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Disenfranchised Felons and Voting Rights

            A United States citizen has duties they should participate in for their country. A few examples of duties are: serving in a jury if called upon, staying informed about the community in which a citizen lives, and participating in the Democratic process. A part of the Democratic process is having the right to vote. Voting is a civic duty among the American people to do for their own country. Voting rights are being limited to citizens who have committed a crime by state laws. Depending on which state a citizen resides, depends on the outcome of voting restoration to that citizen. Thirteen states and Washington D.C. are the only states that allow felons to have voting rights restored to them after they have completed their term of incarceration. Maine and Vermont are the only states that allow a felon to have voting rights in prison. The Constitution does not state that it is justified to take away a citizens' voting rights under any circumstance. Convicted felons voting rights should be revoked during the time they are serving their sentence; however, once a felon has served their time their voting rights need to be restored. .
             Citizenship is the legal concept that a person is entitled to all of his rights and/or duties. Cases pertaining to citizenship are Dred Scott v. Sanford, Minor v. Happersett, and Trop v. Dulles. The Dred Scott case occurred in 1857 when a slave tried to break free of his owner because he was being illegally owned. The Supreme Court decided that, "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction are citizens of the United States and that state wherein they reside." The fourteenth amendment allowed Dred Scott to become a free man. Minor v. Happersett was another case in which enacted citizenship. The Supreme Court argued that the right to vote is not an essential element of citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1795 states that an immigrant had to reside in the United States continuously for at least five years before becoming a citizen.

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