Tags: Voting Rights | felons | voting rights

Voting Rights: 5 Reasons Ex-Felons Can't Vote

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 04:07 PM

Ex-felons lose their voting rights for a variety of reasons. Voter disenfranchisement for felons depends on particular state laws. Some ex-felons don't know if they have the right to vote because of changes to laws over the years.

Here are five reasons ex-felons can't vote:

1. Voter disenfranchisement for felons has been around since the ancient Greek and Roman times. The English colonists brought the idea to America. Crimes against individuals and society resulted in "civil death," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This included loss of property and prohibition from entering into contracts. Restoring voting rights to felons became an issue in the last half of the 20th century.

VOTE NOW: Should Convicted Felons Be Allowed to Vote?

2. State laws vary, but many states allow ex-felons to vote only after they have proven themselves to become productive members of society. This may require a five to seven year time period. Public safety and incentives for ex-felons need to be considered when restoring those rights, according to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

3. For centuries, crimes committed against individuals could also be interpreted as crimes against society, according to lawmakers in different countries. Convicted felons showed they couldn't be trusted with certain rights. Ex-felons revealed that they violated those rights when they first committed crimes against people and society.

4. Ex-felons can't vote in certain circumstances because of confusion and miscommunication among state agencies. Sometimes ex-felons are allowed to vote but don't know it due to the complexities of laws in various states.

TELL US: How Do You Feel About Voting Rights for Convicted Felons?

Restoration of voting rights may depend on the date of the crime, the crime committed or when the prisoner is released, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states require notifications from corrections facilities to state agencies before an ex-felon can vote. It can even become difficult for state officials to determine when those rights can be restored.

5. Regulations that involve parole boards, prison facilities and state offices can cause a backlog in the application process. Certain ex-felons may have earned the right to vote in a state, but state agencies don't have the staff or resources to handle a high number of applicants to restore those privileges in a timely manner.

VOTE NOW: Do You Think Convicted Felons Should Be Allowed to Vote?

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Ex-felons lose their voting rights for a variety of reasons. Voter disenfranchisement for felons depends on particular state laws. Some ex-felons don't know if they have the right to vote because of changes to laws over the years.
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Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 04:07 PM
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