The following submission is a letter to the editor. Anyone is welcome to submit a letter to the editor. Send it to newsdesk@theiowastandard.com.

Hi.

I’m a felon. Have been for 6 years. I’ve been out of prison for over five years. No issues since then. I’m slowly paying my fines. I’ve attempted 3 times to have my RIGHT to vote restored.

No success. None. Not even a reply saying I’ve been denied. This is common for us felons.

Our rights are reduced. Even when we are innocent, we are guilty.

I have served my time. I have paid physical, emotional and psychological punishment far more than the crime I plead guilty to.

Hell, I’ll be judged just as soon as I admit I am a felon. Yet, what I actually did a lot of you do on a regular basis, just not maybe vocalizing it. My past aside, why can’t I vote?

Why is my opinion, one that has seen the sleazy underbelly of the governmental beast, not valued enough to be allowed to cast a vote to determine who makes laws and passes judgement, actual judgement, on me?

We fought a war over being able to vote. Yet, you don’t see us felons in an uproar.  Just an 85% return rate in Iowa. We don’t get opportunities. We don’t get things restored once we have completed our GOVERNMENT ISSUED PUNISHMENT. We must pay more. More. More. More. Take more from me. That’s what you need to do. Put a boot on my head and punish me more.

So, let me ask, when is it enough?  When have I paid enough?  When is YOUR blood thirst satisfied so I can be a little more of a citizen?

Citizen. You know, able to elect those in government? That’s my question.

I am the 15% who rose above the odds because I know what the odds are.

Judge away. Say what you want. I’ve done my time. I paid my price to uncle Terry B. and Uncle Sam.

-Al M. Cannon