Lives are built upon the mistakes we make on a normal basis. However, our mistakes should not mean that our natural rights as citizens should be taken away. In the same way laws were implemented to put citizens behind bars, the laws giving citizens the right to vote should still be enforced.
The 26th Amendment prohibits states and the federal government from taking away the right to vote from U.S. citizens, 18 years of age or older. This constitutional amendment does not mention the government’s ability to strip prisoners of their rights. Thus, shouldn’t everyone that is an adult citizen be allowed to vote, regardless of where they reside?
Yes, there are those who have done horrid things, but that should not take away their right to vote and to voice their own opinion. It just brings up the question of who should vote in society in general. Voting is a right that people are given as citizens of the United States. The Constitution was written for a reason, to have written proof of what citizens are entitled to. Nowhere does it mention that the individuals behind bars should be excluded from their given rights as citizens of the U.S.
When criminals violate basic morals, many of their rights are limited. Although voting is a right all U.S. citizens are entitled to when they are 18 or older, committing crimes indicate they are not responsible enough to have them, especially since those who are admitted to prison with long sentences have committed crimes more serious than petty theft.
Prisoners’ rights are restricted in an effort for them to learn the importance of the rights that they previously had and the responsibility that comes along with them. Therefore, prisoners should not have the privilege to vote. Only after serving time for their mistakes should they have their rights restored.
With limited access to the internet to research political parties, candidates, or bills while serving their time, prisoners will not have a chance to make educated choices for which candidate or bill to choose and will vote primarily for whichever political party they prefer or whichever bill seems most beneficial to them.
Just as cell phones are taken away from misbehaving teenagers, prisoners have disregarded simple rules, and should have certain rights taken away.