In this upcoming election, almost 6.1 million American will not be allowed to vote because of past felony convictions. This law unfortunately affects African Americans and Hispanics more than white felons. In a justice system that is already seen as being skewed against them, minorities are constantly at a disadvantage both in and out of prison.

These laws make it more difficult for past felons to reintegrate into society. It basically tells them that they have all the responsibilities of a citizen, but no voice. The engagement of the political process is a fundamental part of being an American citizen. Without that fundamental right, there is no way that they can once again become fully functioning members of society.

These post-sentence citizens represent a large block of voters that may have the ability to greatly affect a candidate’s numbers. Because of this, shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to have their voice heard in the political conversation?