Felon Suffrage: Do They Still Have This Right?

Felon Suffrage: Do They Still Have This Right?

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Voting is the responsibility of every citizen, and it is their right to choose whichever candidate they want for the public office. It is stated in the human rights that any human being, regardless of their nationality, sex, race, religion, and any other status, can vote for the elections when they reach a certain age. Everyone is entitled to human rights without any discrimination or bias. However, there are some exceptions to this rule that apply to some specific situations. Things like disenfranchisement are imposed on some people, especially 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 what their status is. In some other cases, like being convicted of a crime and put in prison, a person’s voting right is revoked. This is called felony disenfranchisement. People who are currently serving a sentence have a couple of their rights revoked- voting is one of them.

There is an exception, though, for states in the US like Vermont and Maine, which allow convicts to vote while in prison. The rest of the states, however, restrict 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 their rights that they enjoyed, back when they were still free. It is true that these unfortunate people who fell back on doing such crimes may have their freedom restricted. But after they serve their sentence or are 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 it is a bit of a 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 re-enable,  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 right to vote; in other instances, they need to re-register for voting. That is, if the Law of that particular state or country permits them to do so. Processes and regulations for this may vary from state to state or from country to country, and it may take a long time for them to regain this right once again.

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 important, no matter what their crimes are. A lot of experts even argue that it is unjust to take away their right to vote.

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


Felony disenfranchisement is a widely contested topic right now and people from both sides are finding 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 to give these poor fellows a second chance to choose their candidate? Or is it rightful to strip this right away from them as a part of their punishment?