PUBLIC OPINION > Felons Should Not Be Allowed to Vote
SodaHead News 2012/01/04 14:00:00
Voting rights are a huge issue, and can sometimes be the most controversial. This time is no different. Senator Ben Cardin is trying to restore voting rights to disenfranchised felons in 11 states with the Democracy Restoration Act, but it's not going to be easy. The results we got asking SodaHeads about the issue are evidence of that. There's plenty of heat on both sides, but in the end Cardin's bill was voted off SodaHead Hill. (Assuming none of the voters were felons.)
Should Felons Be Allowed to Vote?
46% Think Felons Should Be Allowed to Vote
This was a close call for a couple of reasons, but in the end the majority voted against giving felons the right to vote. The reason this was such a divisive issue is that both sides seemed to have deep-seated reasons for their opinions. Those who voted in favor of felon voting rights were concerned about individual freedom: "If you deny Any Adult the right to vote, you open a Pandora's box of other freedoms [being] taken away." Those who opposed it were either concerned about the state's right to limit a criminal's freedom. Many opponents also emphasized the idea that felons have essentially given up their rights.
Cut Off By Conservatives
There was really one demographic that drove the entire question, and whether this is causation or merely correlation is kind of beside the point. Only 21% of conservatives voted in favor of allowing felons to vote, while 79% (the exact inverse) of liberals supported it. Clearly, political leaning has a strong relation to the question.
Women Give Felons a Second Chance
Female voters were only 5% more likely than men to vote in favor of felon voting rights, but it was the 5% that made all the difference, bringing the average up to 51%, a majority vote. You could blame it on the margin of error, or on that fabled female sympathy.
The age demographic did show a pattern, but it was a little too nuanced to get into here. Instead, we opted for the simpler married and single statistics. Singles, often young than married voters, were 24% more likely to support felon voting rights -- very close to the difference between voters younger than 35 and voters older than 35.
If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our original poll about felon voting rights. We'd love to hear from you!
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