The right to vote in the US of A

Vidic15

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V.I.P.
#1
It is an interesting question, should convicts and felons be allowed to vote? Some people say giving these people the right to vote will dilute the voting power of lawful citizens and begin to arode away the rights of law abiding citizens. Others say that because such a large portion of the African American population is behind bars, this group of people are being under-represented during the voting process. Should men and women who are in prison be allowed to vote? Should men and women who have finished their time in prison be allowed to vote?

I believe every citizen should have the right to vote, including felons. And also the convicts.​
 
#2
It's absurd that the government has the power to disenfranchise its own citizens, even if/especially when the reason to disenfranches them is that they did something illegal (ie something that the government does not like).
 
#3
I think that those citizens who are in jail/prison should not be allowed to vote. By committing and being convicted for a crime, they have lost their basic rights. They no longer have the same freedoms that apply to normal citizens, the most obvious being the freedom to go wherever and do whatever they like, but also including the right to vote. When convicts are released from prison, I believe they've served their time and had their punishment exacted. Their freedoms are returned to them, and that should include them being allowed to vote again.

It's absurd that the government has the power to disenfranchise its own citizens, even if/especially when the reason to disenfranches them is that they did something illegal (ie something that the government does not like).
It makes perfect sense that the government has that power. That's one of the main purposes of the government, to keep order and enforce laws (executive branch). Those who break laws must have some sort of punishment exacted upon them, and who better to do it than the government?
 
#5
In that case, restricting the right to vote has got to be the lamest judicial punishment ever.
Well it's obviously not the only punishment... It's just one of many freedoms that can be taken away. Not to mention it kind of makes sense that someone who makes the bad choices required to get put in jail should not be entrusted with the responsibility of helping to choose who our leaders are and what are laws are.
 
#6
That still leaves the nasty issue of letting the government decide who has made bad choices and so shouldn't vote. If only a small portion of the population has ever been in prison, then they are very unlikely to influence an election even if they do turn out in significant numbers. If a large fraction of the population has been in prison, and they are politically motivated enough to have even potential influence, it makes one wonder why so many of them should end up in prison...

And anyway, it's still an utterly useless punishment, especially if it's permanent.
 
#7
And anyway, it's still an utterly useless punishment, especially if it's permanent.
I'll agree with that... it shouldn't be permanent unless the person is going to be permanently imprisoned.

That still leaves the nasty issue of letting the government decide who has made bad choices and so shouldn't vote. If only a small portion of the population has ever been in prison, then they are very unlikely to influence an election even if they do turn out in significant numbers. If a large fraction of the population has been in prison, and they are politically motivated enough to have even potential influence, it makes one wonder why so many of them should end up in prison...
The government has always had that position of choosing who has made the bad choices. The legislative branch makes laws, the executive branch catches the people it believes to be criminals, and the judicial branch decides if they actually are criminals and if so what their punishment is going to be. That's practically the entire purpose of the government, to determine what a bad choice is and then prevent people from making bad choices. As for what proportion of the population is in prison... there's over 2 million people incarcerated at the moment (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/press/pjim05pr.htm) for lots of different reasons. Would all of them vote if they were free? Probably not. But even if only a few percent of them did it would still be significant.
 
#8
Sorry, but I still only see one connection between the losing right to vote and being convicted of a crime: it makes the government even less accountable for its actions.

Even as the rate of crime has remained steady or dropped, more and more people are being sent to jail for non-violent drug offenses. The Prison Guards' Union is perhaps the strongest in the state of California. Politicians keep getting elected to fight a ever-escalating war on drugs (but only those drugs and that drug use that is politically "hot" - hence a majority of crack cocaine users are white but a vast majority of people in prison for using crack cocaine are black, relatively safe drugs are banned because of their political associations, while middle-class use and (not infrequently) abuse of prescription drugs is almost encouraged...).
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#9
Once people have returned to society and pay the same taxes as other people, they must be given the option of voting, otherwise it's taxation without representation. Also voting is a rite, and thus must be extended to all people who are part of general society.