Poll: SHould convicts be given the right to vote?
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View poll results: SHould convicts be given the right to vote?
Yes, convicts should vote
51 51%
No, convicts should NOT be allowed
17 17%
I'M Indifferent
12 12%
Who the f*** cares America has bigger problems
20 20%
Voters: 100.
#1
Okay Pit, so I'm doing a debate for speech class and the topic my brother and I decided to do was on convict voting. I thought that convicts in or out of jail should be allowed to vote. My brother says convicts should not be allowed to vote and the law should remain the way it is.

My arguments:
--Many people in jails will be free at some point and are therefore subject to the legislation of some president.
--3.9 million people were denied the right to vote in this year's election including in swing states like Virginia and Florida.
--In 10 states convicted felons lose their right to vote for life, whether they have served the full sentencing or not.
---Not everyone is a murderer or rapist

My brothers arguments:
--Rapists and murderers should not have any say in government.
--If they did something against the law the gov't certainly should not be asking the opinions of those who don't respect it in the first place.

Anyways I was just wondering what you guys thought.
#2
Quote by cagnius
I don't see the relevence of those two arguments whatsoever.


Same here, but then again I was distracted by your pretty face.

Quote by punkmesilly
--If they did something against the law the gov't certainly should not be asking the opinions of those who don't respect it in the first place.

Anyways I was just wondering what you guys thought.


Some laws are just stupid. It would depend on the crime me thinks, however subjective that is.
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#3
**** no. they've broke the laws of the society... so why should they be allowed this law.. dont do anything wrong, stay out of jail and you'll be able to vote..

*naively walks out, thinking that the world is that simple*
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#4
Quote by cagnius
I don't see the relevence of those two arguments whatsoever.



I Don't See At All!

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#6
I agree with revoking the right to vote from SOME felons, but certainly not all, especially things like felony drug possession (not even trafficking??? gimme a break).

Misdemeanor convicts certainly should be allowed to vote, in and out of jail.


Also, your first bullet-

--Many people in jails will be free at some point and are therefore subject to the legislation of some president.

That doesn't make sense. Just say "the election of presidents". Legislation are laws. It sounds like a verb, but it's not. If it did have a verb form it would define 'law-making', rather than electing officials.
#7
Quote by cagnius


Same here! (except it was your pretty face...)

Mental!




That's uncanny!
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#8
Weather they are in jail or not, they will still be affected by election decision, so they should be able to vote.

-edit-

And I'm not saying that they can only vote in elections, but all voting. Sorry if that was confusing.
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#9
Here's an arguement for you pal:

A lot of convicted felons are people who committed crimes of necessity (stealing food). The people most in need should have the loudest voice when it comes to deciding the leader of a nation. Under current law a lot of people who have something authentic to say about the current state of things are being silenced.

Having said that, I still don't know what side I'm on with this one.
#10
In Ireland they are allowed vote from jail.
I don;t see the reasoning behind depriving them of their right to vote.
We deprive them of their right to freedom in order to protect society from them, but I don;t see why we would take away their right to vote.

Quote by punkmesilly

--If they did something against the law the gov't certainly should not be asking the opinions of those who don't respect it in the first place.

Perhaps then they should be allowed vote, so that the REASONS why they didn;t respect it can be addressed
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Last edited by Ur all $h1t at Nov 11, 2008,
#11
I think that the only way the United States government should prevent people from voting in an election is if they revoke citizenship status. If they are a convict they're still a citizen and have every right to decide on what government does what for them. It's a form of segregation imho. Also, there's really not a lot of choice in the US of which guy gets to be president.
#13
Without having the numbers here to crunch; I'm guessing that convicts in America make up a rather large percentage. I would have a hard time deciding whether or not the felons are voting for something that they genuinely feel, or just voting for whatever candidate could get them out. When it comes to voting, I guarantee that if a candidate has a platform opposing harsh penalties towards rapists, then most of his votes are going to come from rapists.

I guess what my opinion really boils down to, is that if you're not incarcerated, you should be able to vote. Prisoners should not be able to vote.
#14
So, lucky you... (Maybe). I happen to be an LD debater, and that's presicely our topic for the month. If you want, i can send you my cases (Arguments).

Personally, I say yes.
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#15
Quote by cagnius
Actually it does.

A President (and by implication, the party) can ensure the passing of legislation.

For example, the 10p Legislation can be identified as that of Gordon Brown.

You're right. I read it wrong. I read it as though he was trying to say legislation as though it could be used to mean 'election of', rather than 'subject to the legislation passed by some presidents'. Woops.
#16
Quote by TheGallowsPole
Without having the numbers here to crunch; I'm guessing that convicts in America make up a rather large percentage. I would have a hard time deciding whether or not the felons are voting for something that they genuinely feel, or just voting for whatever candidate could get them out. When it comes to voting, I guarantee that if a candidate has a platform opposing harsh penalties towards rapists, then most of his votes are going to come from rapists.

I guess what my opinion really boils down to, is that if you're not incarcerated, you should be able to vote. Prisoners should not be able to vote.

That would be likely to be counterbalanced by the votes of rape victims and their families, a group who vastly outnumber the perpetrators.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
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"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
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#17
I don't believe they should losing voting rights for life, just while incarcerated. Once they are OUT of prison, I would be more likely to trust them to vote for what would be best long term as opposed to what is best for them at that instant.
#18
There are 10 states where felons lose voting rights permanently. I think those states should have probationary programs where upon release from prison, after a certain time in society with good behavior a felon may have his or her voting rights restored. However, like many other restorable rights, trouble with the law once back in society may result in the of the right to vote again.
#19
Quote by TheGallowsPole
I don't believe they should losing voting rights for life, just while incarcerated. Once they are OUT of prison, I would be more likely to trust them to vote for what would be best long term as opposed to what is best for them at that instant.

Do you guys have some kind of fear that by voting in prison they could somehow get a politician to secure their release.
It just couldn't happen, their victims would oppose such a move incredibly strongly and they vastly outnumber them (you can rape two people, if you murder someone the victims include that persons whole family and friends)

Convicts can vote from prison in Ireland and there hasn't been any mass release of prisoners. Generally things such as better rehabilitation facilities are promised to them, responsible things that all can agree to. No-one has said "I'll set you all free".
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#20
I think all citizens should be able to vote (yes, even while they're in prison).

I mean think about it, this country is founded on the idea that the people should be able to change the laws/government. So if someone is jail, they clearly did something that they believe should be legal. If they can't vote, how can they change anything?

My $0.02.
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#21
Yes they should. He's right, most of 'em are gonna be out sometime, so they should have a say. Besides, people who've convicted a more minor felon a few years ago might have gotten over their mistakes, and reformed, or whatever, so they should be allowed to vote. This crap follows them for the rest of their life. Especially manslaughter. Plus, they're still citizens, they have a right to choose who leads their country.
#22
you have good arguments
of course there's a whole lot of people I can think of who don't deserve to vote because they are simply voting without knowing the issues and none of them are convicts
#23
I believe convicts should be allowed to vote. Whom they elect has either a direct or indirect effect on how they are sentenced, and if they even broke a law or not. I voted for certain candidates based on how their policies effect my everyday life.

EDIT: To the poster above me-

Over half of Americans (and this is generous) didn't know the issues. Most people vote the same way as their parents, friends, etc.
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#24
well I guess what you're asking is basically whether felons should remain citizens of their country, which imo they should

Although I couldn't see those who are convicted of certain crimes such as deliberate murder, rape, terrorism etc. as being capable of making a well informed decision to benefit the nation :/ its hard to have an objective answer to such a broad issue

but after jail time people should certainly be able to vote; after all the whole theoretical point of jail is not only to protect others from dangerous people but to reform those people and make them capable of living normally in society (not saying it always happens but if they aren't reformed then why are we letting them out??)
#25
they f ucked up thats their fault.... i personally dont want a convicted criminal voting on anything, they lost that right whenever they decided to do whatever it is they did.
#26
Quote by Gibson06
I believe convicts should be allowed to vote. Whom they elect has either a direct or indirect effect on how they are sentenced, and if they even broke a law or not. I voted for certain candidates based on how their policies effect my everyday life.

EDIT: To the poster above me-

Over half of Americans (and this is generous) didn't know the issues. Most people vote the same way as their parents, friends, etc.


yes i know and it frustrates me to no end.
especially when people say they like a candidate because they are a republican or democrat but don't actually know what republicans or democrats support in general even.
#28
Quote by gnrliesmanlies
yes i know and it frustrates me to no end.
especially when people say they like a candidate because they are a republican or democrat but don't actually know what republicans or democrats support in general even.


To be a prick, if I saw somebody openly supporting one candidate on campus, I got in a debate with them and supported the other side. Only a few times I have gotten intelligent discussions out of it. The rest give reasons like the way they look, speak, and things of that nature.

EDIT: If you want to go by credibility, we need to start doing IQ tests. One of the reasons this democracy is great is anybody can vote. Even (Yes, I'm going there...) Joe the plumber.
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#29
depends on the level of the crime imo
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#30
Quote by Gibson06
EDIT: If you want to go by credibility, we need to start doing IQ tests. One of the reasons this democracy is great is anybody can vote. Even (Yes, I'm going there...) Joe the plumber.


although I agree with you in principle, IQ tests only really determine your reasoning and patterning skills... a political awareness test of some sort may be more appropriate lol
#31
I think everyone not convicted of treason/sedition should be allowed to vote, and that sedition shouldn't even be a crime.
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#32
Quote by priest.fan.
although I agree with you in principle, IQ tests only really determine your reasoning and patterning skills... a political awareness test of some sort may be more appropriate lol


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#33
Quote by will123456789
**** no. they've broke the laws of the society... so why should they be allowed this law.. dont do anything wrong, stay out of jail and you'll be able to vote..

*naively walks out, thinking that the world is that simple*


I am sure everyone in the country has broken a law at least once but never got caught. Pot is for the most part a victimless crime. Why should they not get to vote just because they were caught with pot on them.