Yes, felons can vote here

September 25, 2008
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Indiana may have made national headlines for its strict voter ID laws this year, but when it comes to felons being able to vote, Indiana is one of the better states in the country.

In Indiana, imprisoned felons can’t vote, but once they are released from confinement they are eligible to register to vote. Those on probation or parole can also vote here, as is the case in all of our neighboring states – except Kentucky.

In Kentucky, a convicted felon who has completed his or her sentence can’t vote unless he or she petitions to the governor to restore their voting rights. That’s just insane. People who have “served their debt to society” should be able to vote in elections without asking the governor to let them.

There is a misconception by the general public that once you’ve been to prison, you can’t vote anymore. No wonder there are numerous groups around the country pushing to get the word out to convicted felons out of prison that they can vote, depending on the state they live in. Here, there is one group in Fort Wayne – the Grassroots Effort Committee For Change – that is trying to recruit more than 500 volunteers to educate the population and register felon voters.

There’s no denying the hype surrounding this year’s presidential election, and it’s there for good reason. This year will be historic – we’ll have either the first African-American president or the first woman vice president. Plus, with the state of the nation right now, whoever is elected president will have a chance to help our economy, address health-care issues, dictate what happens with our troops in the Middle East, probably appoint a Supreme Court justice or two, and determine in what direction our country will head.

Just as there are campaigns to get the word out to the general public about needing a picture ID to vote, there should be campaigns to let felons who have served their time know they can vote, too. As we saw in the close presidential race of 2000, every vote matters.
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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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