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Should felons have the right to vote?

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posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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In the US, 48 states have some type of restriction on the rights of felons to vote. The exceptions are Maine and Vermont which allow even inmates to vote.

The arguments for and against felon's rights to vote are interesting. Here are a few of those arguments:

Arguments IN FAVOR OF FELON'S RIGHT TO VOTE


  • It assists in their reintegration into society, and may thus lower recidivism rates
  • It is inherently a racist tactic, since disparaties in the judicial system result in a higher proportion of minorities in prison
  • A person should have his/her rights restored after completing the sentence imposed by society


Arguments AGAINST A FELON'S RIGHT TO VOTE


  • Violent criminals generally have higher rates of recidivism
  • Felons may be induced to vote for politicians who promise them special treatment
  • In some cases. felons (such as murderers) have destroyed an individual's right to vote, so they do not deserve that right for themself


An interesting fact to go along with the issue is that felons tend to overwhelmingly vote for Democrats, while the general public is overwhelmingly against felon voting rights, regardless of party affiliation.

So, the question is, are you for or against a felon's right to vote?




posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 01:45 AM
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I say it depends. If the voters or the legislators or the courts decide that convicted felon have the right to vote, then that's the way it shall be, but historically, felons have lost certain rights because of their felon status, among them the right to vote and possess firearms.

In my opinion, these serve not only as punishment, but also as deterrents to crime by those who value their freedom and their constitutional rights.

So, I say that felons should expect to lose certain of their rights to emphasize just how costly criminal activity can be.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 01:49 AM
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I support the argument that having the right to vote AFTER rehabilitation is essential in their reintegration into society.

I do NOT support voting from prison.

I support that if a person has served their sentence and has not re-offended for one presidential term, their right to vote should be restored.

This isnt like buying a firearm, you dont kill people with votes....and the right to vote should be afforded to citizens that have demonstrated a change in disposition and attitude.



[edit on 22-10-2006 by XphilesPhan]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 05:23 AM
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Voting from prison? No, not under any circumstance. I mean if they were socially responsible citizens in the first place, most wouldn't be in prison.

After they get out? Possibly. After a certain amount of time has passed. Say, off of probation, and then no problems for 5 years after probation ends.

Another thought. What's the felony? Quite simply some aren't as bad as others. Sex offenders -vs- Car thief. This has the makings of a complicated process, perfect for 0330 in the morning.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 06:31 AM
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I see these damn posts at work, telling the inmates to "get their proxy votes in by X date". Hell, we've even got to ship them to their home riding. Do I get to vote anywhere but at ONE polling station?

Damn, it took MY tax dollars to convict these people, I didn't do the crime. I don't care if it's a driving beef, MY taxes paid to have them convicted. THEY did the offense. Too bad, so sad.

As far as I'm concerned they've lost the right to vote, while inside. It should be like regular sex, while you're inside, you don't get it. BTW, if you've been married for 20 years or more, regular sex comes about as often as voting.


[edit on 22-10-2006 by intrepid]



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 06:49 AM
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I say absolutely not. I believe once you are incarcerated you lose all rights. It's the way it should be. Too much is given to criminals which is why they don't mind returning to prison time and again. Why don't we make life easier for the criminals?



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 07:44 AM
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I think it highly unlikely that these types of people (felon's) will register to vote anyway.

It would be interesting to see which groups that are in prison do register if given the chance.

Roper



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 07:50 AM
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They should automatically lose their right to vote for like a minimum of 7 years. Infact unless you actually earn your own income & pay taxes, you shouldn't get to vote either. Too many people sucking off the gov't's tit without contributing is B.S.
It's amazing how many people got their hands out and think its okay to take 65% of my earnings. They're not the ones stuck in the middle of no where on an oil & gas drilling rig plugging holes into the ground 14 hours a days 7 days a week with absolutely no life just to have leeches & parasites take it away.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 08:28 AM
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Voting fron prison NO.

But once people Have served thier punishment, paid thier dept then they should be allowed to vote as they are free having paid for the crimes and no one can say for sure once thief always a thief, not to mention miscarages of justice however small the number of people may be.
I would like to add that the indevidual is sovereign. To take away peoples liberties (freedom) for past mistakes which they have paid a dear price for, is simply state tyranny and should not be allowed.
But i believe that the vast majority of people should not be allowed to vote as they don't know enough about politics, most don't even follow it but just turn up to vote on a whim or because they always have.
Maybe if politics where part of the school curriculem then the vast majority would be informed enough to be able to form an opinion on the subject and then make an informed choice on party.

Anyway once you've paid your dept you are free to integrate with the rest of society and no restrictions should be placed on an indevidual to hinder that process of re-intergration.




posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 08:32 AM
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we had this debate in the UK afew years back.

i think our Government said no, because prisoners (who are meant to be punished) will have the ability to affect elections, etc. Most prisoners tend to have tough political views, so they might be exploited by far right parties etc.

plus, they are there for commiting a crime so they shouldn't be really allowed to vote.



posted on Oct, 22 2006 @ 08:49 AM
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While on the inside, deffinately not.

My hometown in Cape Breton amalgamated about ten years ago with all of the surrounding communities to create a regional municipality. In the final election before the amalgamation, we actually had a convict running to be mayor. At the time I was too young to vote, but I remember following it and asking questions surrounding this scenario.

I can remember sitting in front of the television watching the polls close and the results coming in. I remember laughing at the time, but astonished years later to read that the man actually recieved a good percentage of the vote. I believe he finished around the middle of the pack, but there were several individuals who finished below him in the results.

Who the hell votes for a man in prison to be the mayor of a town? I'm curious how he was even permitted to run. The details surrounding the man and why he was in prison are vague at best to me, but he certainly was incarserated at the time of the election.

To get back on track with the theme of the thread, offering inmates the ability to vote in an election why they are behind bars is pointless. They gave up their rights to society when they entered the prison system, and it is their rights to attain when they reenter to society. While incarserated, they should have no rights when it comes to the outside world.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 02:46 AM
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I guess that I would have to say no for the most part but with some reserve. Just what is a Felony now days? There are so many things that can get you a Felony that do not make you a bad guy because you could be at a local Pub get in a fight and be charged with a Felony for a busted lip. I have seen this happen one punch one split lip and it was a Felony. I do not think we should keep that person from voting.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 03:14 AM
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I feel that prisoners should not be allowed to vote. I a felon completes their sentence or parole and they aren't sexual predators, they should have the right to vote returned to them. Other rights depend greatly on the crime of which they committed. Child molesters should never be completely free and should be rfid tagged for the rest of their lives. Their movements should be severly restricted.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 09:23 AM
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posted by chissler

“ . . [vote] on the inside, definitely not . . my hometown amalgamated with all of the surrounding communities to create a regional municipality. In the election before the amalgamation, we had a convict running to be mayor. I watched television . . polls closed and the results . . but astonished to [learn] the man received a good percentage of the vote . . he finished around the middle of the pack, but several individuals finished below him in the results. While incarcerated, they should have no rights when it comes to the outside world. [Edited by Don W]



This story exemplifies one of the real dangers to and subtle tragedies of democracy. Too many offices to fill. A contradiction in action. The electorate cannot hope to know enough about all the candidates to cast an intelligent ballot. In my community, we are about to have a very important election. November 7. Open voting at 10 public libraries starts today and runs through November 5. This is new in Florida and came about in large part due to Florida’s absentee ballot scandal in 2000. That problem had existed for a long time, it just became a scandal in 2000. (Regrettably this problem exists in 99% of American states). I will be voting for a US Senator and a US Representative, for state governor, and 3 other state wide offices, for a state senator and a state house member, for a state supreme court justice, for a state appeals court judge and for 2 local judges. In alternate years, we have local offices to fill which include besides the mayor, one defined district councilman, and 3 at-large council members as well as the recorder, clerks, tax collectors, sheriff and misdemeanor court judges. (In Ky we elected a county surveyor and coroner. See below.) You can see what has happened. Those who want to run the government have learned well how to neutralize our votes. As you go down the ballot to less important offices - a serious social error, all offices are of equal importance - the number of votes cast declines. Where are real decisions made? You have to go back to the primary to see how the manipulation begins. By the time it progresses to the general election, it is all over for the king-makers. The guys with money. They have won because generally speaking, their candidates will have won the primary. Run-off primaries are some help, but very few states have that provision. So pluralities win in the first round.

Q. So is America a democracy?
A. Is the will of the people being done?

Trivia: Who can arrest the sheriff? The coroner was specifically designated.


[edit on 10/23/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 01:20 PM
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posted by GradyPhilpott

“ . . historically felons have lost certain rights because of their [crime] the right to vote and possess firearms. (1) IMO these serve not only as punishment but as a deterrent to crime by those who value their freedom and their constitutional rights. (2) I say that felons should expect to lose certain of their rights to emphasize just how costly criminal activity can be. (3) [Edited by Don W]



1) Anything reasonable is worth trying to deter or punish crimes. Which I define as anti-social behavior. Not exhaustive. But when it is shown not to work, then it’s time to revisit the situation. Anecdote: On the felony guns case. A felon checkwriter went from Ky to Ind to buy a handgun. Before Brady. The Ind pawnshop would not deliver it until the check had cleared the bank. Noting the address on the check, the Ind pawn shop sent it to its Ky branch for delivery. The Ky PD checking Ky pawn shops found the man was about to come into possession of a firearm. They obtained a search warrant and found the gun in his apartment. PV. Parole violation. Back to prison! IMO, the better solution would have been to C&D the gun. Confiscate and destroy. Extend his 5 years of parole to begin at the violation date. Spare the taxpayers this extra expense for a no gainer.

2) As in Ivory soap, 99.44% of felons can’t spell “constitutional rights” and know less about them, other than Miranda. Just as the much vaunted death penally does not deter murderous crimes in Texas despite executions 2 or 3 times a month, each and every month, so deterrence is a dream from which we should have awakened long ago.

3) Lose rights? Yes, by all means, for the term of their service of time behind the walls. But on release, when we are wanting them to re-join society as productive citizens, let’s give them back their civil rights. I can tell you from working at a small business for 10+ years, when bosses have a good pool of potential employees, a “record” gets you off the list, but when times make it hard to find low wage workers, then employers will hire a man with a “record.” Punishment for crime does not end on release. Our claim to want to re-habilitate and re-store miscreants to civil society is belied by our actions. A criminal never stops paying for his crime which IMO violates the VIII Amendment’s proscription against cruel and unusual punishments.

America needs to re-visit our criminal justice system in the biggest way.



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 02:49 AM
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While you may disagree with the death penalty's effectiveness as a deterent for crime, you can't disagree with it's effectiveness of keeping mostly guilty murderers from ever killing another innocent human being. Have you ever met some of those people on death row? I know someone who was executed in Texas and let me tell you that he got what he long deserved. He had a relatively peaceful death after kidnapping, raping, torturing and then murdering a 15 year old girl by slashing her throat. He spent nearly 4 years waiting for what should have happened 3 seconds after his third appeal was turned down. This all took place some 11 years after the murder.

IMHO Executions should be public and as gruesome as we can make them. If you won't behave in a civil manner, you don't deserve to be treated in a civil manner.

We've had almost 50 years of liberal prison reform and unless you can seperate the juveniles from bad influences at an early age, they're pretty much unsalvageable by the time they turn adults.

I agree that the justice system needs to be overhauled with more emphasis on prevention and victims rights rather than the current system of criminal coddling.

I believe that certain felons who have been crime and trouble free for many years should have partial restoration of their civil rights especially the right to vote.



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 03:06 AM
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Don White, you know darn well that the USA isn't a democracy. It's a Republic that is governed by democratically(?) elected legislative representatives with an indirectly elected executive to carry out the laws enacted by the by the democratically elected representatives. An impartial(?) justice system is appointed for life by the executive and approved by the representatives to determine the constitutionality of the laws put forth by the representatives. Notice, I used the word governed not ruled. Brit's are ruled, we are governed.



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 05:34 AM
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my son had his liscense not even a year when he hit a school bus. he didn't see it in the lane he crossed into when he switched lanes. it's my understanding that this is one of the most common types of accidents that happen..
all of the damage, not that there was much was on his car...the bus wasn't damaged at all. no one was hurt on the bus. my son was charged with reckless driving..which it's my understanding that this is a felony. he payed a couple hundred bucks and got the charge off his record...but, do you think that being an inexperienced driver (since this was what this really was) is cause for alienating a kid from the electoral process for the rest of his life.

what about you? do you have kids? how do you discipline them, ever hit them with a belt? assault with a deadly weapon, a felony!! don't get caught or you'll lose your voice in the government process.

of course, I'm taking the word felon to the extreme, but if you want to get technical......



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 07:01 AM
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posted by crgintx

Don White, you know darn well that the USA isn't a democracy. It's a Republic that is governed by democratically elected legislative representatives with an indirectly elected executive to carry out the laws enacted by the by the democratically elected representatives.


I’m sorry, Teach, I was too much taken in by the frequent pronouncements of Bush43! Him of spreading democracy around the world. You have popped my idyllic bubble. Off topic: today is the coldest morning in Jax since last winter, 41 deg. F. (3 deg. C.) Resume: Elected? Say Hello, Diebold!



An impartial justice system is appointed for life by the executive and approved by the representatives to determine the constitutionality of the laws put forth by the representatives. Notice, I used the word governed not ruled. Brit's are ruled, we are governed.


Uhh, “governed” and “ruled” may be a distinction without a difference! The Brits have put Tony Blair on the “road.” He consented to leave power next May. If a platoon size unit of Brits are wiped out in Iraq, he'll leave immediately! We OTOH, are stuck with our failing president until January 20, 2009, no matter what else he mucks up in the meantime. Hmm? Maybe “ruled” is better? I’d trade Elizabeth II for Bush43 any day in the week!



[edit on 10/24/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 07:09 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
So, the question is, are you for or against a felon's right to vote?


While in jail. NO. When completely done with the sentence ... parole and all ... yes. Part of the punishment for a criminal is that they give up their right to have any say on how our society is run. No votes for criminals.



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