Should Prisoners Be Allowed The Right To Vote?
Senator Bernie Sanders, as he most often does, started a fire storm over the question should prisoners be allowed to vote.
Bernie says unequivocally yes.
In a town hall event Senator Sanders stated the following:
I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy…Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘That guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope. So, I believe that people who commit crimes, they pay the price.
He went on to say:
When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right the vote, but I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.
Currently most states already deny approximately 6.1 million ex-cons their right to vote. There are approximately 1.5 million currently incarcerated felons (muggers, rapists, murderers, terrorist, drug dealers and users, car thieves, bank robbers, burglars, etc.). In those 1.5 million incarcerated felons according to the Department of Justice as of January 2018, 549 of them are people who were convicted of international terrorism-related charges and 295 of them are either U.S. citizens by birth or received U.S. citizenship.
The question is what do you believe, should felons who were convicted and are serving their punishment be allowed the right to vote? When they committed their crime did they give up their right to vote?
Tammy Bruce, a center left radio talk show host, author and political commentator had an opinion piece published in The Washington Times in which she stated:
Voting is an important right of American citizens, but it’s predicated on the commitment we all make to the social compact. Just like freedom is only guaranteed when you don’t break the agreement, as defined by our laws. The moment you decide our laws, and the compact, do not apply to you, neither do certain rights accorded to law-abiding citizens, like personal freedom and the right to vote.
She has got a very good point there.
I could give you horrible example after horrible example of the crimes many of these felons have committed but you know who and what they are.
So the question remains, should convicted felons have the right to vote while serving their sentences?
Did those incarcerated prisoners give up their right to vote when they committed the crimes that our society believed were so bad that we took away their right to freedom and their 1st amendment right to peaceably assemble?
Those of you who would agree with Senator Sanders remember there are the evil “white supremacist” among those felons. White supremacist like Dylann Roof, who killed nine African-American churchgoers in a brazen racial rampage at the Charleston South Carolina Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Should he have the right to vote on the future of our country?