Felon Suffrage: Do They Still Have This Right?

Felon Suffrage: Do They Still Have This Right?

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Voting is a responsibility of any citizen, and it is their right to choose whoever candidate they want for public office. It is stated in the human rights that any human being, regardless of nationality, sex, race, religion, and another status, can vote for the elections at a certain age. Of course, everyone is entitled to human rights without any discrimination or bias. There are some exceptions to that rule that applies to some specific situations. Things like disenfranchisement are imposed on some people, especially to convicts.

Anyways, does a felon have the right to vote? Can they do it while serving their time incarcerated? Can they once again attain their right for it after serving prison time?

The Right To Vote Behind Bars

As mentioned earlier, it is the right of every person to vote for their desired candidate no matter their status. In some other cases, like here being convicted of a crime and put in prison, a person’s voting right is revoked. Thus, this is called felony disenfranchisement. And people who are currently serving a sentence have a couple of their rights revoked, and voting is one of them.

There is an exception though, for states in the US like Vermont and Maine allows convicts to vote while in prison. The rest of the states, though, restricts the incarcerated felon’s right to vote. Among these states, ten of them can ban, or take away, the felon’s right to vote for life.

A Part Of The Punishment

Of course, this is a part of the convict’s rehabilitation. Also, the system is specifically designed to revoke some of the rights that they enjoyed back when they were still free. It is true that these unfortunate people who fell on doing such crimes may have their freedom restricted. After they serve their sentence or is given parole, they can have their freedom back, like voting, right?

Well, technically yes, and there is a process for them to follow for them to vote again. Although this is a bit tedious process to follow, it is essential to enable these people to vote still nonetheless.

Sanctioning The Right After Freedom

If a convict has finished serving his prison time or was given parole, he can once again attain some of his fundamental human rights. One of the essential rights he or she needs to achieve is the right to vote, and they need to undergo a specific process to attain it once again. Thus, this right, the right to vote, is one of those rights that is a bit hard and tedious to achieve due to the said processes needed.

In most cases, ex-felons can process once again their rights to vote still; in other instances, they need to re-register again for voting. That is if the Law of that particular state or country permits them so, for other countries won’t even allow ex-convicts to vote ever still. Processes and regulations for this may vary from state to state or by country, and it may take a long time for them once again to regain this right.

The Public’s Opinion

Having them serve an ample amount of time behind bars is more than enough punishment for these poor fellows. This notion makes other people think that restoring their rights once again for voting is, no matter what their crimes are. A lot of experts even argue that it is unjust to also take away their right for voting. Thus this is for since all citizens, may it be in or out of prison, has that responsibility and the right too.

There are some people out there that think disenfranchisement is just a part of their punishment. They felt that if one values their rights, like the right for freedom and the reason for voting, then they should have abode the Law and not break it in the first place.


Felony disenfranchisement is a widely contested topic right now that people of both sides are making ways to prove their point. Thus, this is mostly a matter of which side should be taken into consideration: Human Rights or Penalty warranted by the Law.

So what do you think? Is it right and to give these poor fellows a second chance to choose their candidate for office? Or is it rightful to strip away this right away from them as a part of their punishment?