Kevin Drum asks the right question.
So here's a question: Do you think convicted felons who have served their time should be prohibited from speaking freely? Do you think they should lose the right to a fair trial?I don’t understand this on a lot of levels. I mean, what’s really being accomplished by not allowing those who have served their time to vote. My guess is (and this is just a guess) that convicted felons aren’t the most likely demographic to go vote anyway. And sure, while you’re actually doing the time, no rights like voting. That’s fine. But once you’re out, what’s the big deal? Are all the ex-cons going to form a PAC, elect the right people and get crime repealed? Or vote out the judges and sheriffs and states attorneys that got them put away?
No? Then why do they lose the right to vote in 20 states?
This has never made sense to me other than being an arbitrary and spiteful bonus “punishment”. I'd even go so far as to say it's counterproductive. Any ex-con engaged enough to go out and vote probably now feels they have a stake in society and unlikely to undermine that with a life of crime.