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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 able to vote even while in prison Show more Show less

All citizens should have the right to vote, regardless of their circumstances.
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Those who are incarcerated are still citizens

People are incarcerated for a host of reasons. This does not diminish their status as citizens - they should retain their right to vote.
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The Argument

Felons being incarcerated do not make them completely separate from society, nor should they be. Those who are imprisoned have certain inalienable rights - for instance, the right to be free from violence - and voting should be one of these, enshrining the inherent right to participate in democracy. The objective of incarceration should be to rehabilitate prisoners to reintegrate them into society, and disenfranchisement at any time only serves to alienate them further.

Counter arguments

A large part of the point of imprisonment is having to lose certain freedoms. It is not undemocratic for one of these lost freedoms to be the right to vote. It makes no sense for those who have displayed no respect for the country's laws - some of whom having been convicted of treason, terrorism, or murder - to then have a say in dictating those laws.



[P1] A person being incarcerated does not take away the fact that they are a member of society.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Bring imprisoned inherently means freedoms are taken away which are afforded to other members of society.


Further Reading


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    This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Jan 2020 at 12:48 UTC