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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 never be allowed to vote Show more Show less

Felons have displayed a disrespect for society and should permanently lose their right to vote.
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Voting is a privilege

Voting is a privilege that felons have disqualified themselves from.
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Context

The Argument

Voting is a privilege, not a right. A universal right to vote is not ratified in the U.S. Constitution.[1] Society does not automatically let everyone vote - those who are underage, who are not citizens or (in some states) do not have the mental capacity are not allowed to vote.[2] It is not a right that should automatically be afforded to felons.

Counter arguments

While it is not formally ratified in the U.S. Constitution, the right to vote is continually referenced elsewhere. U.S. courts have stated that the right to vote "is preservative of other basic civil and political rights."[3] To disenfranchise felons of this right is fundamentally undemocratic and should not be tolerated.

Framing

Premises

[P1] The right to vote is not inherent. [P2] Felons do not automatically have the right to vote.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Citizens do have the inherent right to vote.

Proponents

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Further Reading

References

  1. https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/28/the-missing-right-a-constitutional-right-to-vote/
  2. https://www.usa.gov/who-can-vote
  3. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/righttovote.html

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This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Jan 2020 at 11:19 UTC