07/31/07 Ex-Felons’ Voting Rights

Should someone who has been convicted of a felony be allowed to vote after they finish their sentence and return home from prison? The laws governing ex-felons voting rights vary from state to state, and many have changed in the last few years.  Ex-felons can now vote in most states, now including Maryland as of this year. It makes sense to me that someone deserves to have the choice to vote after they've finished a prison sentence, whatever their crime was.  Any other argument aside for the moment, aren't prisons supposed to offer a chance for reform and rehabilitiation? I've heard arguments otherwise, though, including on the show today.  One caller suggested that offering ex-felons voting rights amounts to an attack on The Republican Party, based on his assumption that most ex-felons would vote Democrat. Any thoughts? -Justin

Should someone who has been convicted of a felony be allowed to vote after they finish their sentence and return home from prison?

The laws governing ex-felons voting rights vary from state to state, and many have changed in the last few years.  Ex-felons can now vote in most states, now including Maryland as of this year.

It makes sense to me that someone deserves to have the choice to vote after they’ve finished a prison sentence, whatever their crime was.  Any other argument aside for the moment, aren’t prisons supposed to offer a chance for reform and rehabilitiation?

I’ve heard arguments otherwise, though, including on the show today.  One caller suggested that offering ex-felons voting rights amounts to an attack on The Republican Party, based on his assumption that most ex-felons would vote Democrat.

Any thoughts?

-Justin

Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

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