Can a Felon Vote in Vermont?

The region that would become Vermont started to be settled when New Hampshire’s governor granted town charters in 1761. Vermont became a republic when its constitution was formally ratified in 1777. In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.

As of end-December 2015, there were 1,750 prisoners under the jurisdiction of the Virginia correctional authorities. Of these, 1,600 were male and 150 were female.

Voting is an essential part of democracy because it allows the people to exercise their power over who will be in government. They can decide who will be in power and vote out officials they don’t like.

Can Felons Vote in Vermont?

Vermont, along with Maine, is one of the only two US states that allow felons unrestricted voting rights. This means that they are allowed to vote whether they are incarcerated, under probation or out on parole.

Felons value the right to vote since it allows them to feel that they can make a difference in society. Being able to exercise voting rights provides them with some agency in their lives.

When felons can vote, they feel that they are a part of society again since they become interested in following the news. They also debated current events with their fellow inmates.

In addition, they can choose which candidates to support, based on their platforms. This gives them a say about which policies government would implement in the future.

How Felons Can Restore Voting Rights in Vermont

In order for incarcerated felons to be able to vote, they must register with the town or county in which they resided before they were jailed. They can do this at the state Online Voter Registration System.

First-time registrants must provide a photo ID or government document showing their current status. They should also self-administer the Voter’s Oath. Processing takes around four weeks, after which you will be sent an acknowledgement that you are a registered voter.

You can also vote with your city or town clerk by completing the VT Voter Registration form (SOS-VR). Include the required identification documentation and mail the form back to the clerk, who will send you a receipt by election week.

Once registered to vote, felons must request an absentee ballot by completing a request form and mailing it to your city or town clerk. You can check your status by visiting the Vermont My Voter page.

Sources

http://www.dmv.org/vt-vermont/voter-registration.php

https://olvr.sec.state.vt.us

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