The Voting Rights Act Of 1965

925 Words Aug 8th, 2014 4 Pages
Many people may have heard the phrase, “if you do the crime, you have to do the crime”. What if the criminal actually does the time? Does that mean that the punishment is over? Is their debt to society paid? Some convicted felons may not feel this way when faced with criminal disenfranchisement. As it stands right now most states have restrictions on felons and voting. Florida, for example, requires you to wait 5 years before a convicted felon can apply for clemency to vote (ProCon.org). Out of all the states, there are only 2 states that have no restrictions, and allow convicted felons to vote absentee ballots from within prison (ProCon.org). Compared to other modern societies, the United States “features the harshest restrictions on offender voting rights” (Sigler). Convicted felons should be able to vote as soon as possible to help reinforce integration back into society.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 extended the rights of all eligible citizens to vote. But America has a long history of disenfranchisement. Woman were not allowed to vote until 1920, when the Constitution was amended to state "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 sex” (“The 19th Amendment”). In 1870, African American men were granted the right to vote in The 15th Amendment which stated, the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state…
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