BRIAN PERRY/Restore voting rights

There have been efforts to change this policy; usually through a compromise in which all felons (not just those listed above) would lose their voting rights; but then most would automatically regain voting rights upon completion of their sentence, probation, restitution, etc.

I don’t buy the argument that completion of a sentence logically means voting rights should be restored. Completing a term does not create a blank slate; there are still ramifications of that crime including greater punishment for subsequent convictions. Permanent removal of voting rights can be a reasonable punishment for a crime.

But I do support automatic restoration of voting rights for some crimes and believe the return of those rights should not come until after completion of the other punishments. When we talk about voting not only being a right, but also a responsibility, it seems society should encourage reintegrating those who have served their time into the civic fabric of society; including participating in elections.

Madison County Journal
5/4/16