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It is estimated that more than 4 million Americans cannot practice their right to vote because of they have been linked to past felony convictions (Miller 20). The irony is that they are free because the government believes that they have transformed but still it denies them the chance to participate in changing the society they belong to. This can all be blamed to some outdated laws some linked to the Jim Crow system that keeps the minority from the polls. Surprisingly, the ban on voting could last a lifetime. In Florida for example, many African American men are alienated for life. Such laws are coercive and they diminish the democracy of the citizens. They also make it hard for the reintegration of post convicts back to the society and make them more vulnerable to getting back to crime. Criminal reform advocates and policy makers have observed that denying ex-convicts their voting rights is connected to the high rate of imprisonment and shows that America is not ready to give people a second chance even after they change their behavior (Center 12).
An act has been presented before congress that will allow individuals to vote in national polls straight after prison. The simple rule that the act revolves on is that when you live in a community, you have the right to vote for your leader regardless of all factors. Some states have also revised their policies and granted voting rights to citizens with criminal records. The country as a whole has had slow momentum in reforming the laws that marginalize people with felony records. In the past 2 decades only 20 states have made it easier for citizens to regain their voting rights (Miller 30). This has succeeded after persuasion from faith leaders, elected officials and advocates. Criminal reformers also believe that voting rights are smart policies that expand democracy to all citizens including ex-convicts.
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