Dueling Column: Felon voting rights shouldn’t be automatically restored

Melanie Arougueti/ Contributing Writer 

This upcoming November, our state might undergo a change.

An amendment may or may not pass stating that felons released from prison may vote after completing their sentence, excluding murderers and sexual offenders.

Those in favor of this amendment argue that it’ll help felons integrate back into society since when they are released, they have a hard time finding places to live and work, making it easier and easier to land back in prison.

This is understandable.

However, depending on the crime, many families don’t want ex-felons to be their next-door neighbors. While it may be hard for them to make their way back into a regular daily life, programs have been made to help, such as Help for Felons and Jail to Job.

Despite the hardships, voting isn’t necessary or fundamental in any form.

People don’t need to vote, and while it’s part of living in a democracy, certain aspects of it should be removed from those who broke the rules of living in it in the first place.

When reevaluating what we hold to be important, such as our government, one must leave a place for those who never broke off from society.

This amendment shouldn’t pass to maintain clean voting strategies. Instead, we should vote for an opposing initiative, “Sensible Voting Rights Policy.” This policy encourages more law-obeying citizens to vote, so their votes aren’t diminished by those who did break the law. To help ex-felons who already served their time, it involves a case-by-case review.

This policy was started by Richard Harrison, a Tampa Attorney, who didn’t favor the amendment but thought it beneficial to make an application process for each case in its particularity.

The majority of those in prison have decided to strike themselves away from a norm society, which is why it’s difficult to integrate back into one.

However, voting isn’t a duty, like paying taxes. It’s only reserved for citizens.

And to be a citizen of a working society, one needs to be working on the society instead of damaging it.

Read the other side: Felon disenfranchisement should be abolished


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo by Robert Hickerson on Unsplash. 

Be the first to comment on "Dueling Column: Felon voting rights shouldn’t be automatically restored"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.