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Should felons be allowed to vote? Show more Show less

States within the U.S. differ significantly on policies relating to the disenfranchisement of felons. While on the one hand felons should be punished for disrespect of the law, they are also citizens with the right to be represented like anyone else. So, should felons never be able to vote again? Should they be granted the right to vote once they have completed their sentence? Or should they never lose the right to vote, even whilst serving their sentence?

Felons should be allowed to vote once they have served their sentence Show more Show less

Once a sentence has been served, felons should not have to be continually punished. All of their rights should be reinstated.
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No taxation without representation

Felons still have to pay taxes once they are gainfully employed, so they should be able to represent themselves through voting.

(1 of 2 Arguments) Next >>

Context

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The Argument

America was founded on the ideal of 'no taxation without representation'. Many felons who have completed their sentence go on to be gainfully employed and pay taxes to the government. They are contributing to society. They deserve to be represented by a government they help to fund.

Counter arguments

While 'no taxation without representation' is a good idea, it does not work in practice. We do not offer everyone who pays taxes the right to vote - for instance, illegal immigrants, people under 18 - and equally, not everyone who votes pays taxes. Taxation is not the litmus test for the right to vote.

Framing

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Premises

[P1] Felons who have served their sentence and go on to become employed contribute to society by paying taxes. [P2] Because they pay taxes, they should be able to vote and be represented by their government.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Paying taxes should not be used as the barometer for earning the right to vote.

Proponents

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Further Reading

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This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Jan 2020 at 10:45 UTC