Strong majority oppose permanently disenfranchising felons - 226 participants

Aug 28, 2016

Currently in NH, felons are not allowed to vote while imprisoned, but have their voting rights automatically restored once they have been released. However, in states such as Florida and Iowa, some or all felons permanently forfeit voting rights unless restored individually by a court action or gubernatorial intervention. Read more about this issue. On August 28, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH felons permanently lose their right to vote?”

“Should NH felons permanently lose their right to vote?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Disenfranchising Felons NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 226 participants gave 440 responses

A total of 94% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 6% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 440 responses from 226 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A strong majority, at 81% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, opposed permanently disenfranchising felons.

  • “It's ridiculous that people who have done their time should lose their voting rights.”
  • “I don't think they should vote while in prison but once they serve their time then they should be able to vote.”
  • “If felons cannot vote, politicians have a motive to make certain laws more strict or lenient depending not on the public good, but how it could affect their voter bases. This kind of perverse incentive is unacceptable.”

Yes:  The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 19%, were in favor of permanently disenfranchising felons.

  • “You don’t get rights back that you lost because you chose to become a felon.”
  • “Of course these criminals should lose that right. They make bad decisions so why trust them to vote?”
  • “Why should they have the right to vote? They didn’t care about others’ rights when they broke the law.”

Other: As noted above, 6% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Democracy in general: “Voting is meaningless!”
  • Distinctions in types of convictions: “Why not eliminate the word ‘felon’? Just say ‘criminal’ and be done with it.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think NH felons should permanently lose their right to vote? Leave a comment and have your say! 

Comments

Tejasinha Sivalingam
- Ashland

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 1:16pm

No, NH felons should not permanently lose their right to vote. They should have their voting rights reinstated upon release, and even perhaps retained, by absentee ballot, throughout their time in prison. The input from all people in our community is valuable. Thank you.

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