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Debate: Ex-felon right to vote

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Should ex-felons have the right to vote?

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Should ex-felons have the right to vote?

In many states, ex-felons, that is people who have served their entire sentence and, thus, theoretically, have paid their debt to society, do not have the right to vote.

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Yes

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Ex-felons tend to be poor and/or African American. A study conducted in 2001 found that 7 percent of African Americans in the United States were subjected to felony dienfranchisement laws, compared to 1 percent of all other racial groups. Therefore, laws preventing them from voting are intrinsically unfair.

These laws also give an unfair advantage to the Republican party, because the poor and African Americans tend to vote Democratic. It is no surprise that most of the felon disenfranchisement laws were sponsored by Republicans.

A statistical study by Uggen and Manza (2001) found that, if felons had been allowed to vote in Florida in 2000, Al Gore would have won the vote in this state.

Other democratic countries do not disenfranchise ex-felons.





No

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Yes

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No

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Yes

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No

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===Petersilia, Joan. 2003. When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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