Thursday, March 01, 2007

Voting Rights

In case you didn't know, there is a nationwide movement to reform laws that disenfranchise felons who have served their time from voting. On the basis that I believe that a free man ought to be free to vote, I agree with this reform. It's just that simple. However, this argument for such reform is pretty specious. From

Felony disenfranchisement not only raises concerns about democracy and fairness, but it also runs counter to the goal of public safety. At a time when a record number of Americans are being released from prison, denying the vote to millions of people who are living in the community, working and raising their families hinders efforts for successful reintegration. Research has shown that former offenders who vote are less likely to be rearrested than nonvoters. Voting promotes public safety because people who vote are more likely to feel connected to their communities and to avoid falling back into crime.

I find it hard to believe that voting prevents recidivism. The more likely reason for this is that reintegrated individuals are both less inclined to fall back into a life of crime and more likely to vote due to reintegration, not the other way around.

Found via Kevin Drum

No comments: