Center for Equal Opportunity

The nation’s only conservative think tank devoted to issues of race and ethnicity.


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Felon Voting

Felon voting

It’s an election year, and every election year there is an uptick in the attention given to one of the Center for Equal Opportunity’s issues:  when felons ought to be allowed to vote.

Answering the Challenges to Felon Disenfranchisement

Why should felons not be allowed to vote?

            Because you don’t have a right to make the laws if you aren’t willing to follow them yourself. To participate in self-government, you must be willing to accept the rule of law. We don’t let everyone vote--not children, not noncitizens, not the mentally incompetent. There are certain minimum and objective standards of trustworthiness, loyalty, and responsibility, and those who have committed serious crimes against their fellow citizens don’t meet those standards.

Shouldn’t some felons be allowed to vote?
            Yes, and some shouldn’t.  The decision to restore the right to vote should not be made automatically.  It should be made carefully, on a case-by-case basis, weighing the seriousness of the crime, how long ago it was committed, and whether there is a pattern of crime.