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May 12, 2016

Can I Vote Even If I Have A Criminal Record?

can i vote with a criminal record

*actor portrayal

A person with a criminal record has certain rights and privileges suspended that other free citizens have as penance for whatever crime they committed. The courts are more or less fair in the sense that they recognize a criminal pays for his or her crime and after they have finished giving back to society, the courts consider their debt paid. In the case of someone who has a standing criminal record and wants to vote, the answer is yes, you are most certainly allowed to do so, but only if your charges are misdemeanors and they have been served in full. A person with felonies on their record is not allowed to vote in a national election.

Voting as a Choice

In a democratic society, voting is a right that is exercised by the average citizen as a means of telling the country who they would like to represent them in order to put a President into the White House. Democracies around the world have celebrated the vote as a triumph of democracy and a means of having the common citizens’ voice heard.

Voting from the Standpoint of a Felon

Generally speaking voting as a felon is frowned upon in most states. Although some states do allow voting for people who previously had felonies to their name but have already served their time, the general consensus is that felons do not deserve the right to cast a vote. The reasoning behind this comes from how the law understands felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are minor offences, some of which can even be committed accidentally. This doesn’t make them right, but it does underscore the fact that a minor crime may not be the premeditated. Felonies, on the other hand, demonstrate a distinct lack of appreciation for the law as well as a demonstrated penchant for poor judgment. It’s because of this second issue that most state houses do not make provisions for felons who want to vote.

Presidential Elections Affect us All

The usual argument behind pushing for felons to get the vote comes from the understanding that as felons, they still make up a major part of the population of the country and their opinions on who should be put into power should be heard. The counter to this argument simply states that if a felon has already demonstrated poor judgment in issues that affect his or her own lives, why should that person get a say that would affect the lives of the wider population? The debate is one that has many sides to it, but as of now, felons cannot vote in the state of Nevada, although people who have committed misdemeanors and have completed their sentences can.