This is an unfortunate issue that has plagued the United States for a long time. When someone becomes a felon, they have for a moment allowed themselves to be removed from society for a crime they committed and were convicted for. This temporary restraint on their freedom served as justice for their crimes against society. Why should that forever deny them one of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the US Constitution, the fundamental right mentioned more often than any other?
The reason, is said right there in the article, “[r]epublicans suspect the real motive for McAuliffe’s order is political.” The constitutional right of voting has become a political talking point more and more with every passing election cycle. The party surrounding itself with being the party of the constitution and keeping America the way the founders would have wanted seems more focused on maintaining the fleeting stranglehold on a minority share of the electorate than ensuring the founder’s wishes. The party came to this understanding a long time ago, if everyone had the right to vote and actually fulfilled their constitutional duty in showing up to vote, they would not get elected as much as they do now. So it’s pretty hypocritical for them to say the restoring of voting rights is being done for political gain, when their attempt to restrain the right is done purely for political gain.
However, credit must be given to whomever keeps the conversation on voting rights going from cycle to cycle. Except the conversation should shift just slightly, instead of discussing it along party affiliation and political gain, it should be geared towards being discussed as an American duty. The right to vote is fundamental and vital, so vital that it was mentioned more than any other right in the Constitution. And yet, Americans can’t garnish turnouts higher than in the 60% range, which means roughly a third of the population of eligible voters do not participate. That means that if you’re sitting in a movie theater, either the person on your left or your right doesn’t care enough about who should be the most powerful person in the world to carve out a few hours of their time every four years to vote.
To be fair, it is possible that the person does actually care but has a job that does not allow him the time or opportunity to practice his right to vote. He/she can’t afford to miss a part of a day at work to vote, which brings up the real change that needs to be made in dealing with voting rights. Election day should be a national holiday; no one should be forced to choose between working and voting. Election day should be viewed as the most important national holiday because it truly is the most important, that day could not only determine what your life is like the following year, or even four years, but possibly the next decade. People go to great lengths to carve out a few hours to watch a movie all the time, maybe they should carve out one movie from their plans and use that saved time to go vote.