Why should ex-prisoners not be allowed to vote?
Those who believe formerly incarcerated individuals should be prevented from exercising future voting privileges could make the following arguments:
- These individuals have proven that they have the capacity to allow for serious lapses of good judgement. Therefore, this inability to maintain appropriate reasoning abilities could extend to the voting booth, allowing for criminals to vote for policies and people which would not benefit society as a whole.
- Many former prisoners return to prison, proving that not everyone who exits the system leaves as a rehabilitated citizen. Depending on which data you use, up to around 75% of former prisoners will be incarcerated again, and a great many of those will find their way back to prison within the first year of release. This argument would say that, at the least, former prisoners should prove themselves capable of better judgement before being allowed to vote on policies which shape the entire nation.
- Many former prisoners have committed violent crimes against law-abiding citizens. Others have committed felonies such as treason or kidnapping across state lines, which have serious long-term repercussions for victims. People who point to this argument would say that those who have so blatantly disregarded the legal system and the rights of their fellow citizens should not be allowed to benefit from participating in matters of law. Should people who cannot follow the law participate in making laws for everyone else? Some people would argue that they should not.
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