A Former Prisoner on Voting for the First Time in His Life

This essay gives the first-hand account of a former prisoner and his experience earning back the right to vote. The disenfranchisement of people who have committed felonies influences understandings of popular sovereignty and equality of conditions in America's democracy.

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I’m feeling nervous.

It’s the same way you might feel doing anything for the first time, even something real simple. You just don’t know if you’ll do it right.

My polling location is right here in my building, so it won’t be hard for me to cast a vote the way it is for a lot of working people. There will probably be a line of us, and I’ll be standing there feeling really good about myself. It’ll be a feeling to pay attention to, to savor. A feeling of prideRead more...