Kentucky should allow non-violent felons to vote


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Matt Hasty

As Americans, we have a right and a duty to vote in all government elections to ensure our collective voice is heard by the people who are in power in our country, though not everyone has that right.

People who are convicted felons do not have the right to vote, and it is time that changes.

While we shouldn’t set up voting booths in prisons, it is time that people who have non-violent felonies and have served their time be granted the right to vote.

Felons who have served their time are still being punished well-beyond leaving the prison walls.

If parole boards believe that a convicted felon is ready to rejoin society, our government should support that decision.

I know people who have been to prison and have been charged with felonies. Life is harder for ex-convicts once they leave prison – They struggle to get jobs because not everyone will hire someone with a felony on their record, or if they are out on parole, they have to check-in consistently with their parole officer and if not, that will result in jailtime again.

But all crimes are not the same. We should not allow murderers, or other crimes of this nature, have the same civil liberties as people who have not committed these crimes. When determining which people with felonies can vote, a line must be drawn.

When someone commits a heinous, violent crime, such as murder or sex crimes, they cross a moral line. Because they crossed this line, they do not deserve to have the same liberties as people who are not criminals. This is the line that we must adhere to – non-violent crimes or felonies should not hinder the offenders right to vote.

But people who are convicted on non-violent felonies, such as drug trafficking or theft, didn’t cross a moral line to physically hurt people; they just made a wrong choice. We have all made mistakes in our lives that force us to lay awake at night wishing we could reverse and fix our mistakes, but sadly, we can’t. We must live with our mistakes and move forward from them. Our small mistakes should not cost us our future, and that is the same case for non-violent felons.

We need more people to vote. It is time to allow people with non-violent offenses vote.