Should Convicted Felons Keep Their Right to Vote?

One of the topics discussed among Democrats who are running for president is whether people should be allowed to vote while they are incarcerated.
The man they are trying to replace has dismissed the issue.
“Let terrorists that are in prison vote? I don’t think so,” Trump said during a speech to the NRA. “Can you believe it? But this is where some of these people are coming from.”
Currently, there are two states who allow felons to vote. They are two of the most liberal states in the nation — Vermont and Maine.
MSNBC went into a Maine prison where they spoke to convicted murderer Foster Bates.
“Just because a person’s incarcerated, that doesn’t make him less of a citizen,” Bates told NBC News. “That doesn’t make him less of a human being. People are going to make mistakes in their lives.”
Bates who was convicted of murder in 2002 is the president of a special chapter of the NAACP formed inside the prison. Even though he is serving a life sentence he has voted in every election as he hopes to get out one day.
“You want to have a say on the people making decisions about your life, regardless of where you are,” he said. “Because the people on the outside are going to make decisions for things when you get ready to go home, too.”
Jim Gagnon who lost his son when he was murdered sees it differently. “Once they’re released, they want to vote then? Fine,” Gagnon said. “But while they’re in there serving, they should not be allowed to vote. They lost that right the minute they committed murder and (were) convicted of a murder.”
His wife also argues, “My son didn’t get a chance to vote. Why would you allow someone that has committed murder or manslaughter — why would you allow him to vote when my son couldn’t vote?”
Bates understands why the Gagnons feel the way they do. “It’s not much you can say to the family as to why this person should vote,” Bates said. “But the answer that I would give is that you have to at some point in time say: If that person comes back to society, you want to have a changed person, not the person who committed the heinous crime.”
Bates spends most of his time helping fellow inmates to register and vote. “Because we have to have our voices heard,” Bates said. “Because we are just as much a part of this country as…who’s outside these walls. Because we’re incarcerated doesn’t mean that we should lose our right to vote because when I leave this facility, I’m a citizen still.”

Latest News

Toyota Earns the Most R&D Patents Among Automakers in IPO Rankings for 8th Consecutive Year

Originally published at pressroom.toyota.com. Toyota ranked No. 7 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Toyota more patents than any other automaker in 2021, according to an annual ranking by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Toyota’s engineers…

Wells Fargo Announces New Initiative To Help Customers Avoid Overdraft Fees and Meet Short-Term Cash Needs

Originally published at newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Wells Fargo announced new efforts to limit overdraft-related fees and give customers more flexible options to meet their personal financial needs. These offerings, which include earlier access to direct deposits,…

multi race business woman

New Report Shows Significant Increase in Female and Black Representation in the Executive Boardroom

Diversity and inclusion appear to be successfully increasing among America’s largest and most successful companies. The finding comes from a new report conducted by executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates as part of its review of DEI representation in executive offices. Ariel Zilber of the New York Post reported that…

Taco Bell

Taco Bell Creates Business School To Help Underrepresented Groups Become Franchise Owners

Taco Bell and the popular fast-food chain’s owner Yum! Brands have entered the DEI arena with a new business school designed to help people of all backgrounds — and people of color in particular — advance into restaurant ownership. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business reported that “a select group of…

LGBTQ dog tags

US Government Will Now Allow Veterans To Identify As Trans on Veteran Affairs Medical Records

In another giant leap forward for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the military, the federal government has announced that military veterans can now officially identify as trans in their official medical records. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade reported that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has confirmed that veterans…