Voting Rights of Former Felons

In a column yesterday, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin applauded Minnesota’s restoration of the right to vote for felons who have served their terms. A majority of people in this cohort are among the downtrodden and oppressed. The downtrodden and oppressed tend to vote Democratic. Most Republican politicians favor suppressing voting rights of people who tend to vote Democratic.

It’s bad policy to deny voting rights to former felons. They have “paid their debt to society.” It’s grossly unfair to perpetuate their punishment in this fashion. Society should do whatever is possible to help and guide these people to become responsible citizens for the rest of their lives. Exercising the right to vote is a privilege and a duty of responsible citizenship. Denying voting rights to former felons after they’ve served their terms amounts to telling them that they will never be full citizens again: forget about trying. It’s a cruel, stupid, and counter-productive policy.