Convicted Felons Should Retain The Right to Vote Essay

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Individuals convicted of a felony should not lose their right to vote. The right to vote is a birth right for citizens born in this country. This right is taken for granted by many and is exercised by far too few. As the United States prepares for its 57th presidential election over five million of its citizens will be denied their right to participate in the electoral process. Why would such a large number of people be denied a constitutional right? They have been excluded from voting because they have been convicted of a felony. A felony is usually considered any crime that could lead to more than a year in prison. But states can often have differing views of what is considered a felony or a misdemeanor. Such an …show more content…
Thus, the states that continue to exclude all felons permanently are outliers, both within the United States and in the world (2004)." But, even those individuals who are eligible for the restoration of their voting rights can have huge hurdles to jump. The arbitrary laws that have been put in place to disenfranchise convicted felons are unfair and often political. What disqualifies a convicted felon from voting in one state might not in another. The process of having a convicted felon’s right to vote restored is just as arbitrary.
While some reinstate a felon’s rights as soon as they complete their sentence, others force them to jump through numerous hoops to be able to vote again. The automatic restoration of voting rights depends on which state the person resides. Indiana for example is one of only a few states that allow convicted felons to vote upon their release from prison without conditions. Far too many states require convicted felons to complete onerous tasks to regain their eligibility to vote. The state of Florida does not automatically restore the right to vote regardless of the offense committed. Florida has a five to seven year waiting period for all individuals convicted of a felony. After the waiting period has been completed they must
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