Should Felons Be Able to Vote?

Apparently the state of Iowa is going after felons who voted. Here is a case of an ex-felon charged with perjury:

“Prosecutors say 40-year-old Kelli Jo Griffin falsely claimed on a voter registration form last year that she was not an ineligible felon before voting in the municipal election of her town, Montrose. Prosecutors say she’d been disenfranchised by a 2008 felony drug conviction and Gov. Terry Branstad hadn’t restored her rights.”

I disagree with this. I think it would be a good thing for ex-felons to participate in the political process, as I think it would tend to help integrate them back into society.

I think once they’ve served their sentence and their probation yes, they should have their voting rights restored without having to go through a bunch of legal rigamarole.

Agreed. It does no one any good to continue punishment after people have served their time. Once they’re off probation, the slate should be wiped clean (unless they break the law again, of course).

Felons should never lose their right to vote. Why do they, how does that serve the greater good?
It just seems like a little unnecessary additional punishment that has nothing to do with their crimes. Becoming a felon is really easy and a lot of them never serve time at all, just probation, and yet they can NEVER vote again. Too extreme.

Until it can be shown that elected officials cannot in any way effect their lives, felons should have the right to vote, otherwise they become a slave of the state.

Felonys are handed out so often these days that it makes me wonder if politicians want them given out to keep certain people from voting. I really don’t believe most drug convictions are felonys. I think the most important thing is for the person to get off drugs. Giving out a felony for a drug user only makes it harder for them to get a job and be productive.

Same here. Loss of the vote while in prison seems reasonable (if only because it would skew the electoral rolls and results for the constituency a prison was located in). Loss during parole is perhaps likewise sensible in that there still exists the possibility of violating parole and going straight back to prison. But once you’re done, you should definitely get your vote back and join the ranks of normal society again.

Felons are probably affected more by decisions of politicians than the average citizen. I’d let them vote. As others have said, taking away the franchise seems totally unrelated to the. Prime comiited. Maybe just take it away for people convicted of voting fraud and treason.

I agree with this, and believe it should apply to everyone, including children and foreigners. If the US government has any amount of control over your life, you ought to have a say in it.

Until they become of legal age children are wards of other citizens(for the most part). Foreigners may pay taxes, but their representation usually comes through their embassies and ambassadors.

Yes. They paid their debt to society, so they shouldn’t be punished any further.

I’m talking about foreign people actually in the country. I don’t care what someone’s “immigrant” status is, if they live here they should be able to vote.

I always thought it was a moot point.
Most of the felons I know wouldn’t vote anyway. They aren’t known for their civic-mindedness. The only right they want restored is the right to own a gun. Actually, that is kind of a moot too.

Prisoners are considered as wards of the state.

So am I, and I don’t believe I mentioned “immigrant” status.

Then this thread needs some clarification as to what the OP meant by “felon”-just people currently in prison, or also ex-cons?

Not after their sentence is up.

Keeping felons from voting seems to be purposely designed to prevent prison reform. If anyone who has experiensed the conditions inside prison loses their right to vote, how can we possibly elect leaders who will address prison related problems effectively? The only voices they hear on election day are those of us who know nothing about prisons except what we’ve seen on TV and who don’t really care anyway.

Out of honest curiousity, does that thought apply to a violent felon’s right to own a gun?

I agree that, once all time and probabtion are served, felons should be allowed to vote (unless, perhaps, the crime involved voting fraud - I’d have to think about it in that case).

I see owning a gun as a privilege more than a right. Call me anti-American if you want but I feel like if someone has a violent history they shouldn’t be able to purchase a gun. Just like someone with a DUI should have their license taken away for a while.