a REPRESENTATIVE who shares my views then my government has no right to steal money from my wages and put them toward funds and programs that I have no interest in. Full ride academic scholarship was stripped from me, I can't get a good job anywhere that runs a decent background check and the small amount of money I do make (barely enough to scrape by) is taxed at nearly TWENTY percent! It's infuriating to be this young and feel as though I've already dug myself into a hole that I can't climb out of."
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  • +12 +16 -4 Brian Oct. 25, 2012
    "At what point can a past be over looked by the quality of the man and the character of his walk. I myself a convicted felon find himself at a constant dead end seeking opportunity to have a second chance in society. I did the crime and I also did the time, probation, counseling, community service and self reconstruction. I am a changed man with a new mind and heart looking to progress this change only to find that my change isn't accepted, because of past encounters. We as people make mistakes, some of us learn from them some of us continue down the wrong path. But why continue to punish the change in a person who is seeking to move beyond there past mistakes, to focus on a brighter future. Im not asking for a hand out but requesting an equal opportunity at having success. I and so many others like me are looking for a chance to prove our self-worth. Even clothing apparel gets a second chance after having received a stain. We believe in recovery for an addict but not a felon, why is that? Just like all I want a better life and willing to work for better even if that means changing me.Im not attacking the views or opinions of a person but merely being a voice for a silent few who's changed."
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    • 0 0 0 Brenda Nov. 6, 2012
      "loved the comment keep up the good work I feel the same way I've changed and it's like i'm still locked up.."
  • +12 +17 -5 MDB Sep. 25, 2012
    "I do believe in a way that felons should have their right to vote after they did all the requirements that the judge has giving them. But if they are a repete offender then no they should not be alowed to vote. In some states it is a felony to be behind in child support by losing jobs that our government allows to be outsourced to foriegn countries.. WOW if thats what you call fair what kind of world are we living in..."
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  • +9 +11 -2 Alisa Arndt Sep. 5, 2013
    "I am currently a resident of Florida where the disenfranchisement laws are the most restrictive in the nation. I believe that ex-felons have made unwise decisions in the past, but should not be required to pay for them for their lifetime. I am currently advocating that the laws be revised to my district Representative."
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    • +1 +1 0 Barbara Lawson Nov. 16, 2013
      "I think that is a good thing that you are doing, I live in Florida too and it's sad how they have so much control over people lives like that, I wish you much success and may God be with you and your efforts as you go forth!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    • -1 0 -1 John GEE Jun. 23, 2015
      "felon or not most crime is in government ,wall street ,police ,unions ,if you say the truth your a wessel blower,in 1776 the 2nd adamant was the right to bare arms to the milisha that ment 15 seconds to lode a gun with 1 bullet,now look how crazy our country is,we the people means nothing no more ,we the wall street,etc,if we the people ever come together we would send a message one time in office ,the next person could run with the ball,this is about felons ,most judges are felons protected by the law from 200 years ago,last week a kid killed 9 black americans in a church ,why is he alive,we will pay millions in his defence ,we the people,we could balance the budget in four years,and give every American two hundred thousand on my 2nd term ,I see how to fix all this mess ,in America ,we have to vote every 30 days for four years to change the old laws ,do we want our kids grand kids to clean up this mess,new jails for wall street police who are corrupt and government officals ,we have more work then people,if we cap salerys for four years all will work ,bring are army here suround our country ,and start to rebuild theres more to this success story,1 term vote them out ,unless you prove it,"
  • +9 +14 -5 Json Nov. 5, 2012
    "I believe anyone who commits a felony any felony and completes their sentence, paid their dues and is in good standings with the law, meaning not on paper. has earned their right to vote!"
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  • +8 +10 -2 RTee Mar. 26, 2014
    "...once a felon, always a felon. EX- is a fantasy lie. Leopard can't change his spots... eh? Just another resentment to deal with. The court disenfranchised me befor I was 18. I am almost 60 and have paused and pondered what it would feel like to vote. maybe one day they will give me back my Big/Boy pants and I could feel welcomed."
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  • +8 +10 -2 Angela Feb. 20, 2014
    "Once you have paid restitution and served your time (done with probation too) you should be given your right to vote again. When someone is allowed out of jail we are assuming it is because the law says that these people are once again ready to become a productive part of society again. If this is not what the law is saying then maybe they should not be allowing these people back on the streets with law abiding citizens. They should not be allowed to vote while incarcerated, because they have given up all rights except basic human rights for committing a crime. If you commit a crime then these are the consequences."
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  • +8 +10 -2 Skyla Murray Feb. 5, 2014
    "Well yes because it would and does interfere with a person freedom of speech. However, their not necessarily speaking in front of multiple people verbally but the do have feeling and should have a right to have an opinion."
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  • +8 +10 -2 Charisse Jan. 6, 2014
    "Depending on the crime that was committed a person should be allowed to vote after a certain time period and they have proven that they can be upstanding citizens by staying out of trouble, maintaining a job, and doing what is right. After a certain time period they show that the deserve the right then they should be allowed to vote again,"
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  • +8 +11 -3 Matt Oct. 11, 2013
    "Denying the right to vote based on felony conviction for the reason of "They've demonstrated poor judgement" would be comparable to deny the right to vote for people who haven't graduated high school. People could argue "these people shouldn't vote because they aren't educated on public issues". Regardless of whether or not this could be used as an educated argument, it is unimportant- citizens of the United States have the fundamental right to vote, regardless of their background or the choices they've made. This is what makes America, America."
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  • +8 +14 -6 nobody Oct. 9, 2012
    "Disenfranchisement: it would be wrong to deny voting rights after a served sentence. Arguably: voting should even be allowed during parole, especially due to insanely long sentences often seen in USA penal system. So who is taken next? In his book Three Felonies a Day, civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate estimates that the average person unknowingly breaks at least three federal criminal laws every day. Also: 86% of american prisoners are incarcerated as result of a victimless crime. Arrested by sociopath cops, and portfolio handed off to a public prosecutor for "processing". Many unfortunate americans will never be "free again", even after completion of sentence ordered by the judge. After the court orderrd defense attorney has walked away after closing arguments, there will be no one to speak on behalf of these citizens.How many americans have an arrest record? 45 millions."
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  • +8 +13 -5 vidgo Jun. 14, 2012
    "yes because every one has a fundemental right to vote and remember when george w bush was presedent? it was because lots of people were in prsion so there were less people to vote for other presedent. so yes i vote yes"
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  • +8 +13 -5 victoria matson May. 31, 2012
    "ifeel that anycon should have the right to vote because they have served their time unlike some pres, judges sentors and others and these people still get to draw a federal check any one that has to pay any type of taxes should have the right to vote and the crocked judges ect should have to pay just like anyone else"
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  • +7 +9 -2 CL May. 4, 2015
    "felons should be able to vote because they are humans just like everybody else even though they made mistakes"
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  • +7 +9 -2 Spencer (13) Nov. 18, 2014
    "Felons should be allowed to vote because if they cannot, it will greatly sway the voting against minority groups. It is no secret that a large number of our prison population is made up of minority groups. Not to discriminate, but a large number of them being African American. Therefore, if they are not allowed to vote after they have payed their debt to society, it could look as though we were discriminating by restricting the voting rights of these minority groups. This due, of course, to the fact that this will greatly sway the vote against said minorities. In addition to this, it will affect our voting outcome in yet another way. This is because, as you most likely know, certain states still allow for their ex-convicts to vote, as they should. Yet, even with these states doing so, upwards of 6 million Americans have lost their right to vote due to felony charges. We can only imagine what this number would become if all states disenfranchised their ex-convicts."
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  • +7 +9 -2 Dena Mar. 13, 2014
    "I don't see a problem with them voting. They still have a right to their opinion, no mater what their crime is."
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  • +7 +11 -4 oak Apr. 7, 2013
    "my personal view on this is yes. im alittle more extreme I believe that even in jail felons should be allowed to vote on what happens in our countrie in or out of jail.while some might argue someones judgment is to impaired to be legally allowed to vote. does that allow us to stop people who are highly undereducated or mentally handicapped from voting in the election.wouldn't you also consider there judgement impaired.also the reason I think felons should be able to vote in prision is because they have an entirely different view of society from people who have never commited a crime.a person who has been through the criminal justice system may know more then someone who was never exposed in the first place and i'd like to here there views in jail on the next election. by the way not all people convicted of a felonly have impaired judgement there are several types of felonys from as low as a type E felonly to as high as a type A.sigh my point is while I don't necessarily agree with everyones view points who vote in or out of prison. I will fight to defend your rights to voice your oppions in jail or not.even in prison you are still a citizen of the us in my eyes. I know people make mistakes but allowing them to vote won't hurt us."
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  • +7 +13 -6 Desiree Feb. 4, 2013
    "everyone should have the right to vote. if you live in this country and you are a citizen, you should be able to vote. People who have gotten caught committing a crime are most all the same as those who have committed the same crime and have not gotten caught. people commit crimes all the time and are not thought of differently until they are caught."
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  • +7 +12 -5 Tony Dec. 29, 2012
    "Yes. I made a bad decision when I was 14. I used a credit card that did not belong to me to order something. This was my fathers card. Instead of being honest, I lied and said it wasnt me.. so he contacted the bank, who turned it over to police, who eventually found the items in my possession, thus granting me a felony charge at 14 years old. The police told my dad he could not stop the charges, so I dealt with my dad, and the legal system, for a few years. Restitution, Community Service, Apologies, Counseling, all completed satisfactorily, which was supposed to have my charged dropped to misdemeanor.. but due to court record errors in my home town, it stayed a felony all these years and they won't correct it because there are no records to be found of any of this. Just a felony on my record for 19 years now. No violent crimes committed, good grades in school, college, etc. No further legal issues after that. So a choice I made when I was to young to know the law, that should have been between me and my father to deal with, has plagued me my entire life. I don't think anyone who commits a NON-VIOLENT crime AS A JUVENILE over a single bad choice, should be on the same level as violent criminals for the next 60-70 years."
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    • 0 0 0 bn Apr. 18, 2013
      "Terrible story. It shows cracks, and there are a lot of cracks, in the systems. It is far easier to just give every human the right to vote as long as they are not actually in prison at the time."
  • +7 +11 -4 Cristina Ramirez Nov. 2, 2012
    "I am for restoring a felon's right to vote. After paying their debt to society ( jail time, restitution, community service etc ), that should be the end of it. Further penalizing someone by not letting them vote does not make them feel that they are re-integrating into society as a productive member. It is in the same vein as not being able to find a job because of their record. What better way for someone to feel good about themselves and to build themselves up than to take an active role in the future of our/their country and laws and leaders ?"
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  • +7 +11 -4 Michael H. Oct. 18, 2012
    "I personally believe that this should be some what modified. Specifically because we The People as a whole are all human and we make mistakes . People can learn from these mistakes though and people can change. With that being said I believe that there should be some what of a fine line to this Disenfranchisement, defining that the class of the felony should play a key factor in this. specifically for non violent offenders. A person gets caught up in a few mistakes and it can ruin them forever I don't believe that's just. not saying that its OK to break the law but once u pay your price for it that should be it. Being convicted of a petty felony compared to convicted of a violent felony crime or robbery ,murder, rape , battery , theft, child molestation or a sexual predator etc; there is a big variance there and that should be recognized. re habitability some shouldn't have stipulations, and barriers. A man or woman that takes the proper and legal steps to get there lives back on track and to become productive members of society should be allowed to do just that without exception."
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  • +7 +10 -3 Roy Oct. 13, 2012
    "So long as you are required to follow the law, you should have representation over it.
    Besides, with so many laws added to the books per year, you could easily become a felon and loose voting rights over something as simple as, as JN put it, smoking a joint. The point of voting is so that you have representation over the laws which allows you to prevent corrupt policy. If you loose your voting rights over corrupt policy, it defeats the purpose of having voting rights in the first place."
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  • +7 +10 -3 steven Oct. 8, 2012
    "Yes, nothing should should strip tax paying citizens of any right that others have. Unless Felons are also excluded from paying taxes ,they should be able to vote."
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  • +7 +11 -4 J> Reid Oct. 5, 2012
    "I feel if you have completed your time and you have paid your debt to society and now are relased back into society than you should have the same rights as the rest of society.We have got saw caught up in the traditions of man so now everything is labled~ "i did this", but "YOU" "DID" "THIS!" but in reality crime is crime; right is right; wrong is wrong.Your a FELON! i'm just a misdemeanor.Wow you have the right to vote after committing your misdemeanor which was only (1)
    statute away from a felony(yea im sure you were thinking of that(statute) when you ran that red light and injured people only to get probation & keep your right to vote)but here you have this young man who did this terrible or not so terrible thing but it was classified in the books written in the traditons of man as a felony,and he is now convicted and sentenced and does time and turns his life around and it gave him a positive outlook on life and he feels great and we all scream yay he has been redeemed welcome to society. Oh yea by the way, you can't vote in our electorial system for the rights and privelages that govern our fine nation,but you can stay as long as you like. In other words your just an occupant,you're not a resident.What a slap in the face!"
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  • +7 +13 -6 Jay Sep. 4, 2012
    "Yes! Yes! Yes! There are 5.85 million people barred from voting. This is the size of a Country. New Zealand has less than 4 mil. Therefore, the government is excluding votes relevant to an entire country. This Country consists primary of Africans, Latino's, Mexicans, Puerto Rican etc. Besides the punishment is imprisonment, nothing to do with precluding voting rights."
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  • +6 +8 -2 Amber Feb. 18, 2015
    "Felony disenfranchisement has affected me and not until this year have I fully understood how.

    Voting has never been important to me. I haven't been able to do it all of my adult life. At the young age of 19 I was put on probation for 20 years for a 3rd Degree Drug charge. While I understand the significance of my crime I do not believe that not being able to vote should have been a part of the punishment. Since I have never been able to vote, my children also grew up in a home where their parents didn't vote. I wasn't able to teach my children the importance of voting, a right that was theirs. I've never had a voice in my Country or the chance to cast a vote. Our children are our future and if we (felons) cannot teach them the importance of voting then who will? I have been able to vote now for the past 7 years but have not. Reason is I am fearful of getting in trouble. I have done my time, and have been released off of probation but never received any sort of correspondence that my right to vote has been restored. Out of fear and afraid to end up in jail I haven't voted. If a felon on probation is able to work, pay taxes, and be a contributing member to society then I believe he/she should be able to vote."
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  • +6 +8 -2 Cathy Feb. 6, 2015
    "Yes! My fiance is still on his long parole for a felony and he fought like hell to get his right to vote back. Society has made it VERY difficult for people who were incarcerated to integrate back into society. All they (ex convicts) are trying to do is try and live a normal life ( work, buy a house, start families/step back into family life, and if not already possibly get married.) So yes they should they worked very hard to get their life back on track the last we can do is reinstate their right to vote. We keep them under lock and key for way to long in some cases."
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  • +6 +10 -4 John Feb. 3, 2013
    "Felon is a word that reflects a wide range of individuals, from psychotic murderers to people caught with Adderall studying for school.

    Apart from that, this country is brimming with criminals and criminality. 90% of the people in this country can probably think back to some point in their past when they committed a 'felony'. The only difference between them and the actual 'felons' is they didn't have the bad luck to get caught.

    But this country loves superiority games, and setting one side against the other is what it's all about.

    I was charged with a felony (had a bunch of Adderall) while studying for MCAT.

    Now, I can't vote, go to school, marry my fiance, become a doctor etc etc list goes on. (New York is pathetic, the only state where you can never expunge a felony)

    So, as far as I'm concerned, I'm no longer a citizen of this country. And that's fine. I would never in a million years want to be now. Voting is a pathetic gimmick anyway.

    Personal responsibility is laughable. You're a rat in a big meat-processor. Pills shoved in your mouth, psychiatrists ruining children, psychotic parents, detached-from-reality generation. I wouldn't take 0.001% of the blame for it. Unless I was a stupid sucker."
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  • +6 +12 -6 JohnVincentGI Jan. 6, 2013
    "I'm an ex-con from Florida. I got in trouble when I was barely 18 years old & I've been a model citizen for over 20 yrs now. I hold two State Endorsed Certifications/Licenses, & own three businesses, but I still can't vote?
    You say don't do the crime if we don't want to lose our right to vote? Dude, I had no idea what Civil Rights were back then. I was too young to vote & I had no idea I could lose my 'birth rights' being an American!
    To quote our (dumb @$$) governor:
    "If we believe people have paid their debt to society, then that debt should be considered paid in full, and their civil rights should in fact be restored. By granting ex-offenders the opportunity to participate in the democratic process, we restore their ability to be gainfully employed, as well as their dignity."
    I'm sure saying that gave him a bad taste in his mouth, cause he changed his mind a few months later & now I have to wait longer! Bureaucratic bull$h!t!"
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  • +5 +5 0 Brad Jan. 13, 2017
    "If they have completed their sentence then the crime that they had done has received its due punishment. The idea of that punishment in the first place is to correct their actions and better them as citizens. If these citizens are not allowed to vote then it reduces the amount of votes entered into the election and reduces the preciseness of the represented beliefs of our society. However if a person is deemed as legally insane that might be another story. If the crimes are duly "paid in full" then a judge should determine where the split in the gray area occurs in a case by case basis."
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  • +5 +5 0 Belle Dec. 7, 2016
    "Felons are people too :("
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  • +5 +5 0 Paulette Crystal Nov. 16, 2016
    "Yes. Since I got off probation in Jan. 2012 I earned my BS in psychology, a Masters in Addiction Counseling, and am currently working on EdD in Organizational Leadership/emphasis in Christian minisry, and in 2015 became ordained as a minister-but I still cannot vote. My five years waiting period is up Jan. 2017. I am applying for civil right restoration, and guess what y dissertation topic is--yes.."
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  • +5 +6 -1 anonymous Mar. 2, 2016
    "they should be allowed to vote because they are just like everyone else. They did their time so they should be able to vote. If you did just one mistake would you want to lose the right to vote and the freedom of speech???"
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  • +5 +6 -1 Mark Kilmer Feb. 24, 2016
    "I am a convicted felon. (non violent Marijuana crime 23 years ago) I would like to vote but I don't no how to go about it. I believe, depending on the crime that an exfelon should be able to votr."
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  • +5 +7 -2 Soccer God Sep. 23, 2015
    "I am pro because prisoners/felons are people too and it is not the government's rights to take away their freedoms."
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  • +5 +7 -2 Chris King May. 25, 2015
    "At 19 I did 5 and a half years. I am now 28 years old, with a son, working in the hospitality field. People change. It isn't felons that demoralize our society, but the people who believe change isn't possible for a felon, believes change isn't possible for anyone. It's that close minded view that will forever breed hate, racism, prejudice, and judgement against all people. Just because someone committed a felony, and because it's classified as violent, doesn't mean their were victims hurt. Study law before placing judgement."
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  • +5 +7 -2 teresa Mar. 29, 2015
    "I feel that if a person has completed their sentence, then he or she shouldn't be discriminated or judged again, in which it Henders the fair chance to start a new life. People can change."
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  • +5 +7 -2 William Nov. 11, 2014
    "Felons are still Americans so they should still be allowed to vote."
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  • +5 +7 -2 Susan Aug. 30, 2014
    "In my heavily segregated city, Milwaukee, there are zip codes that are very heavily policed and have a high percentage of people, especially young, Black men, who have been convicted of felonies. Disenfranchising those citizens robs these communities of hope, political voice, and investment in the political process. Furthermore, it prevents those with experience with the criminal justice and prison system from voting against the misguided 'hard on crime' policies that have harmed their families and have caused Americas unconscionable overincarceration problem."
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  • +5 +7 -2 john Jun. 9, 2014
    "If the person has completed the sentence and has been released then the rights should be restored, but, I would not allow voting rights to be restored unless all other rights are restored, such as the right to bear arms. Either the criminal has paid the price or not."
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  • +5 +8 -3 Sofi Mar. 31, 2014
    "Once felons have served their prison time and probation/parole periods as well as monetary damages or fines paid, they have paid their debt to society. Thereafter, they should be allowed to vote. There also must be some sort of amendment of laws that have felons stigmatized with their felony records to the day they die. It makes it hard to find employment and re-enter the society. It is a brutal and inhumane system that condemns adult people to live in the shadow of their mistakes of a young age."
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  • +5 +9 -4 amber mendoza Mar. 25, 2014
    "I am pro because they might have just made a really bad mistake and they are people just like us and we are allowed to vote so i don't see the problem with them voting."
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  • +5 +8 -3 John E Mar. 23, 2014
    "Should a Felon be allowed to vote? If they have paid society for their crime and not on porole and not still in jail. Yes they should have the right to vote."
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  • +5 +8 -3 Priscilla Alexander Mar. 14, 2014
    "I believe that convicted felons should be allowed to vote, indeed I believe they should actually be allowed to vote while they are in prison,. The one exception is where the conviction is for some kind of election fraud or actions taken to prevent people from voting. I don't believe voting is a privilege, but rather it is a responsibility."
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  • +5 +8 -3 Roger Guiles Mar. 14, 2014
    "In 1967 I was caught with a "joint" of Marijuana thereby losing my civil liberties forever here in the state of Arizona. I could always move east, west, or north and live in a state that would allow the return to normalcy, so, it is I guess how important it is to me I might add I haven't touched the stuff in over 25 years, I lean Republican and am white, so, am also "out of the box"."
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  • +5 +9 -4 Bob Jan. 31, 2014
    "Once you have paid your debt to society, you should be allowed to vote. People can change and may use their time incarcerated to better them selves and become productive members of society. If they lose the benefits of being a citizen what do they have to look forward to. If they didn't learn then they will be back in prison. I live in PA and they have it right."
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  • +5 +9 -4 cchitch Dec. 9, 2013
    "A Democracy allows everyone a vote.

    Then allow them a right to vote. Especially when their debt is paid. I've observed probation officers withhold rights for many things at their whim, when not warranted.

    Taking away a vote has shown no purpose, if the goal is rehabilitation and a purpose within society.

    Ironic that the con across from me quotes Hunter S. Thompson, a gonzo journalist, who would never have feared felons having voting privileges. What are people afraid of? There's only 2 candidates to vote for, one will rule more right, one will rule more left, and they take turns at 8 years. What's the difference? Oh yeah, if we rule more left, less war. I forgot that will matter to some. But either way, the white collar criminals go free, and vote year after year after year."
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  • +5 +8 -3 Paul Nov. 22, 2013
    "Yes, so long as they have rehabilitated."
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  • +5 +11 -6 Barbara Lawson Nov. 13, 2013
    "I think it is sad that the ex-felon have their rights to vote taken away from them; they have already serve their time for their crime or crimes, and they shouldn't have to be further punish for their crimes by not allowing them to vote that is like double jeopardy getting charge for the same crime twice.
    It's like taking their freedom of speech away from them, they still should have their right to voice their opinion and that falls in line with voting as well, once they have done their time they should be allowed to go to work, pay their taxes and take their families like everyone else and give back to society that they live in.
    I believe that if ex-felons are allowed to have an active part back in society that they will become a productive citizen and want be accessible of going back to prison after seeing what they lose from going. don't get me wrong now I'm a firm believer that if you can't do the time, don't do the crime, but if do the crime and serve your time then you should have your rights restored and not keep you locked up.
    Not allowing ex-felons the opportunity to go to work, to vote, to take care of their families properly is a form of slavery and these bans should be lifted state wide."
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  • +4 +4 0 MC Feb. 23, 2017
    "It would only make sense if a felon could vote again..."
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  • +4 +4 0 arrie thrashre Feb. 15, 2017
    "im a pro because everyone deserves to control their future"
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  • +4 +4 0 Shavon Feb. 1, 2017
    "You learn from mistakes"
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  • +4 +4 0 Annie T Jan. 5, 2017
    "If America is to be guided by majority opinion, everyone should be allowed to vote, regardless of race, creed, or felony conviction. As long as felonious crimes are true affronts to the democratic process, the felon voting population will always be a tiny fraction of the votes cast. When convicted felons become a potentially significant voting bloc, it's time to revisit the goals of our justice system. EVERY (adult?) citizen should have the right to vote. In an egalitarian society with robust voter turnout (i.e. not America), the will of the people will always be faithfully represented."
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  • +4 +4 0 Clay Nov. 12, 2016
    "The "Top-10 Pros" doesn't address the most important issue: felony disenfranchisement means that our elected officials have the power to take away our right to vote them out of office.

    Prosecutors could have decided that merely attending a Trump rally qualifies as "hate speech" ("any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law") and then take the right to vote away from hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters -- enough to tip the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.

    Similarly, the anti-Trump protesters marching the streets of New York and Boston and Seattle after the election could have been convicted of "rioting" -- an "E felony" in New York and many other states. Now that the Republicans control all three branches of government, there is literally nothing stopping them from using video footage to establish felony convictinons for hundreds of thousands of young liberals, permanently changing the political landscape.

    The right to vote should be sacrosanct, more than the right to marry or the right to own a gun. It is literally the foundation of democracy. A democracy that takes away your right to vote isn't a democracy."
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  • +4 +4 0 alejandro Nov. 2, 2016
    "When felons are free, they have to pay taxes, expected to work, take care of their kids, but they are not allowed to vote. This makes them feel like second class citizens, so we need to allow them to vote in order for them to not go down the same path as 50% of other felons. In conclusion, felons should be allowed to vote."
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    • 0 0 0 Tanner Mar. 14, 2017
      "I am a working, tax-paying citizen. Why should I be lowered down to their level? Why should they be treated the same as me? I am not the one who has killed, raped, ect."
    • 0 0 0 AJ Nov. 8, 2016
      "Wrong!! You should have thought about the consequences before committing a felony. Why is this so hard for you liberals to see?????"
  • +4 +5 -1 Amy Rake Aug. 28, 2016
    "Yes felons should be allowed to vote because the laws affect them and their lives just as much as anyone."
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  • +4 +5 -1 William Jul. 25, 2016
    "I am a convicted felon and I also cannot vote. I've been out of prison 18 years, working and productive tax paying citizen. I've brought a home and automobiles and have to pay taxes on them. This country went to war about " Taxation without representation". This is the same injustice that is being imposed on tax paying felons."
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  • +4 +5 -1 Diane Jul. 5, 2016
    "If they have completed their time and have proven to be productive lets say after one year. I believe that should be allowed to vote. If they must pay taxes they should be allowed to vote on the taxes they pay."
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  • +4 +5 -1 Curtis truman May. 26, 2016
    "Why am I still called a felon after I completed my time and probation I'm supposed to get my amendment rights back I'm still being held accountable for my past is there any illegal or violation of my rights when a judge dismissed your felonies to mister minor when I go back to society I'm being turned down cause I was incarcerated no it states that once u complete your term u regain your 2nd ...4th amendment I should be free fro. My past"
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  • +4 +5 -1 Gary james May. 8, 2016
    "If you are a citizen and pay taxes you should be able to vote. If not its taxation without representation"
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  • +4 +5 -1 Bill Apr. 21, 2016
    "Yes - once you have paid for your crime, you should be a normal citizen again. The felon label should be thrown in the trash. My nephew was at a rave several days after turning 18. The kid is not the sharpest on the block. A undercover officer saw him with a small zip lock bag with some pills. He had bought them from a friend so he could dance longer. He described the undercover officer as really hot and a low cut top. She asked him if he had anything that would pick you up, inferring a later dance or even a bit more. So he gave her a pill. Bingo - arrested with two "felony counts" - the drug and the small plastic zip lock. Got to court and his public defender told him to take the plea. He got probation - plus two felony charges. So no voting, loss of driving license for two years. Weeks later the test came back on the pills - they were not drugs just sugar pills. So no chance for military service. His intended job path he wanted - no. Trade school admission - no.
    He got kicked out of court mandated AA, because he could not relate and participate in the meetings - he does not drink ! That came close to getting probation revoked. So for the past two years he has done nothing and does nothing. He will never vote though."
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  • +4 +5 -1 Maggie Mar. 23, 2016
    "If you live in the United States, you should have the right to be represented in the government. You should have the right to vote for who will fight for you. We can't just take out voters and say, "Oh, they're opinion doesn't count, we don't want our lawmakers taking into account their needs" or "They lost their privilege to vote for who they want to represent them in the government". No. Everyone needs to be represented and have the right to vote for who they think will represent them best. Felons and others that are underrepresented need that right even more so."
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  • +4 +5 -1 James M. McCarthy Jan. 23, 2016
    "The response to Ms. Bondi of Florda is that, if completion of a sentence is not evidence of rehabilitation, then why bother sentencing in the first place? Or, be sure to include some criteria in the sentence to create the rehabilitative threshold. Complete nonsense. Moreover, since the disenfranchisement is functionally automatic based upon a Constitutional provision, restoration of voting rights should be equally self-executing."
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  • +4 +6 -2 Hayley Jan. 11, 2016
    "They have opinions to"
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    • 0 0 0 X Sep. 28, 2016
      "Yes, but their opinion was that it was a good idea to steal something or hurt someone or commit any other crime so we can't always trust their opinion."
  • +4 +6 -2 chris Jan. 4, 2016
    "After you have been released from prison, you should receive ALL of your rights back. Unless you have a VIOLENT crime specifically with a firearm. I had a federal felony 25 years ago. Since then I have been a model citizen. Own a business. Pay Taxes. Contribute to make society better. But I can not vote? And I can not own a firearm? However our government is letting in thousands of UN vetted refugees and they can all vote and own guns? WTF? I guess I am crazy for loving my country and I am the bad guy? Terrible, that our country is being established by mexico, and the middle east and our government is letting this happen. Our for fathers created the constitution of the united states for one reason. To protect the people from the tyranny of government. Just because I received a non violent felony when I was young means that I am not as good as all these people we are letting in? Lord save us...."
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    • 0 0 0 Phil420 Aug. 26, 2016
      "Amen,at this point in time,I believe that is what it is going to take is a miracle!"
  • +4 +6 -2 Chrissy Nov. 30, 2015
    "Yes, they did the time for the crime, and paid all dues I believe that shows growth. And why would you hold it over someone's head that they messed up all their life? I would forgive them for now trying to do it right."
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  • +4 +6 -2 Jasmine Nov. 23, 2015
    "I feel like felons should vote if they did everything that they needed to do, why should we take away some of there freedoms once they paid everything off and learned from it?"
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  • +4 +6 -2 kayla Oct. 28, 2015
    "i vote yes because most felons turn their life around and tey have rights too. just because they've done some wrong in their life (which everyone does) doesnt mean their not responsible now"
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  • +4 +6 -2 smalldog Oct. 21, 2015
    "The XV Amendment The right of the citizens of 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 condition of servitude. If you are no longer serving time for a felony, then your Right to vote should not be abridged. Oklahoma has said crime is either a misdemeanor or a felony. A heinous crime against another is totally different than smoking pot with your friends in your home, yet either one could land you a felony conviction. If you have lots of money, you have a good chance of getting off all charges. If you are poor and have to have a lawyer appointed, you'll probably do some time. If the State expects you to pay taxes, then by all means you should be able to vote. If States want to deny your Right to vote, then you should be exempt from all state taxes. No taxation without representation. Bet you more people would have their Right to vote restored. A completed voter registration form should be part of the paperwork when a person is released from incarceration."
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    • 0 0 0 Gary James May. 10, 2016
      "Very good point and Oklahoma is the worst about sending people down for minor stuff. They got me."
  • +4 +6 -2 Erin Sep. 6, 2015
    "Yes, I believe EX-FELONS should have the right to vote. Once their time has been served and they are no longer on any parole or probation. Everyone makes mistakes. If you are a tax payer you should have just as much right to vote as any one else. Many of these ex felons were very young when they committed their crime. Do they not deserve to have a second chance at a normal life. They served their time, we can't keep punishing them until the end of time. Say it were your young son or daughter who made a mistake at the age of 18, should they be punished for the rest of their lives????? Sooo, we can't let them vote, but we expect them to work and pay taxes?? Hell if the illegal immigrants in this country get to vote, then why not Americans...ALL AMERICANS deserve the right to vote. Really the only question you should ask yourself is this., If I made a mistake would I want to be punished for the rest of my life for it?"
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  • +3 +7 -4 MJ Mar. 24, 2015
    "I believe that felons should be able to have a right to vote because they have already completed their time in jail and maybe have reflected on that which can make them change there life around. I don't think their will be a probably if they vote, I think they should have their input in since we're all citizens and living in the same society. There are a lot of people out in this world that do bad things and they get away with that and vote, but the felons have again completed their already paid for what they did."
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  • +3 +6 -3 Steven Feb. 3, 2015
    "I did my time got out was fined over $8.000 in court fees if I pay it then maybe the court will give my rights back but as a felon is very hard to get a decent job to pay that fine so they're holding my rights for ransom"
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  • +3 +6 -3 Sheena Mullins Nov. 6, 2014
    "Yes I strongly believe a felon should be able to vote if they have served time for a crime and completed probation. It is unfair to make a individual pay taxes of their hard earned wages yet deny them right to decide where their tax dollars will be disbursed or decision concerning the welfare of their children etc."
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  • +3 +7 -4 Lp Oct. 7, 2014
    Felons who have shown signs of rehabilitation Through jail should have their right to vote reinstated."
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  • +3 +8 -5 PPorche Sep. 24, 2014
    "If a person has served his/her sentence, essentially paid his/her debt to society, and has re-entered society, all rights and privileges should be restored. If this does not happen, then society continues to punish this person for a debt which has already been settled and that is not right. By denying voting rights, society is saying that if someone makes one mistake, one bad decision, s/he must pay for that decision for the rest of his/her life; there is no redemption and no forgiveness that is not how a "free society" should work."
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  • +3 +9 -6 Someone who cares Mar. 30, 2014
    "Yes they should have the right to vote just everyone else, and their voice need to be heard."
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    • 0 0 0 AJ Nov. 8, 2016
      "Then why not just let them sit on the jury at their own trial? Should be a life long ban."
  • +3 +10 -7 Equon Nov. 12, 2013
    "We do everything to try and re-introduce felons to society, yet we do not include them in a basic, no-harm activity? This is counterproductive, and foolish."
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  • +2 +11 -9 C Cote Oct. 23, 2013
    "Felons who have paid their debt to society should be allowed to vote. To disenfranchise them is equivalent to a life sentence of punishment. It is cruel and inhuman punishment to permanently exclude a person from society on top of the sentence they have completed,"
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  • +2 +12 -10 Scott Galbreath Jan. 23, 2013
    "look at the damn bill of rights! the right to vote is unalienable!!!! just because I broke some damn law put forth by a rich ass corporation doesent mean I shouldnt be able to change that law."
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  • +1 +1 0 DMT Aug. 7, 2017
    "As long as sentencing is even a little biased (yes, I'm talking to you Mississippi and Florida), keeping felons from ever voting the rest of their lives is unfair. As long as laws are later changed or deemed unjust (e.g. marijuana, sodomy, gambling, etc.), it's an admission that society changes and states differ enough that denying individuals the right to vote should be time-bound and decided at the federal level. 11 percent of Floridians can't vote, whereas 3 percent of Texans, both "red" states."
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  • +1 +2 -1 Michellei A. Mar. 22, 2017
    "I think felons should have the right to vote because even if they Brock the law or were in jail that does not mean they don't deserve to vote they served the time that they were assigned and they are set free .they could have saved us from getting a bad president or bad laws or what ever they don't have the right to"
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  • +1 +2 -1 Isabel Gonzales Mar. 20, 2017
    "Felons SHOULD be able to vote even if one did such horrible thing !"
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  • +1 +5 -4 Kelly May. 19, 2016
    "I say yes because my dad is a felon. He lost a lot in his life that he can probably never get back. I can't even take my dad on a fieldtrip with me. He is able to vote only because he has finished his sentence, parole, and probation. But felons lost a lot and made mistakes that doesn't mean that you have to take away their Civil rights."
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  • +1 +5 -4 Fred Hipley Jul. 25, 2015
    "Suppose one has a federal conviction, and rights have been restored in one state. Is this automatically good for all states if one should move?"
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  • +1 +8 -7 King Mar. 16, 2015
    "All We the People citizens of the U.S. should not be disenfranchised from the Right to Vote."
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  • +1 +7 -6 Gabe Mar. 11, 2015
    "Felon voting should be legal because the felon population is getting overly large ad they have completed their sentence and have learned their lesson so why shouldn't they be allowed to vote. Another reason why felons should be allowed to vote is that the chances during election polls would be bigger and maybe the best man will truly win."
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  • +1 +5 -4 Zorya D. Sep. 5, 2014
    "Once people have served their sentences, in whatever that entails, they should be granted all of their rights. After all, they still have to work and pay taxes, find a place to be able to live again. And laws should not constrict people's rights to vote. Enabling them to have voice in the election process, is a necessary responsibility."
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  • +1 +5 -4 Jeggolf May. 6, 2014
    "it is the right of every legal citizen, according to our United States' Constitution"
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  • -1 0 -1 Nuna May. 15, 2017
    "Yes they should be able to vote like you because they already owed all of their time and sometimes prisons go in for stupid stuff like walking on the streets looking suspicious like you're up to no good. Maybe some times y'all need to use your brain and think. I think prisoners who owed their time wants to be even like you and have some fun voting.

    Btw this is an 11 yr old who typed this"
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  • +6 +77 -71 JN Sep. 25, 2012
    "In the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson, "Buy the ticket, take the ride".
    This planet is overpopulated and society only works if everyone plays by the same rules. There is a basic morality that one either possesses or not.
    I will however add one stipulation that comes to bear. Violent crime vs. a felony such as smoking a joint. The war on drugs in this country has not worked and has cost the American public dearly. That said, there are many "felons" who have fallen victim to bad policy."
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    • +3 +3 0 Zaydia Jan. 9, 2014
      "The ride only lasts for so long... So should the loss of voting rights."
    • +1 +1 0 Sheena Nov. 6, 2014
      "so after the ride has been taken and the time has been served do you believe its right for the felon who is living and working to pay taxes just like you not to have a say as to where the tax dollars that he or she has payed should go? the sentence imposed was given by the judge if an individual has served the time the slate should be clean."
    • +1 +2 -1 Bob_The_Snob Apr. 10, 2014
      "Again, you are right. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
      America decided that they wanted a democracy. A democracy means that everybody has a say. You can't say you have a democracy, then exclude millions of people from participating. What's more, is that our votes simply influence who may become president. The electoral college may look at our votes, but they have the final decision.
      If candidate A has 87%, candidate B has 10%, and candidate C has 3%, they electoral college can choose candidate C!

      In my opinion, have full-out democracy or don't."
    • +1 +1 0 Bob_The_Snob Apr. 10, 2014
      "You're right. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
      The 'ticket' is your sentence, whether it be 20 years in prison, or 80 days of community service. The 'ride' is going through that sentence.
      When you buy a train ticket, you don't get anything more than what you were told you bought.
      In a sentence, where does it say "You cannot have the right to vote, even once you finish your time." Why refuse people the right to vote AFTER they get out of their ride. That's like taking a train ride. getting off, then being told that you have to ride on the train again, without buying a ticket."
    • 0 0 0 Annie Jan. 5, 2017
      "You said it: "...there are many "felons" who have fallen victim to bad policy." In light of this observation, it's not the felons who should be prevented from voting, it's the policymakers.

      And yet, you punish the little guy and let the fat a*hole keep his money and power... It's opinions like yours that allow Kentucky to boast a felony conviction rate of 6% for white people and 22% for black people.

      So... Buy the ticket, take the ride. Where you end up depends on whether you're white. Well said, JN, you exemplify white America.

      (FYI-this spoiled white girl thinks you're disgusting...)"
  • -4 +14 -18 Pia Fraus May. 2, 2016
    "Should a felon be allowed to be a productive and welcomed member to society upon serving there sentence? I believe the answer to that question is an unequivocal "yes." However, what does a felon give up as a result of immaturity, bad judgement, heat of the moment crime, etc.? More pointedly, what does a felon give up that are not civil rights?

    Voting is a political right that the 14th Amendment (Section 2) has left to the states to determine with regard to implementation. Stated another way, voting is NOT a civil right. Civil rights are defined by the dictionary and all courts as "natural rights of man." Voting is not a "natural right" of man; voting is a construction of man that serves a political purpose. Just like driver's licenses are construction of man.

    Using the **identical** logic of the "yes" voters here, one could argue that once felons have served their terms, then:

    1. They should be removed from sexual offender/predator registries.
    2. They should be able serve on juries.
    3. They should have the right to possess firearms.
    4. The should have the ability to associate with whomever they wish (e.g., child sexual predator teaching in an elementary school)."
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  • -8 +11 -19 Anonymous Feb. 1, 2016
    "I am just curious... Do felons pay taxes for their "amenities" they received that hard working citizens pay for while they are in prison? I'm not judging the person or sentence... but it makes a difference in whether I feel they should be allowed to vote. Some of us go without at times, paying for those things, trying to feed our families, and taxes on top of it all as well. We have to do "our duty" as self employed citizens and lose hundreds sitting on juries where we cannot earn income, and get paid a nominal fee that is nothing less than a slap in the face while to be honest... I feel some convicted criminals sit there with smiles knowing that while they are imprisoned, their lives (and minds) were so messed up, at least at the time, that to be taken care of for a while by the government is kind of funny. And well... they don't even stop to think how much they are taking, depending on their stay, that American citizens are sacrificing for them. It's so sad. Vote? sure. Pay some tax on your, ok... not hotel, but free ride."
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    • 0 0 0 Joe Jul. 17, 2016
      "Upon release many convicts are charged per day for their stay, they add that to the amount of your fines which increases the amount you have to pay your P.O. (parole officer). I can understand your frustration, but if a inmate isn't lucky enough to land one of the few trustee jobs available they often leave owing such a huge amount that it seems to big to get past. What you may want to worry about instead is the fact that if they can't find a job and don't go back to a life of crime, they often end up on welfare because there is no other choice. That is where your true cost comes in. We hear about rehabilitating criminals but if they can't find a job upon release, what good does that really do them. A job will decrease the chance they will commit another crime and it will decrease the amount of burden on the welfare system."
    • 0 0 0 e Feb. 4, 2016
      "I should have finished my statement about "amenities". This is what the prison systems want you to think, that YOU are paying to house the inmates in the institution while they get a free ride. Well, in a way you are. However, if you are an inmate who is working, they take a large percentage away from your earnings. Now, earnings are a Five dollar per month pay for a dish washer, to maybe sixty dollar per month for a chef. The prison system takes a large cut of that to offset your costs to provide for inmates. The governments want the general public to think it is all on them and that the wards of the state are getting a free ride. Inmates have to pay a co-pay just like you do for medical care. if you are indigent, don't worry, they even take some money out of that you receive from family for any expenses the inmate incurs. Just so you know, the punishment for the crime is loss of freedom for a time period. You were sent to prison AS PUNISHMENT, NOT FOR PUNISHMENT. Let the flames begin....e"
    • 0 0 0 e Feb. 3, 2016
      ""amenities" ??? Really???
      If you think that the "amenities" are so great in prison, why don't you sign up for a tour, say five or ten years. You may find out that the "amenities" you get are something that you wouldn't give to your worst enemy."
  • -9 +5 -14 Payton Adams Oct. 4, 2016
    "no because these people have broken the laws that help shape this beautiful country. If you are not willing to follow our laws you should not be able to vote on who makes our laws"
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    • +1 +1 0 Annie Jan. 5, 2017
      "What if your government told you the laws were changing and everyone named Payton was suddenly a felon? Wouldn't you have wanted to be able to have a say? Your argument is seriously flawed. If you think the American government's sole intent is to "shape this beautiful country", you have some reading to do."
  • -9 +12 -21 Billy Jean Nov. 17, 2015
    "Sort of, because if you commit murder then your voting rights should be taken away. but if you steal like a vehicle then you should be able to vote, but only after you are out of prison and off probation."
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  • -10 0 -10 rtee Apr. 14, 2017
    "NO! You commit a SIN then you shall burn in Hell. How you like that "EX-SINNER"..."
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  • -11 +7 -18 Doryen D. Broughton May. 10, 2015
    "The fact that the case of felons aren't permitted to participate in democracy is a complete tragedy. After the course of being incarcerated as a result of the crime, then what has been rendered by the accused to be regarded as the solution and, therefore providing justification for his/ her blunder. We should all ponder on the rooted reality that is implied by such deprivation. If we are stripped of the right to participate in democracy for an isolated incident that has been justified by means of imprisonment, aren't we treading on the act of cruel and unusual punishment? Isn't incarceration and the farcical reality that is attached to being deemed "felon" enough bondage for one's actions? Is the right to vote essential to the concept of citizenship?"
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  • -12 +2 -14 Shavon Feb. 1, 2017
    "If you can't follow laws you shouldn't help make them"
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  • -12 +4 -16 brandy Sep. 21, 2016
    "Hahahaha, how funny, all of the people choosing pro felons voting, are ex felons :)"
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    • 0 0 0 doug Oct. 23, 2016
      "so then in that regard they shouldn't have to pay taxes either right! they have paid there debt to society, and those trying to vote most likely are not repeat offenders."
  • -13 +13 -26 Jessica Nov. 24, 2015
    "If you believe that felons should be allowed to vote, Then I have two questions for you. One - Why let someone who has hurt another person whether it was murder, rape, drugs, robbery or even a case of stole identity have the chance to do it again, but this time it be though the law? Two - Do you really think that a person who has been in prison for a felony have a choice in our laws that we make today?
    I believe that no convicted felon should be allowed to have a say or vote."
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    • +8 +8 0 chris Jan. 4, 2016
      "If felons cant vote and can not own a firearm as the US constituion dictates, then all felons should be TAX Exempt on the federal level. If we do not have civil rights to vote on the federal level. And the right to own a firearm is guaranteed by the constition of the united states of america. I have never hurt a fly, but a drug case 25 years ago, keeps me from voting and owning a firearm. I own a business, have a family, and love hunting. I deserve my rights back, or I should not have to pay federal taxes. If the federal gov. does no want to recognize me as a citizen then they dont need my money either."
    • +3 +3 0 Phil420 Aug. 26, 2016
      "Apparently you are not up on your laws,you don't have to be a murderer,rapist or even of hurt someone.Driving with out a license is a felony,driving on a suspended or expired license,a felony.All felons aren't "BAD" people.Well I hope I opened up your eyes ???? but I won't hold my breath."
    • +2 +2 0 jason Mar. 27, 2016
      "You are missing the point they have paid already by been incarcerated once released all rights ,should be restored,but there are more diabolical things happening with these draconian rule ,think about the percentage of the African Americans that are incarcerated and voting party they might be affiliated with."
    • +1 +1 0 Tucker Ford Sep. 26, 2016
      "Hey Jessica, A felony conviction is all needed to never vote again, EVER! In some state that's as simply as a conviction of destruction of property value at more than $250. You're making a statement to cover ALL felonies or felons. A felony shouldn't been harder to remove than a tattoo and follow you to the grave. Wake up, Are you kidding!?! All felons don't go to prison!"
    • +1 +3 -2 blob Feb. 4, 2016
  • -13 +17 -30 Bleedair Jan. 3, 2015
    "Not right away. Perhaps after 3 crime free years."
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  • -15 +1 -16 Andrew Nov. 19, 2016
    "Why would you let a cold hard killer walk free at all, the least you could do is lets their ass rot in jail to serve for what they have done"
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    • +1 +1 0 Annie Jan. 5, 2017
      "The current makeup of the federal prison system is 10.2% violent felonies and 56% drug felonies. I wonder what portion of the drug felonies are for marijuana?

      You're opinion is statistically invalid. Please educate yourself before you condemn all minor criminals as a 'cold hard killers'. (Or don't, and I'll hope for a self-fulfilling prophecy in this case! Lol;)"
  • -16 +2 -18 John Doe Oct. 7, 2016
    "They shouldn't because felon are careless."
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    • +4 +4 0 T.I. Feb. 22, 2017
      "Just because someone is a felon does not mean they are careless. People like you really piss me off because you think you are better than others. Well I'll have you know there are so many well educated and very intelligent people in prison. So for you to say they are careless is completely ignorant."
    • 0 0 0 Nuna May. 16, 2017
      "Well if u ever become a felon wouldn't you want to vote for president because what if you get a president that you don't like than you gonna feel bad? so maybe you should care more I bet a lot of people in prison right now don't like the president we have right now Donald trump?

      Made by a 5th grader an 11 year old
      Think twice"
  • -20 +12 -32 Mike Laughlin Sep. 26, 2014
    "Probably not a problem for national elections ... but one can see potential pitfalls at the local election level."
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  • -23 +20 -43 @LoudAmerican Apr. 15, 2013
    "No matter what the situation was to cause a person to facilitate a felonious act - it was in fact a form of entitlement. "Entitlement Mentality" represents a JUST US pattern of thought. It's tends to evade real Justice For All.

    In my opinion; anyone who demonstrates a propensity to disregard any law for all citizens just to gain a self benefit will also vote in a like manor for selfish reasons.

    Political gains should ideally be considered as a good for the majority and not the individual."
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    • +2 +2 0 Cayas Apr. 27, 2015
      "We all vote for selfish reasons. Most people that vote, vote for what benefits them. Ideally yes, political gains should be considered as a good for the majority but in reality, rarely does it."
  • -23 +33 -56 Ben Gruber Jan. 18, 2012
    "It is clear that if you commit a felony you can't vote, own a firearm or serve on a jury. It is not hidden. If you commit a violent crime its like you are giving up those rights. It is a personal choice."
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    • +4 +4 0 AK Jul. 3, 2012
      "Not all felons are violent. I have been a felon for 15 yrs because I wrote a check for $300 with insufficient funds at the age of 18. I paid over $3,000 for my crime and was on probation for 5 years. I've never been in trouble again. Should I continue to pay for that crime and be treated like a non-citizen?"
    • +3 +3 0 Scott Jan. 21, 2012
      "A VIOLENT CRIME, yes. Not all Felons are violent."
    • +1 +1 0 Anonymous May. 22, 2012
      "Actually, for state crimes, it depends on what state serves their time. For example, a felon in California can vote upon release from prison and discharge from parole. California has one of the largest prison and felon populations in the country, and therefore many people would be affected that had no knowledge of such laws if such a law were to be enacted today moving forward."
  • -24 +4 -28 D12 Baby Jan. 9, 2015
    "To change a law takes time and money, something the US government is obviously starved for at this time. Why should be using valuable resources to change laws so that criminals can vote when there are dozens of other more pressing matters. Those who broke the law are a lower priority than those who didn't."
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  • -26 +13 -39 chris treat Oct. 8, 2012
    "Felons should not be aloud to vote. It is one of the rights you lose as a citizen when you commit a felony. Although most convicts do not think about the consequences when they commit a crime, usually not there first, doesn't make it ok. maybe they should be thinking about working, instead of stealing, or helping people instead of raping people. It may not seem like much to lose before the crime but it is a small bit of justice for someone who has lost personal possetions they may never have in their possession again. How many rapist are out there right now. Will that child ever be able to get rid of the gruesome act or have the chance to say they are a virgin once old enough to understand the whole concept. Murder and rape and assault under nearly all situations should never have the right to vote when others who were victims never have the chance to legally repay the horrific act to the abuser or killer, therefore no vote to someone who acts criminal towards others. It's not much, but its something for the victim."
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    • +1 +1 0 JohnVincentGI Jan. 6, 2013
      "It's sad how you think that all felons are Murders and Rapist... Grow up! Instead of complaining about something you have no Idea about, go petition to your state representative to not ever allow those murders and rapists out of prison, ever!
      I am an ex-felon, and I hope all rapist and disgusting people that violate others in those inhumane ways rot and die in prison.
      You should read some of my other comments on others comments... Not all 'felons' are the same. That would be seriously scary.... really."
    • 0 0 0 Alisa Arndt Sep. 5, 2013
      "So what about the non-violent criminals? Should they be sanctioned in the same fashion as the "murderers, rapists, and those who have committed assault"? There are extenuating circumstances...."
    • -1 0 -1 PIPER Apr. 28, 2013
      "You should really review what constitutes a felony crime in your jurisdiction (and most of them). You speak of violent felons but say nothing of the non-violent ones, like a person who took a car given to them by someone who subsequently got upset at that person and reported the car stolen and the driver was arrested and convicted as a felon for grand theft auto. Or look at a federal felon who possessed a pound of marijuana for his collective in a state that permits medicinal marijuana but the feds don't agree. Or how about a mother who kidnaps their child from their ex who has been molesting their child? Kidnapping is a felony. Drug POSSESSION is a felony. Possessing a knife with a blade longer than your hand (but not using it) is a felony. Driving on a suspended license for a DUI is a felony. There are SO many laws that you're not considering when making these blanket statements and assuming that all felonies have victims. In my opinion, if there is no victim, the crime is non-violent, and the offender has served his/her time, then we are simply cruel and lacking logic in our efforts to disenfranchise them."
  • -27 +16 -43 Victoria Feb. 12, 2014
    "One gives up their rights when they choose to commit a felony, including their right to vote. Spending time in prison doesn't change or undo their crime, neither should it earn them their rights back. I don't believe that incarceration constitutes paying a debt to society. It doesn't bring back individuals that have been murdered. It doesn't give rape victims their lives back. It doesn't miraculously heal those that have been wounded by the criminals. The victims never get their rights back, why should the felons get theirs?"
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  • -27 +12 -39 Ian Feb. 2, 2013
    "I think Felony convictions should bar people today from voting. That said, people who are out on bail or who are paroled are hold a higher risk in voting on the laws that they have broken. You can pull a man out of a crime, but I belive that you can never take the crime out of a man. Felons have torn down the pilars of society, aka, the laws, and we can't trust them to have changed a bit in prison. Felons can't be trusted to make our laws."
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    • +2 +2 0 Raph Apr. 22, 2013
      "Ian, i think your logic is flawed. first of all, the only people able to make or change laws are the state legislature, congress, and the President. second, not everyone that goes to prison is a habitual criminal. and third, having said that, do you think that Martha Stewart is STILL a lying, stealing, cheat and should not be allowed to vote because she is a convicted felon? or Marv Albert, the NBA announcer; went to prison for rape, sodomy, and unlawful restraint; should he TOO not be allowed to vote? is he STILL a rapist and should be on the sex offender's registry?"
    • -2 0 -2 Geo Feb. 24, 2013
      "no all felony convictions result in a prison sentence"
  • -27 +11 -38 Donald Sims Jan. 20, 2013
    "Who in their right mind would want criminals voting for judges, sheriffs and questionable politicians. Not me!"
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    • +5 +5 0 Michael Jan. 27, 2016
      "Donald Sims, you are already voting for questionable judges, sheriffs, and politicians. Hillary Clinton broke federal law, and she is running for President. As laws change, almost everyone is a criminal. The world is not as black and white as you would like to believe. Someone charged one time with a crime is not a life long criminal. Almost all people do something stupid when they are young, but does not make them a life long criminal."
    • +4 +4 0 jordan Dec. 13, 2013
      "There are some people that are in prison for being wrongfully accused while the real culprit is still in our society. What about that."
  • -27 +15 -42 Mike Laughlin Aug. 10, 2012
    "A felony, by definition, is a serious crime. As has been said by persons more informed than I, persons who commit serious crimes should not be in the position of deciding laws, and representatives that govern us all. They can still become useful and productive citizens, however, they have forfeited the right to vote. This is not "disenfranchisement" and it is begging the question to call it so."
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    • 0 0 0 shayzzwayzz Oct. 7, 2013
      "Yeah, what about the felony's for not paying child support, or getting caught taking or holding a bottle of prescription medication that was given to you from a friend. Or better yet, what about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, where someone you was with had drugs on them? Guilty by association. Do you think that they're rights should be taken away? God forbid you don't drive without insurance or after having one beer."
    • 0 0 0 Alisa Arndt Sep. 5, 2013
      "With laws as they stand, "becoming useful and productive citizens" is difficult at best."
  • -27 +17 -44 Dalton Mar. 7, 2012
    "If your a convicted felon i could care less about what rights you think you deserve to have. If you wanted rights maybe you should'nt have committed a felony"
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    • +2 +2 0 Jen Mar. 31, 2015
      "what if YOU committed a felony... a small offense... wouldn't you want to fight for your rights THAT FELONS ACTUALLY HAVE?!?!?!?"
  • -27 +17 -44 Ching Chong Mar. 5, 2012
    "Roger Clegg, JD states that "Individuals who have shown they are unwilling to follow the law cannot claim the right to make laws for the rest of us."
    Convicted felons have demonstrated poor judgement and should not be trusted with a vote."
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  • -27 +20 -47 Rico Feb. 9, 2012
    ""[P]rison is meant to be a punishment. A custodial sentence has always resulted in loss of freedom and loss of democratic rights for the duration of a prisoner's sentence. Why change that?..."
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    • +2 +2 0 AK Jul. 3, 2012
      "What about felons who didn't receive prison sentences and the crime was non-violent."
    • +1 +1 0 Big Mark Jul. 10, 2015
      "Open your brain just a bit here. This only causes a person issues later in life after they have paid their debt to society. Do you think anybody that commits a crime or gets involved in one indirestly should suffer for the rest of their life? We need to quit using a blanket approach and have a scale of things depending on the crime similar to the fines that are imposed."
    • +1 +1 0 JohnVincentGI Jan. 6, 2013
      "yeah, but you quoted it, 'A custodial sentence...' Upon release, and after the proverbial 'debt to society' has been paid within that 'custodial sentence' for the duration of a prisoner's sentence, I agree, but not after that sentence has been fulfilled. Some states, even after fulfilling that 'sentence' prevent felons from ever voting again... it's like a perpetual punishment. I don't think that 'everyone' should vote anyway, x-con or free person, but smart people, or at least people that have an 'idea' of what they're voting for, at least... lol"
    • -5 0 -5 Alyssa Feb. 27, 2012
      "i agree"
  • -27 +24 -51 Rico Feb. 1, 2012
    "I say no because if fellons dont follow the law then why should they get to help decide the law or decide who makes the law !!!!!!!!"
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    • +3 +4 -1 Rayeann May. 16, 2012
      "Everyone breaks the law. So no one should be allowed to vote?"
    • +1 +1 0 MDB Sep. 25, 2012
      "So your saying you abide by every law. I think not. But its ok for you to decide who makes the laws."
    • 0 0 0 JohnVincentGI Jan. 6, 2013
      "you are a hypocrite if you believe that you have never broken a law.. or not really smart... or a liar...

      You have just never been caught...yet."
  • -27 +19 -46 Jessica Middleton Jan. 17, 2012
    "I'm con because like Mr. Clegg says we do not children, noncitizens or even the mentally incompetent, and why don't we let them vote becuase we do not trust their judgement; which is completely correct. I believe that Felons have lost the right to vote when they committed the crime. I mean if you were to go to a store and steal something they whould take away the right for you to shop there, so there go if a person was to committed a felony shoudn't we have the right to vote take in away from them?"
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  • -27 +67 -94 James Apr. 30, 2011
    "A person who breaks the law should not make the law.

    Apr. 1, 2007 - Bill McCollum, JD

    enough said"
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    • +10 +10 0 Megan Apr. 13, 2012
      "The government breaks the law everyday but yet they get to make it!"
    • +9 +10 -1 Liz Dec. 10, 2011
      "We have ALL broken the law at some level; but don't always get caught. Does that mean that NO ONE should have the right to vote>"
    • +9 +11 -2 Dana Nov. 18, 2011
      "A felon is simply a person that has broken the law and got caught; people break the law everyday including law makers."
    • +8 +8 0 MAK Jan. 27, 2012
      "There'a a slippery slope comment. Have you looked at our politicians or corprate greed, currently in control on making the law?"
    • +7 +8 -1 Renee from Cincy Jan. 19, 2012
      "Tell that to the politicians, the wall streets idiots and the wackos who are breaking and bending the laws everyday from Capitol Hill. ALL PARTIES"
    • +4 +8 -4 Angel May. 1, 2011
      "People that have comitted a crime are held responsible why should we continue to punish. Amendment 15 article 1 says '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 condition of servitude.' That means all people"
    • +2 +2 0 Bill Oct. 23, 2012
      "It's sad that your argument is based (apparently) soley upon a quote from Bill McCollum. Bill McCollum is an idiot."
    • +2 +6 -4 josh middleton Jun. 20, 2011
      "a criminal should have the right to vote, whether legaly insane or just not mentally stable, they are a human and have the same rights we do regardless the bad choices they made in life."
    • +1 +1 0 m.a. clark Jan. 1, 2016
      "okay, so who is going to be voting? everyone has broken a law at some time in their life. even if you are talking only about people who commit felonies, there again, most people are guilty, but have not gotten caught. and before you fly off the handle, think about it. take for instance weapons, especially in the south. if you have ever carried an unregistered weapon, felony. if you have ever carried a concealed weapon in some states, felony. has to be open carry. those are just a couple felony gun laws that most people violate at one time or another in their life. there are several others. also, lying on your taxes is a felony, regardless of how small the amount is you are lying about. lying on any federal form is a felony that carries up to ten years in prison and a ten thousand dollar fine. lying about any info given to a bank that is fdic insured will get you a felony. in some states storing cash in a safe deposit box will be a felony. giving any kind of Rx drug to a person it's not intended for is a felony. even transferring vet Rx meds is a felony. i could go on all day listing felonies that people commit and don't know it, but don't have time or room."
    • +1 +2 -1 Jim Feb. 3, 2013
      "Everybody breaks the law. The only difference is that there are those who have ill-fortune of being caught."
    • +1 +3 -2 pete Nov. 9, 2012
      "silly illogical nonsense. felons don't make the law. the executive branch makes the law. go back to history class, and learn the three branches of the united states government, or watch I am a Bill song."
    • +1 +1 0 mich Nov. 4, 2012
      "and some how you feel that rick scott never broke the law Really!!!"
    • +1 +1 0 BAT Oct. 2, 2012
      "What about Charles Rangle"
    • 0 +3 -3 James Nov. 21, 2011
      "No Angel that means all citizens have a right to vote not people"
  • -27 +51 -78 David Apr. 27, 2011
    "I do NOT feel that convicted felons should be given the right to vote! While they were committing their felonies, they obviously did not care about the rights of those that they violated. Therefore, they should have given up their own rights. This is a mainly liberal movement only. This should be a referendum. For any political entity to make such a bold statement without the vote of the people should be criminal in and of itself. It only serves to stack the voting pool... kind of like ACORN registering dead people so they can get more votes for their candidates. I am sure that our forefathers are rolling over in their graves at that which we have become!"
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    • +1 +6 -5 phillip Jun. 2, 2011
      "IF they can't vote and have thier voice heard then don't tax them see how that works."
    • +1 +7 -6 [email protected] Apr. 30, 2011
      "That is one of the most biased things I have ever heard. What if you were the one who had committed a crime? What if you were being deprived of a right that should be yours after you have paid for the wrongs you committed. Do you mean to say that you have NEVER under any circumstances done anything wrong that merits forgiveness of the debt or wrong done against someone else. If so, I suggest you are very deluded and that you are trying to delude others. What you say has no bearing on the human condition because "there is none good but God and "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Now if you mean other than these two things, you prove my point exactly.

      Please hope that none of your bloodline ever comes under the judgment you hold over others. I suggest that would be something like psychological genocide of a bloodline. Per your judgment they could never be forgiven. There would be no room for them to change because you would not give it to them when that is not your doman to begin with. God also said that whatever judgement you use on others will be meted out to you, so you just set up your own judgment somewhere in your existance."
    • +1 +7 -6 pat Apr. 29, 2011
      "It is very easy to get a felon now days. After they pay their debt they should have the right to vote."
    • 0 0 0 Big Mark Jul. 10, 2015
      "Hey Mr. Colon hole, If a person bys a bicycle from someone and it turns out stolen, you are in possion of stolen property. You can be charged with Larceny and if it has a value (they dont use KBB that has depreciation either) then you become that God aweful felon. I am so glad your defacation doesnt stink. When your sons life is turned upside down when he is in college lets see how much better you open your eyes."
    • 0 0 0 JohnVincentGI Jan. 6, 2013
      "Liberal Movement? HELL!

      I am a Republican, Conservative from the South!

      An Ex-Con, I got in trouble with the law when I was 18 years old for something dumb, one incident only, and since then, I have built and own a number of private businesses, I hold 2 Florida State Professional Licenses, I've been a community leader, a youth councilor, and have been active within my church & community for over 20 years, and I still can not vote!

      What the hell have you done with your life lately?"
    • 0 0 0 MDB Sep. 25, 2012
      "Do you know you can aguire a felony by losing your job and not being able to pay child support (non-violent crime) so why should your right to vote be taken away because of someting our government caused by letting company's out source work to other countries""
    • -3 +1 -4 Jessica Nov. 8, 2011
      ""David I honestly agree with you. We shouldn't reward felons for the wrong they have done? They BROKE the law.""
  • -28 +9 -37 Cassidy Dec. 20, 2013
    "I believe that felons should not b allowed to vote because when u break a law you automatically give up all your rights. When you commit a crime it's kinda like you saying "I don't want my rights please take them from me""
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    • +1 +1 0 Sheena Nov. 6, 2014
      "Cassidy what you are saying is that you don't believe in the judicial system? Clearly a punishment has been imposed for the crime committed and after a person serves that time you think they should continue to be penalized? Absurd! A convicted felon not only can move on with their lives of the past, but they have families and become mothers and fathers. So a parent shouldn't be allowed to vote on bills concerning the health and education of their children?"
  • -28 +19 -47 Your Mom Jul. 16, 2012
    "I don't think you get to have a say in the law if you're not going to follow it. All those felons would just vote for whichever candidate is the least harsh on crime. Of course that would usually mean the Democrat and since I'm on the liberal side in most issues (besides abortion and crime) it would be good for me, but I'm not going to let that sway me. People need to be held responsible for their actions. At the very least, they shouldn't be allowed to vote while in prison like they can in two states. That's just absurd. I know some may say you have a right to vote, but then again you also have a right to liberty and that doesn't mean we won't put you in prison just because you should be free. People can have rights taken away if they don't deserve them."
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    • +4 +4 0 The Bigger Picture Dec. 4, 2012
      "Thats not fair... because you're a mom, does that mean that you'll automatically vote for officials who make it easier to breast feed and change diapers in public and require jobs to give more vacation days because you're a parent??
      I have a felony but i did my time... i paid my "debt to society" (prison, parole and restitution) i am now a law abiding (adult) citizen if me paying my "debt to society" does not earn my rights back, whats the point of prison? Whats the point of yhe justice system??"
    • +2 +2 0 PIPER Apr. 28, 2013
      "Why would a felon vote for candidates who are soft on crime? Maybe BEFORE they're caught and become felons they would do that (when, incidentally, they have full voting rights), but I doubt few felons would do so AFTER becoming felons. The penal system is based on penalizing individuals who commit crimes. We put them in penitentiaries to be penitent. When they do exactly that, what right do we have to bar them from being good people now that their days of criminal behavior are over? You are very shallow to assume that all criminals are incapable of regret, rehabilitation, and reformation of their behavior. Children choose to suck their thumbs, wet beds, scream in public, and a host of other uncivilized behaviors, but we give them a chance to grow and learn and adapt and change. I'd bet you want that grace afforded to your children, wouldn't you? How about your sibling? No? Then why not kill all felons if there's no character growth or change possible for adults? I really hope your kids never make any mistakes that land them in a "time out," or as adults, in jail, because your myopic view insists there is no hope for people to grow and change. And that's sad."
  • -28 +30 -58 Rico Feb. 8, 2012
    "I think that is should be illegal because in con #4 it states that the U.S doesn't let children vote because they are not trustworthy. And so why let felons vote if they broke the law and are obviously not trustworthy. Therefore they should not be able to vote. - "Rico" -"
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    • +4 +4 0 Angel Sep. 9, 2012
      "Chhildren can't vote because they do not have the legal capacity to vote, just like they do not have the legal capacity to enter into contracts--not because they are not trustworthy. Being trustworthy is a standard on character, not on legal capacity. Ex-felons can enter into contracts, children cannot because children do not have the legal capacity. Can you see the inconsistency in using children as an example of why exfelons should not be able to vote."
    • +3 +3 0 MDB Sep. 25, 2012
      "There are alot of non-felons that are non trustworthy and there are felons that changed their lives around who are you to judge"
    • +2 +3 -1 Rayeann May. 17, 2012
      "Children also can't understand the issues that effect society. Felons do understand the issues. It isn't necessarily because they aren't trustworthy. If they are released, it is because they have paid the price for their crime and/or a board decided they have been rehabilitated."
    • 0 0 0 MC Feb. 23, 2017
      "You brought children into as what I feel would be a "back-up"... There are many children that are trustworthy and although you may encounter a lot of untrustworthy children, there is also the fact that children do not have the legal capacity to vote."
  • -28 +35 -63 Mary Nov. 9, 2011
    "I totally understand where people are coming from but you also have to understand that people choose to break the law. We didn't decide for them. And since they want to break the law they shouldn't get the right to vote. Sometimes that's the way life is. You can't always get what you want all the time. Why give them the right to vote? It's completely understandable that voting is a right not a privilege, but you decided your own path of rights. Don't blame anyone else but yourself."
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    • +8 +9 -1 Rhonda Shonk Jan. 17, 2012
      "and sometimes cicumstances are out our control! We may have made one bad choice, a non violent crime of theft, paid back in full, money was used to help someone who was in terrible need, was it wrong, most certainley, and I paid a heavy price for taking less then 5,000. Should I neve get to vote again when I never even had a traffic ticket? It's easy to judge until it happens in your own family, praying for you it never does!"
    • +4 +4 0 Zorya Sep. 5, 2014
      "To your logic; why have a penal system at all then? Why not just put 'felons' on death row or just shoot them? YES when you break laws you give up your rights. However, once one has done all of things expected of them, it is time to restore that person to society and allow him or her to live again with all rights and privileges, like driving, a place to live, food, and basic needs. I don't understand the hatred. It does nothing to solve problems or correct mistakes!"
    • +3 +3 0 Big Mark Jul. 10, 2015
      "Mary, Mary, Mary...people do not always "choose" to choose to break the law. You can be at the wrong place at the wrong time and get popped just the same as someone who did something. Put yourself in the backseat of a car and the driver stops goes into a store and steals stuff. He then gives you something and you thought it was paid for. Guees what..depending on the price when you get pulled over you may be a new felon!
      You need to think outside the box and thenk of different situations that can be created by our justice system
      Then when same felon cant get a decent job and his wife is struggling to feed the kids and your taxes go to them to feed the taxes you can rest easy knowing that they have been labled a felon.
      I may think differently about violent offenders, sex crimes and multiple offenders."
  • -28 +29 -57 Marissa Sep. 22, 2011
    "Felons are often portrayed as murders, sex offenders, and overall bad people.When you commit a crime you are fully aware (sometimes not, mental illness as example) of your actions. However, from my perspective people do change, and because I know this I feel that some deserve a fair second chance. With this argument comes debate. How do you really know someone has changed? Well to be completely honest... It would depend on the crime. Lets be honest people. No one wants a murderer voting on new laws that may affect us as a general public."
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    • +2 +2 0 carrie Feb. 21, 2012
      "No one may want a murderer voting on new laws... That is agreeable to a certain extent. I believe everyone deserves that second chance in life. If the GOP cannot come to a compromise within their own party then why can't a rehabilitated ex-con (which may be a murderer) cast a vote? No one knows the exact truth of why a crime was committed except for the people that were involved. True? The prosecutor, the Judge, and the Jury all can speculate but none will never know the full truth.. Look at how many innocent men/women are spending their lives in prison for something they have never done.. More or less serving time for someone else crime. Many can disagree if you like but it is what it is...Truth is truth... You will only know if you were there and You were not.. Like the Bible says Who shall cast thy first stone? I am quite sure more than 3/4 of the voters I wouldn't want voting on things in this country but do I really have a say so? No. Do I really know the depths of their past? No! Again~ even if I did would I cast that stone? Nope I would not. Why? Because I have to sinned.....God Bless the United States of America!!!"
    • +1 +1 0 John Dolan Oct. 22, 2014
      "And no one wants a criminal holding a political office, but we vote them in anyways."
    • 0 0 0 john Feb. 24, 2017
      "i am really amazed at how simple people think,,,,they act like a felon is just piece of trash,,,,you have no idea of what happened, whether it was self defense or addiction,,,,,but yet you want to label someone as a felon,,,,the only difference between most is that the felon was caught you weren't,,,,,,no one can say that they have never done anything wrong,,broken a it is really unfair to judge anyone else,,,,felons have to pay taxes just like everyone else and eat and crap just like everyone else,,,,,so people think their crap don't stink so they going to keep a foot on someone else's neck for the rest of their lives,,,be for real,,,,i really hope that if you have kids that they become felons and see if your opinion changes since your life will be impacted too,,,,see that is what everyone seems to forget,,it is not just the felon you are degrading,,,is also their parents, children, husbands and wives,,,go figure."
  • -28 +45 -73 james Apr. 30, 2011
    "If your not trusted to the right to own a gun, why should you be trusted with the right to vote. If your going to restore one right restore them all or restore none"
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    • +5 +5 0 Ryan Nov. 7, 2012
      "You could commit another crime with a gun. Are there any crimes you commit with a vote?"
  • -28 +35 -63 Stacey Apr. 29, 2011
    "They are in prison because they cannot or refuse to obey the law therefore they should note be aloud to vote. Matter of fact they get al ot of things that they should not. Berie Madoff in living in one of the "best" prisons Butner and living better than some of his victims. They designed the prison to be more like a university. CRAZY!!!"
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    • +1 +4 -3 Maria Aug. 9, 2011
      "I disagree with your statment. Everyone who has been convicted of a felony didn't intentionally set out to break laws and everyone who has a felony is not a bad person. In society today it's so easy to get a felony conviction. Yes, Bernard Madoff did intentionally commit his felonies and yes, most federal prisons are modeled after universities, because just like prisons are institutions so are unversities."
  • -28 +34 -62 John Apr. 27, 2011
    "I do not approve of felons having the right to vote because, frankly, any criminal that violates the rights of others should lose their rights in prison. And once the felon has earned their rights back they continue to be called felons...

    [F]elons should not have the right to vote. They are not trustworthy and competent enough to make decision in honoring the rights of other's, nor to keep this country safe and free from criminals, who only learn to survive in prisons by dealing in contraband, fighting, killing and taking what they want when they want to. To me these types of felons are not good voting material."
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    • +7 +7 0 MDB Sep. 25, 2012
      ""Do you know you can aguire a felony by losing your job and not being able to pay child support (non-violent crime) so why should your right to vote be taken away because of someting our government caused by letting company's out source work to other countries""
    • +6 +7 -1 Maria Aug. 9, 2011
      "John, everyone who has been convicted of a felony did not violate the rights of others. What about those during the civil rights movement that violated others rights by trying to keep them from voting, by using violence such as beating and killing. Do you think those individuals should be convicted of their felonies and their voting rights taken away? Wouldn't you consider them felons too?"
    • +2 +3 -1 tom Sep. 13, 2012
      ""I do not approve of felons having the right to vote because, frankly, any criminal that violates the rights of others should lose their rights in prison."

      John are you aware of how many victimless crimes there are which are considered felonies? If i have some marijuana in my pocket, how exactly did I violate YOUR rights? Yet I am denied the right to vote or own a firearm to protect myself. So many things are felonies now, its hard to even keep track. The net is wide, not like you think. Its not just murderers or car thieves anymore."
    • +1 +2 -1 steven Oct. 8, 2012
      "Neither is our own government."
    • 0 +4 -4 palomablanca Jun. 8, 2011
      "I don't think its about that. maybe people should focus on the social environment being the problem. and not shun people"
  • -29 +6 -35 cooper Mar. 5, 2014
    "criminals will vote for presidents who promise to let felons out of prison allowing them to roam the streets possibly leading to murders or crimes."
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    • -1 0 -1 Russell Crowe Apr. 8, 2014
      "If you honestly think the American public will elect someone like that, you've got another thing coming"
  • -29 +40 -69 Randy Apr. 30, 2011
    "I have to say that if someone breaks the law and has to serve time for it. Should not have the rights of the same people that do not. If they do give ex-cons the right to vote. They might as well give the vote to illegals also."
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    • +2 +2 0 Rhonda Shonk Jan. 17, 2012
      "I only pray that no one in your family ever has to be judged this way, one mistake on my part in 55 years, now I have to be judged, a non violent crime, paid the money back, and all fees and fines, but still I am a felon, what about the guys on Wallstreet who all should be felons as well! I paid for my crime and no one was hurt except for me and my family"
    • +1 +1 0 Hilary Dec. 3, 2012
      "Randy, your comments that compare felons to illegals really saddens me and I wish that you would reconsider. How does committing a crime make a person not a citizen of the United States? Yes, that person made a mistake. They are repaying their debt to society. Yet they are still a citizen, they count for representation. How does their vote not count? I am sure you have made mistakes in your life. Perhaps you have told a lie once, should you be labeled a "liar" for the rest of your life? Can your word never be trusted? Perhaps you were young when you lied, or the last time you lied was 20 years ago. Yet, by your logic society would forever call you a "liar", you would have trouble finding a place to live, a decent job, and perhaps you would never have your voice recognized in the democratic process."
    • 0 0 0 mich Nov. 4, 2012
      "hey I was born here my time was paid my life turned around and I was sentenced to life what more do you want"
    • 0 +2 -2 Cassidy Nov. 8, 2011
      "Well they do say some people commit crimes and get caught and some commit crimes and never get caught so if someone does not have a felony does that mean that they never commited crime before?
      Everyone in some way has commited a crime sometime in their lifetime."
    • 0 +4 -4 Angel May. 1, 2011
      "Not only is your opinion biased it is truely for lack of a better word ridiculous. There are those that have worked thier tails off to get to where they are today and still get no respect for crimes they may have committed years or even decades ago. We are all of Gods creation and we ALL make mistakes, some of us are lucky enough not to get caught, and that is what seperates us from "law abiding citizens" and "felons"."
  • -30 +5 -35 Larissa Feb. 12, 2013
    "I don't believe Felons should have the right to vote. This is because, they committed a crime and for that they have broken the law. To me, if you break the law, then you should lose all the rights as an American citizen. I think their right to vote away is teaching them a lesson. This is what i believe is right."
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    • 0 0 0 Big Mark Jul. 10, 2015
      "many first offenders dont go out and think...gee wizz lets go break the law. Things happen in the heat of the moment. If they cant vote then they should also not be taxed. They should not have top pay property taxes so you can have a great life and your little kids can go to school. If they cant vote then exemptin them from property tax.
      You are contributing to repression of someone that may have made a stupid mistake such as larceny.
      None the less losing voting rights does absolutly zero to deter crime it only adds to the repression and hinderance of success of that individual which just contributes to the problems in America."
  • -30 +42 -72 Pierce Sep. 1, 2011
    "A felony; discribed as a crime such as murder, or breaking and entering, more serious then mis-demenors. look at Charles Manson, what he did is described as a felony, there for it makes him a felon. Would you want a serial killer to vote in our government? Charles manson did not have a mental disease, he was someone who decided to rebel against our government, to kill a series of people. @kerry you say that someone who has "served his time" should be allowed to vote? According to 56% of violent felons are repeat offenders and 61% of all felons are repeat offenders" They might have went to jail, but he has not "FULLY PAID his debt to society". The right to vote is a privalage, felons knew their rights before they did the crime, and knew that they would be taken away if they did a crime. But they procided to do it, should someone who knew the risks, knew that they could lose their right to vote, but procided to kill. Be allowed to choose, how the very government they went against, is run?"
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    • +5 +7 -2 Dana L Nov. 8, 2011
      "You just contradicted yourself in your comment by saying "The right to vote is a privilage" Rights are not privilages. They are "rights""
    • +3 +3 0 steven Oct. 8, 2012
      "what abot the 44% and the 49% that aren't repeat. Also, if we can take their rights, the ones they pay to have; shouldn't they be able to stop paying taxes. I believe they should. I actually think ALL citizens should be tested BEFORE they are allowed to vote. I know your thinking what kind of test, well I think IQ tests for starters and at least an SAT or some other form of test so that everyone voting is knowledgeable in what they are actually taking part in. I bet that would exclude quite a few people, especially since the U.S.A. produces less than average students."
    • +3 +3 0 joe Apr. 24, 2012
      "according to the constitution voting is a right that is why they call it sufferage when you are stripped of that right. a more polite term is disenfrachisement"
    • +1 +1 0 JohnVincentGI Jan. 6, 2013
      "Seriously? Look, I might have known that I would be 'taken away' as you put it, but I was 18 and a week old, high as hell, and although I come from a good family, I was the black sheep. You say that felons know that their rights will be taken away? Maybe some of them, but other than subconsciously knowing that I 'could' go to jail, hell no! I didn't even know what Civil Rights were 20 years ago! Did you? Right to vote? I was never even old enough to vote!
      Look, people like Manson are EVIL... and you are right, a large number of felons are repeat offenders.. Multiple repeat offenders (those should just stay there forever in my opinion) but some, like myself, I got in trouble once. That was it. Once. Over 20 years ago. Never again. I own 3 businesses & hold 2 State Certifications/Professional Licenses in the State of Florida, but still I can't vote.
      Should 'all' ex-felons vote? No. Not only should most not vote, but most 'dumb' people shouldn't either, although some do."
    • +1 +1 0 mich Nov. 4, 2012
      "you really don't know anything. Stop letting those polls tell yopu how to live. Think for yourself man and if your mind tells you which way to go so be it but stop letting the govt dictate your life not all is black and white."
  • -32 +18 -50 James Nov. 21, 2011
    "For those of you who are screaming "no taxation w/o representation" there are legal resident alien who live in this country, work hard, pay taxes, and DON'T break the law. They are not allowed to vote. So I don't feel sorry for felons. No vote for felons."
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    • 0 0 0 TOH Debate Team Mar. 3, 2016
      "Have you considered that citizens who "live in this country, work hard, pay taxes, and DON'T break the law" have broken the law but haven't been caught? In fact, criminals who aren't caught are more dangerous than the ones that are. And isn't prison punishment enough? One stupid mistake shouldn't control the rest of your life."
  • -33 +17 -50 james 7 Oct. 6, 2011
    "poor kerry, he is so ignorant. they made a bad choice once, whats to say they wont do it again."
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    • +4 +4 0 MDB Sep. 25, 2012
      "Do you know you can aguire a felony by losing your job and not being able to pay child support (non-violent crime) so why should your right to vote be taken away because of someting our government caused by letting company's out source work to other countries"
    • +2 +3 -1 victoria May. 31, 2012
      "get your self or freind in trouble and then see how you and all the ones against this is"
  • -41 +26 -67 Lawrence Sep. 6, 2011
    "No they should not be alowd to vote"
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    • +2 +3 -1 DL Nov. 8, 2011
      "Should they be allowed to pay taxes?"
    • -3 0 -3 James Nov. 21, 2011
      "Hey DL legal resident aliens can't vote and they have to pay taxes?"
  • -42 +10 -52 JESSIE Sep. 12, 2012
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    • +8 +8 0 Erica Sep. 13, 2012
      "Why? Please explain..give GOOD REASONS PLEASE"
    • +6 +6 0 MDB Sep. 25, 2012
      "WOW nice, maybe a reason u feel that way and please make it a good one...."
  • -44 +9 -53 jj Jan. 4, 2012
    "i guess yu people donot know one of the reasons that helped Bush to become the leader of the USA"
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    • +5 +5 0 Zorya Sep. 5, 2014
      "The Supreme Court did that!"