Why Felons Should not Be Allowed to Vote: Argumentative Essay

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Franchising felons from voting has an impact on elections, silences the voice that felons have, and strips them of a right that they should have.

In the 2016 elections, many states were close, with some winning by only a small margin. Florida was within 120,000 votes to swing for Hillary Clinton ('2016 Presidential'), which is very close given the population of Florida. As mentioned earlier, Florida had over 1.6 million felons that were stripped of their voting rights. Had all of those felons been able to vote, Hillary Clinton may have won in Florida. Another example of this is Nevada, a state where some felons do not automatically have their voting rights restored. Nevada was also close, as it was within 27,000 votes of swaying to another presidential candidate. Had felons been allowed to vote, this state and several others may of have been swayed to another presidential candidate in the 2016 election.

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Being convicted of a felony makes life a lot harder, as many things become more difficult or are unable to be done. Felons lose their right to own a firearm, even if their crime was not related to a firearm in any way. Felons also have a harder time applying for loans and can not apply for state or federal grants, making going back to school to get a better-paying job a lot harder. Felons also may lose parental rights, and almost always lose custody in courts (the law dictionary). Stripping felons of their right to vote prevents them from voting for a candidate that would vote to change these things.

Another problem is that felons are stripped of several rights, even if they had nothing to do with their crime. A felon who has been convicted of a crime such as assault should lose their rights to firearms, however denying them things such as state and federal grants has no relation to their crime and would only pose a problem in their life. Without these grants, felons have difficulty getting back on their feet after prison, and cannot use them to go back to school to turn their life around. If their restrictions were only applied to things relating to their crime, felons would only face restrictions relating to their crime instead of several unnecessary restrictions.

The hardest thing felons have to deal with, however, is employment. Companies frequently do background checks on people they want to hire, and most will turn down a person for having a criminal background. This makes getting a job after a felon has been released extremely hard, or companies will tend to employ someone with no criminal background over someone with a criminal background. As felons are unable to find a job that can sustain them, many turn back to crime and often end up back in prison.

Some people will argue that felons don’t deserve rights such as firearms, as they say, that they have proven that they are incapable of making good decisions, and as such they should not be trusted with those rights. Some people also say that felons are not able to make informed judgments, as they made the poor choice of breaking the law ('Top 10 Pro & Con Arguments'). While some of these statements hold some truth in them, they are assuming that most felons want to go back to crime and are unable to make an informed vote.

Not all felons want to go back to crime, however, not all of them have a choice. Some felons are forced back into crime, with one reason being financial difficulties. As some felons are unable to get a job that can support them, they turn back to crime in order to make money. Another reason why is that some felons relapse and start doing drugs again, however, the problem with drugs is a different problem. The Bureau of Justice Statistics did a study on prisoners released in 2005 on how many were arrested again. Approximately 68% were arrested at least once in the first three years, and 83% were arrested by the end of the ninth year (Bureau of Justice). This study shows a large problem, because if over two-thirds of convicts were arrested again in the first three years, then either prison are not doing a good job of rehabilitating their prisoners, or felons are not given enough to get back on their feet after prison.

Another assumption is that felons are unable to make informed votes. While felons may not have made a good choice in breaking the law, that does not mean that they are unable to make an informed vote. Just because someone was convicted of a crime does not mean that they cannot look at all candidates in an election and make an informed vote. The other problem with this assumption is that prison is supposed to reform convicts, so if a man is reformed through prison and becomes a better person, then she should have the same rights as a regular person. Another assumption is that many felons would only use their vote on people who would lessen their punishments for their crimes. While some felons would use their vote like this, many would vote for candidates who would remove or lessen their restrictions, because as stated earlier not all felons want to go back to crime.

Giving felons the right to vote will give felons a voice in elections and elect people who will work to give them their rights back. This would result in unnecessary restrictions being removed from them, as well as reducing the rearrest rate as they would be able to use those rights to get back on their feet. This would lead to felons having a way to reintegrate back into society. However, without a vote, felons will have a harder time finding ways to get back on their feet and will end up back in prison

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Why Felons Should not Be Allowed to Vote: Argumentative Essay. (2023, August 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-felons-should-not-be-allowed-to-vote-argumentative-essay/
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Why Felons Should not Be Allowed to Vote: Argumentative Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Aug 29 [cited 2024 Jun 23]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-felons-should-not-be-allowed-to-vote-argumentative-essay/

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