“Just to be clear, I think that no one’s right to vote should be abridged – ever. The potential abuse and demand for exemptions is arbitrary.” -x
“There is no rational reason to take away someone’s voting rights for life just because they’ve committed a crime, especially after they’ve completed their sentence and made amends.” Attorney General Eric Holder
“A study by a parole commission in Florida found that formerly incarcerated people banned from voting were three times as likely to re-offend compared to those who were allowed to vote…” This seems logical to me, as being denied the right to participate in the most basic function of democracy is a deplorable way to further convince someone of their worthlessness. (Not all felons are murderers, either, so avoid using the worst case scenario to justify denying someone the right to vote.)
Telling someone he or she can’t vote while in prison is one thing, but denying them the right to ever vote again after paying for their crimes is one of the most asinine things I can think of. The fact that in many states the whim of the governor determines who can vote or not is dumb politics. Since felonies are defined by lawmakers and are subject to the capricious whims of politicians, anything can be made to be felonious, under any pretext, to strip someone or a group of their right to vote.
For those of you who don’t know, much of the body of these laws are remnants of the aftermath of the Civil War and Voting Rights for Blacks in the South. Reassigning crimes as felonious allowed whites to disenfranchise blacks in large numbers. I know that many readers will not believe this until they go search for themselves. But it’s true.
PS: If I were in charge, even those currently in prison would get to vote. And they’d vote where they are incarcerated, giving them a local voice which would require some accountability from the places where prisons are located.