Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Felons have tough road to travel in order to vote again

You probably don't think about this much, but someone who is incarcerated loses their right to vote in every state other than Vermont and Maine. The right to vote is one of many things that a felon loses when they are convicted of a crime, but with this specific right, it is notoriously difficult for the individual to regain his or her ability to vote -- and even when they do regain their right, it can be rife with complications.

But the debate is an interesting one. It has some deep-lying political elements to it, but in general the side that is in favor of allowing former felons to vote say that the individuals have already paid their debt to society in the form of jail time, and that having a system that disenfranchises felons is far more complicated than having a fluid system that allows those on the outside of prison walls to vote.

Meanwhile, the other side of the debate says that people who have served time in jail shouldn't be able to influence the politics or laws of the nation (i.e. they would likely vote for those who are "light" or "easy" on crime), and even if they do, they should have to earn back their right to vote.

Here in California, our laws force those who have been convicted of a felony crime to complete their sentence and complete parole before they are allowed to vote again. If you have a felony on your record, you need to consult with an attorney to ensure that your rights are restored in a timely fashion and without complication.

Source: Slate, "Why Can't Ex-Cons Vote?," Leon Neyfakh, March 17, 2015

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