Should people in prison be allowed to vote? What would happen if Bernie Sanders' dreams came true

Only two states, Maine and Vermont, allow prisoners to vote. The other 48 states bar incarcerated people from voting, and in many cases, have complex rules that make it difficult for felons to vote even after they’re released.

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  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    July 13, 2019 9:45 p.m.

    Let 'em vote; just don't count their ballots! (I know, that sounds criminal, does it? And the Pun was intended.)

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 11, 2019 8:39 a.m.

    "Once a person has served their time I agree that they should be allowed to vote. Taking their voting rights away for life is, in my opinion, the wrong thing to do. To say that if a person commits a felony at 19 but can't vote when they are 50, when their brain has matured and they realize what they did at 19 was a dumb choice, is too harsh a punishment."

    I regularly write to someone who keeps going to jail in California for drinking. It is a violation of his parole.

    I think that allowing him to vote would be a positive step in helping him integrate into society. If he's paid the debt, then he should be free. Just like when we repent of our sins.

  • Astoria Jim Mamaroneck, NY
    July 10, 2019 9:05 p.m.

    When Bernie Sanders said incarcerated prisoners should be allowed to vote, I was incredulous. And when Chris Cuomo followed up, quite naturally, with asking if that included the Boston Marathon bomber, and Sanders said, in effect, 'yes even him', I wondered if Bernie had lost his mind.

    I would like to ask Senator Sanders a second follow-up question: "If a death row prisoner has an execution date scheduled before Election Day, should he be allowed to vote early on the grounds he will not be able to vote on Election Day?"

  • Sheriff Mills West Jordan, UT
    July 10, 2019 5:51 p.m.

    First I want to say that Lori Lloyd, the woman in the picture and article, is my "little" sister and I'm very proud of her!

    I think the reason prisoners are interested in voting is because once incarcerated, they are away from drugs and/or the wrong crowd and can think straight. But we aren't just talking about voting for people. There are also issues that are decided.

    Once a person has served their time I agree that they should be allowed to vote. Taking their voting rights away for life is, in my opinion, the wrong thing to do. To say that if a person commits a felony at 19 but can't vote when they are 50, when their brain has matured and they realize what they did at 19 was a dumb choice, is too harsh a punishment.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    July 10, 2019 12:54 p.m.

    @Eliot: "Is there something about incarcerated people that leads you to believe they are more likely to vote democrat than republican?"

    Yes. Yes, there is.

  • Golden Rules Okay, OK
    July 10, 2019 12:28 a.m.

    Prison isn't only for punishment. It is also to protect the rest of society from individuals who willingly harm others. If we use bars, guards, and walls are needed to separate a person from the rest of society, it doesn't make sense to then include them in the decisions that will impact our lives.

  • mrjj69 Bountiful, UT
    July 10, 2019 12:19 a.m.

    I worked at the prison in the early 1980's. At that time the population of the prison was higher than the population of Draper city. This would give inmates the ability to elect who ever they wanted to be mayor. This is not a good idea.

  • jakslc Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 9:19 p.m.

    Should prisoners vote - absolutely not.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 9, 2019 8:33 p.m.

    Just say no.

  • Chancey Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2019 8:26 p.m.

    A simple look at recidivism rates would tell most that felons should not have the right to vote or own a gun. It would also be very interesting to know who they (those incarcerated) would vote for, because I think it would have some bearing on whom I would not want to hold elected office.

  • water rocket , 00
    July 9, 2019 4:48 p.m.

    No, people in prison should not be allowed to vote. Neither should people on welfare, who are living off of the taxes of the working class people. When people contribute to the well being of our society, then and only then should they be able to vote. People sucking the life out of society don't deserve any say in how they will profit by doing so.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    July 9, 2019 4:43 p.m.

    T-money$$$ - Salt Lake City, UT
    ---
    Voting is a privilege, but it shouldn't be exclusive to the privileged among society.
    ---

    Voting is a right enshrined in the Constitution + Amendments in several places.

    In most states obtaining a license to drive an automobile is a privilege.

    As for concern about convicts getting laws more favorable to their particular proclivities, to the detriment of the general population... we have sufficient example of corporate lobbying, by non criminals.

    Perhaps if a corporation is found 'guilty' of some criminal act, the politicians who received donations from that corporation, should have to refund such donations... perhaps that would make the politician more cautious about accepting donations.

  • Kathy Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 3:14 p.m.

    All people who are citizens of the United States should be able to vote regardless of their criminal status. There is ONE Boston Marathon bomber yet the example is constantly used surrounding the question of millions of prisoners' right to vote. Why? Because it is an extreme example making it easy for people to get excited and emotional about. Cooler heads should prevail. Other democracies do their best to go to prisons and make sure all people are granted their rights. As the article asks -- are we interested in rehabilitation or punishment?

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 2:46 p.m.

    @Angelsings - "committing a crime requires punishment /reparation/restitution including termination of voting rights."

    But why do you consider termination of voting rights a logical "punishment /reparation/restitution?"

    That itself is wholly illogical. There is no connection of voting to the laws. Voting is NOT writing the laws, it is only helping choose who writes the laws.

    Not to mention the laws themselves change quite regularly. It used to be against the law to so much as possesses alcohol. You think a bootlegger shouldn't have had representation to work toward repealing such a random law calling his possessions a "felony"? Same with more current substances.

    Sometimes what was once perfectly legal before; is now against the law; but who wrote the law? Not the ones who were previously engaged in such activities; but a majority voted for someone who wrote the law.

    There really is no logical connection between voting and law breaking. There is a NEED (in our democratic-republic) for ALL people to have representation.

    There are many logical forms of punishment/ reparation/restitution for a myriad of crimes; but not being allowed to vote isn't logical punishment for any crime.

  • T-money$$$ Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 2:32 p.m.

    Utah's system has it right. Voting rights restored after completion of prison time.

    Felons are still citizens and have just as legitimate dreams, aspirations, and opinions on the future of this country as the rest of us. The movement to bar felons from voting was designed to keep those who do not have a voice from ever having a voice, and it's completely unnecessary and problematic if we want a true representative democracy (not to mention, possibly racist)

    Voting is a privilege, but it shouldn't be exclusive to the privileged among society.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 2:28 p.m.

    @UtahBruin,

    I would like to rebut your response to me, too much to quote specific portions of your post. First, I agree that a criminal (in prison) should not have the right to run for office. Being elected to the judicial or executive branches would be the only way for a criminal to "establish justice."

    But, a criminal voting does not remove justice. A vote isn't the same as being in office hence a "representative form of government."

    You are right that criminality is defined loosely. In fact I can 100% guarantee you have committed a "felony." Same goes for every single adult who has had any life whatsoever. The laws are carefully crafted to ensure you MUST break some laws in order to even live. Thus everyone is a criminal; just some have not yet been prosecuted.

    There is a purpose to removing SOME rights when someone violates laws. A person who committed a violent crime should not be allowed to posses a weapon (reasonable). But white collar criminal? Nope, would serve no purpose, freeze his assets instead.

    What purpose does removing the right to vote serve? Doesn't serve any purpose; because voting is not the same as governing. Justice does NOT EQUAL vengeance!

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    July 9, 2019 2:22 p.m.

    We need to go back to the original intent and understanding of system of government. It was preceded by monarchy, military dictatorship and class decided by birth. It was evident that intelligent people, insightful people (emphasis on the plural) among a governed populace should be represented. What was not assumed, and in present terms misunderstood, is that simply being a person living in this country or even a citizen by birth, puts one in in this group of intelligent, insightful people. Required is the educated demonstration of a thorough understanding civics and of completely embracing the US Constitution; of maturity (18 is too young; but was also too young to be conscripted to die, so we have the lower age) and experience with adult life; avoiding votes by emotion, short term vision and self interest in addressing the needs of society broadly.

    Mostly it is that not everyone should be able to vote. We've fixed both that women should always have been able to vote, and abolished the abomination of slavery, where the color of one's skin should (and does) have nothing to do with intelligence and insight. But ignorance prevails with no regard to color or gender.

  • n8ive american Shelley, Idaho
    July 9, 2019 2:21 p.m.

    @Hutterite - American Fork, UT
    July 8, 2019 10:35 p.m.
    "There is a real question here. Should felons, and ex felons, be allowed to vote? It has nothing to do with Bernie Sanders. Nothing. For all we know, they're all trump voters. But, should they be allowed to vote? Did they give up that right upon their conviction? Did they forfeit it permanently, even after they've served their time?
    That's the question."

    Worse still, they could be democrat voters. Amazing how quickly liberals turn everything into Trump bashing. Still can't get over Hillary losing?

  • Nephiwon Crown Point Essex, NY
    July 9, 2019 2:15 p.m.

    Should criminals be allowed to vote? Absolutely NOT. Democrats just want their votes. Its very simple. A felon commits a crime and he must pay the time along with its consequences. Loosing the right to vote must be one of them. Law abiding citizens should be reserved this right and I would say privilege.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    July 9, 2019 1:55 p.m.

    This is a simple concept to grasp. Voting is symbolic of freedom; specifically, the freedoms we share as US citizens. Incarceration is the loss of freedom. It follows that those incarcerated, while such, would be denied the right/freedom to vote.

    Next, it has long been understood and taught (we all learned this in school) that one of the consequences of a felony conviction (and having one over-turned voids this) is the lifetime loss of voting rights.

    The laws of ALL 50 states should be in harmony with this.

  • Rubydo Provo, UT
    July 9, 2019 12:57 p.m.

    If they’re going to give convicted felons the right to vote I wonder what they would say about granting them their 2nd amendment right?

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 9, 2019 12:42 p.m.

    @NeifyT

    You quote "We The People", the Constitution of the United States. I might suggest reading it.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    First part is about establishing justice, and you want people who can't follow justice to establish it? What kind of a world do you wish to live in?

    Sadly, nothing stops a criminal running for office. Criminal is defined loosely with our current government. But the men who wrote and signed this Constitution asked for honesty and integrity of those promoting the welfare our country. That includes citizens as well. Gaining the blessings and liberty of our country, the constitution, is a big thing when defining the difference between law abiding citizens and those who willfully break the law. No matter what your upbringing, everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. When doing wrong, consequences soon follow. In this case, not voting.

  • Nottrue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 12:34 p.m.

    Nope! It is a sacred right to vote, not a lazy privilege. Sanders will say anything to get a vote like Harris and the rest of the liberal know it all's.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 9, 2019 12:14 p.m.

    If debt is paid to society, maybe voting rights should be restored. I do understand also why some would say, No. Able to vote while incarcerated. You committed a crime, you are in prison because you couldn't follow laws established by those you vote for. I would assume people would agree those in prison might not be citizens with the best sound judgement. Do we really want prisoners voting for what we hope a politician elected to make America better? I have to say, no. Don't cry about what you are not getting, when all you had to do was follow the law. You lost your rights when you infringed on others. So deal with it.

    "Brennan Center for Justice/Sentencing Project, point to flaws in the criminal justice system, like the disproportionate incarceration rate of black Americans. These groups say voting restrictions unfairly silence the voices of millions of U.S. citizens."

    As for this little tidbit. How are the numbers disproportionate? Those despite skin color are incarcerated because of the crime, not the skin tone. How do you call it flawed? Simple, just don't commit the crime, no matter your skin color and look at the benefits you can have, simple really.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    July 9, 2019 11:41 a.m.

    MCsquared said:

    "The political desire to permit felons and convicts the right to vote has nothing to do with Sanders' assertion of “inalienable and universal, on par with the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion." It has everything to do with garnering more votes from those historically a part of democrats' constituencies."

    You imply that people in jails and prisons vote democrat. How do you know that if they are not allowed to vote? Is there something about incarcerated people that leads you to believe they are more likely to vote democrat than republican?

  • Lester L. Wester Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 11:07 a.m.

    While in prison-no; after being released- yes.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2019 11:01 a.m.

    @1covey "This is a complex issue that requires some serious thinking..."

    A quick analysis is all that is really needed. A simple "No", for any crime serious enough to be considered a felony.

    No need to overcomplicate. We are under no obligation to consider fine intellectualized nuances for convicted felons.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    July 9, 2019 10:44 a.m.

    If a felon lacked good judgment at the commission of a crime then why would we let them have a gun or vote or put into a position of trust?

  • What!? Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 9, 2019 10:42 a.m.

    Isn't it interesting how intensely interested a convicted felon is in their voting rights once they've lost those rights.
    But yes... I believe that as long as one is a legal citizen of this country, as long as they've paid their full debt for breaking whatever law it is that they broke, and as long as they continue to behave themselves then yes, they should be allowed to vote.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 10:14 a.m.

    This is a complex issue that requires some serious thinking and we should not come to a hasty decision. A felony is worse than a misdemeanor and a felon is one who has committed a felony, which covers a range of crimes. One who murders has irreparably denied someone else of all rights, such as voting, or all other life opportunities, etc. forever. It would be a mockery of justice to ever let these felons vote, even if released back into the public. Rape has a life - long effect on the victim and also should be banned on voting, even when released. Other crimes need to be examined and perhaps circumstances connected to the crime need to be considered. One other consideration is a high rate of recidivism; perhaps, even in the most mild of felonious crimes, some kind of probationary period, different from the regular probation that may be extended should be applied. Certainly, when incarcerated, voting rights should be held in abeyance. Inmates should not have a political influence.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    July 9, 2019 10:12 a.m.

    If this ever happened it's guaranteed that the Democrats will make wild promises to the incarcerated felons to get them to vote for them. It's the same logic democrats use by wanting to let illegals vote. If they can't convince the law abiding citizens to vote for them, they have to find other "voters" to get elected.

  • Angelsings Glendale, AZ
    July 9, 2019 10:08 a.m.

    To: Neify T, SLC

    In my opinion, that statement is illogical. If someone is cognizant enough to figure out the voting process, then, they are cognizant enough to know that committing a crime requires punishment/reparation/restitution including termination of voting rights.

  • search diligently Lehi, UT
    July 9, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    This is plainly ludicrous. If felons in prison should be allowed to have all rights as other citizens, then they must also have the right to hold and bear arms. This is the same insipid logic.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 9:53 a.m.

    I guess I am with Bernie on this one. I believe that EVERYONE who resides in the US (well those old enough to at least understand what voting is about) should be allowed to vote.

    Of course how many people understanding what voting is about? Probably no one who is against prisoners voting.

    The purpose of voting is to elect representation in government (making our nation a "democratic-republic" (democratically choosing a representative form of government). The government is supposed to represent We The People (ALL People) -- not just the rich and elite, or the "21 male white and free" (as my mom used to put it), or those deemed as "good citizens." The laws that congress passes; the same laws that the executive branch puts into action and enforces, the same laws and adherence to those laws that the judicial branch judges; affect EVERYONE, (even those in prison).

    Thus EVERYONE should have the right to representation in government, thus EVERYONE should have a right to vote for that representation.

  • rickmac37 , 00
    July 9, 2019 9:38 a.m.

    You did the crime do the time. They forfeited their right to vote plain and simple

  • Scooby South Jordan, UT
    July 9, 2019 9:33 a.m.

    Throughout the history of our nation Progressives have always been pushing to widen the voting audience to include more and more groups that are easily fooled and manipulated. Think about some ideas that have come forth to lower the voting age. This notion also applies to the recent Count My Vote. It is very hard to fool an informed Delegate whom neighbors have selected than it is the general population that cares more about contestants on The Bachelor. I am against the ever widening inclusion of more and more voters, simply to gain power over those who don't know any better.

  • MC Squared Plano, TX
    July 9, 2019 9:25 a.m.

    The political desire to permit felons and convicts the right to vote has nothing to do with Sanders' assertion of “inalienable and universal, on par with the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion." It has everything to do with garnering more votes from those historically a part of democrats' constituencies.

  • Angelsings Glendale, AZ
    July 9, 2019 9:01 a.m.

    To: Red Smith-,00

    Voting on behalf of our children is a ludicrous idea. People without children might start having them to sway voting. LOL.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 9, 2019 9:00 a.m.

    No

  • BrianB Greencastle, IN
    July 9, 2019 8:54 a.m.

    Individual rights exist so long as one abides by the laws established to provide for a productive society for all. When one chooses to violate those laws, they forfeit certain rights. As someone said earlier, a lot of these apply to specific crimes. One of the rights lost is the right to vote.

    I agree with Utah's law that the vote is denied so long as a person is serving their time. I would include probation. Then the right should be restored.

    If we go to the argument that rights are rights regardless of one's actions, then we have to allow financial criminals the right to continue to work in that field, sexual offenders the right to work with potential victims, etc. When someone commits a crime, there must be a consequence to not only discourage others from committing similar crime but also to prevent society and victims from repeated violations (as much as possible)

  • Angelsings Glendale, AZ
    July 9, 2019 8:49 a.m.

    No ! If a person cannot abide by the laws of the land, they should not be given the privilege of voting which is not a right. Upon serving their sentence, their voting privilege should be restored depending upon the circumstances of their release from incarceration.

  • BYUof1984 Columbia, SC
    July 9, 2019 8:48 a.m.

    Bernie's dreams are NIGHTMARES to most Americans!

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    July 9, 2019 8:36 a.m.

    Once people have served their time they should absolutely be able to vote, and run for office.

    I don't see a reason that citizens who are in prison should not be allowed to vote. Committing a crime does not mean they lose their citizenship.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 8:25 a.m.

    I think Utah has the correct policy.

    No voting allowed during the term of the sentence.

  • PhoenixAZ Tempe, AZ
    July 9, 2019 8:19 a.m.

    Should people in prison be allowed to vote? Absolutely not!

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    July 9, 2019 8:15 a.m.

    If a person is convicted of a felony, I believe they lose and should lose the right to several things while in prison; some are obvious (freedom) and some not so much (Ben & Jerry's ice cream); the vote is one of them. When they have paid their debt to society, several rights should be restored; voting bring one of them. Depending on the offense, gun rights might not be restored.

  • Irowco Henderson, NV
    July 9, 2019 8:08 a.m.

    In many jurisdictions, the state judges, sheriffs, and other areas of law enforcement are elected positions. If inmates were allowed to vote while they were incarcerated, I imagine many would seek retribution and disruption upon those who enforced the legal system.

  • dumfounded in Logan Hyde Park, UT
    July 9, 2019 8:02 a.m.

    Let me think about this one... NO, no, no and no. You gave up that right when you decided to become a felon. However.... the one exception to this would be if you reform yourself, go to school, become a benefit to society not a burden. Then I think if you can prove that? A judge can restore that right.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2019 7:46 a.m.

    @Hutterite: "Did they give up that right upon their conviction? Did they forfeit it permanently, even after they've served their time? That's the question."

    Yes;
    in the case of a felony, they forfeited it permanently...by their own actions.
    That is the answer.

  • ozziet Lamoine, ME
    July 9, 2019 7:46 a.m.

    When convicted of a felony, one is sent to prison. THAT is the punishment. No judge in America has ever said or should ever have the right to say: "You are hereby declared NOT A CITIZEN"
    As to the variation among states, it is obvious that attention needs to be paid to this and other examples of chaotic prison law. Here in Maine we allow prisoners to vote. It has not ruined our moral fabric. Our crime rates have not risen, in fact I believe we are the safest state in the nation. Perhaps that is partly due to the respect with which we hold all citizens of the United States.
    Prisoners should have the right to vote, unless that right is expressly taken away from them by our government. Of course what constitutes a felony can also be changed. Some states are not only decriminalizing marijuana, but clearing the penal records of all sent to jail for its use in the past. But that doesn't give them all those votes back, does it?
    On the other side, perhaps it will become a felony to protest, to criticize our leader, to grow food in your front yard, to marry a person of another race. When YOUR right to vote is threatened, perhaps you will understand how precious and sacred for ALL it is.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2019 7:44 a.m.

    The whole idea of prison and sentencing is that you lose some rights. One of them is, very legitimately, the right to vote.
    It seems strangely appropriate that those who are deliberately trying to tear down everything about traditional America would advocate that convicted criminals have a say in what is considered criminal. This is truly going over into bizarro-world.

  • StateTheFacts Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2019 7:03 a.m.

    No-brainer, Bernie. While incarcerated convicted felons forfeit nearly all rights and privileges enjoyed in our free society including the right to vote. Support the right to restore the voting right upon release from prison.

  • Birdman1990 Mapleton, UT
    July 9, 2019 7:03 a.m.

    I have an F on my record from when I was 19. I didn’t think I could vote, but I can and last year was the first time I voted. Housing and job applications are hard, particularly housing. I just finished a 4 year electrical program at MTECH.. now at 29 I feel like I have an actual career, that’s in high demand and jobs I’ve had have lead me to this. Although I’m eligible for an expungement, I have not done so yet. Should you be able to vote while incarcerated? I don’t have those answers, but I would vote for some sort of reform on the housing and jobs issues.. make it easier for people who are actually trying to be successful.

  • Red Smith , 00
    July 9, 2019 6:35 a.m.

    A better question is: Should parents get to vote for their children before they're 18?

    All people should be represented by the voting process including those under 18.

    Parent should have extra votes for their children just like they have extra exemptions on taxes for their children.

    Much of public spending is for children. Parents should have voting rights for their children.

  • Bumperboo Polson, MT
    July 9, 2019 6:27 a.m.

    I would say no, but once someone has served their time, the right to vote should be automatically restored.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    July 9, 2019 6:24 a.m.

    Upon conviction of a felony, the individual should lose the right to vote - permanently. This is the reasonable law in most states. This is part of the consequences of being a serious criminal. Completion of prison time and parole should not be a factor. Society does itself no favor when restoring voting rights to convicted felons, or expunging conviction records after time served.

    Both individuals and society in general should learn the high value of "leaving well-enough alone."

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    July 9, 2019 5:42 a.m.

    What would our laws look like if only felons voted?

    The Preamble to the constitution contains these words “...to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity...”

    Liberty cannot exist in a society where crime is permitted.

    John Adams said; “The constitution is completely capable of governing a good and righteous people and completely incapable of governing any other kind”

    It is self evident that you cannot trust people with self government if they will not govern themselves. Criminals have demonstrated that they will not govern themselves.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 9, 2019 5:08 a.m.

    I agree with Hutterite that it's a legitimate question, but given the recent gerrymandering decision, isn't the more pressing concern the voting rights of law-abiding citizens?

  • Say No to BO Springville, UT
    July 9, 2019 3:42 a.m.

    The meaning of citizenship has been devalued by progressives in shameful ways. RINOs have been complicit in the effort.

    First, the 14th has been allowed to make citizens of children of the soil, a detestable, monarchical idea we fought against in 1776.

    Then, we failed to defend our sovereignty by allowing some 22 million people to live here illegally with impunity. Many politicians defending their right to remain.

    Regularly, we see efforts to grant voting rights to people here illegally, mostly in municipal elections.

    Blocking the census question is another indicator they want to hide the truth from us.

    Once you make citizenship meaningless (except when considering the obligation of jury duty) allowing prisoners to vote is just another step in the wrong direction.

    “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” ― Benjamin Franklin

    That's really the crux of it. Politicians are looking for ways to get elected, by harvesting new votes. They have a package that appeals to felons.

    This is a blatant power grab...like amnesty.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    July 9, 2019 3:33 a.m.

    “By showing profound disrespect for the law, you lose your privilege to have a say in deciding what the law is.”

    This is right on the money. You should be required to earn back this privilege after many years of being a good citizen.

  • WagTheHippo Sandy, UT
    July 9, 2019 3:13 a.m.

    Before any ex-con gets back his/her "right" to vote, the obvious remedy must be completed. That remedy is to make the victim "whole" as regards the lingering effects of the crime visited upon them by the law breaker.

    The faulty notion has been stated many times of serving out the punishment given by the courts before voting should be given back....so-called serving out the 'debt to society'. But, that is far from enough.

    We ought to change Utah law to incorporate this crucial feature, namely that victim restitution is key.

    It is worth noting that humanity's oldest codified secular law, the Code of Hammurabi, included parts that required making the victim whole from the effects of the crime.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    July 9, 2019 2:23 a.m.

    NOPE!

    If you commit a felony you give up your right to own guns and vote!

    NO apologies!

    -Convicted felons lose rights from voting to employment, depending on their state of residence. While some of the rights convicted felons lose may be restored over time, some of the rights are lost forever. Throughout the United States, some of the general rights convicted felons lose are as follows, varying state by state:

    Voting
    Traveling abroad
    The right to bear arms or own guns
    Jury service
    Employment in certain fields
    Public social benefits and housing
    Parental benefits-

  • Carbon Dioxide Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 8, 2019 11:52 p.m.

    In order for real democracy to work, it requires informed, educated voters to be the focus. Simply engaging in a race to find as many ignorant voters as possible for elections is not a healthy way to maintain this country. Prison is hardly a place where one is going to find many informed voters. This may be where America is going however. Candidates don't win with the best ideas but simply who can get as many dumb voters to vote for them.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 8, 2019 10:35 p.m.

    There is a real question here. Should felons, and ex felons, be allowed to vote? It has nothing to do with Bernie Sanders. Nothing. For all we know, they're all trump voters. But, should they be allowed to vote? Did they give up that right upon their conviction? Did they forfeit it permanently, even after they've served their time?
    That's the question.

  • DETERMINISM UTAH, UT
    July 8, 2019 10:29 p.m.

    “By showing profound disrespect for the law, you lose your privilege to have a say in deciding what the law is,” said Johnson. He added that convicted felons should prove they have been reformed to "earn that right back," rather than having it automatically restored upon being released from prison.

    All that needs to be said.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    July 8, 2019 10:29 p.m.

    Sanders, a guy with a monopoly on bad ideas.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    July 8, 2019 10:16 p.m.

    No. They should give up the right during the time they are incarcerated. Some rights are sacred such as the right to vote. When you get involved in criminal activities that out you in prison or jail you should temporarily lose this right.