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Should Convicted Felons Be Allowed to Vote from Prison?

Behind the Poll

Illinois state Rep. LaShawn Ford, a Democrat, is trying to make Illinois the third state to allow convicted felons, including murders, to vote from prison using absentee ballots. Ford believes the bill will pass the House.

“It means that anyone that’s incarcerated in one of our prisons in our state will have the ability to cast their ballot,” Ford said. “Our goal is to not make people worse when they go into our prisons, it is to make them better and return them back as better citizens, and this is one step towards that.”

State Sen. Terri Bryant, who has a background in corrections, said the bill is a terrible idea. She said inmates could be threatened by prison gangs to vote a particular way or face a physical beating inside prison walls. This kind of coercion would be bad for prisoners and bad for elections.

Meanwhile, it is unclear how voting in elections makes convicted felons better.

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