Why do we restrict the voting rights of felons?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sirkickyass, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Sirkickyass

    Sirkickyass Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    5,808
    455
    83
    May 25, 2010
    This is a serious question.

    Also, just think about what the electoral map would look like if it wasn't true.
     
  2. GVC

    GVC Well-Known Member

    7,282
    658
    198
    May 26, 2010
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Stoked

    Stoked Modstapo Staff Member

    34,185
    1,595
    148
    Dec 13, 2011
    I'd change Utah to red but yea that looks about right lol.

    I think once you have served your time you should not have any voting restrictions.
     
  4. Gameface

    Gameface Fire Controlman

    17,662
    1,689
    113
    May 25, 2010
    I agree that if we release a person from prison back into our society they should be able to be a "whole" citizen. Creating handicaps and giving them fewer liberties all just feeds into recidivism. I'm not saying it's the cause of recidivism, but it's part of it, imo.

    I also vehemently oppose things like Megan's law. In my opinion if you're working off the premise that this human being is dangerous to those around him/her then I'm not sure how you justify allowing them to be out of prison in the first place. I question the "justice" of imprisoning so many people in this country, but if we're going to use prison so liberally as a one size fits all solution to crime we should at least agree to keep dangerous people in prison indefinitely.
     
  5. franklin

    franklin Well-Known Member

    17,212
    1,793
    148
    Jul 20, 2010
    Not to mention the drag this has on the lives of those who are labeled sexual predators but no one in their right mind actually considers what they did as predation. I.E. an barely 18 y.o. banging an almost 17 y.o. 15 years ago or a drunk guy who pees on a tree in a park.
     
  6. Hartsock

    Hartsock Banned

    3,240
    258
    83
    Jan 19, 2012
    Will rep you when I can, I agree completely.
     
  7. TheSilencer1313

    TheSilencer1313 Well-Known Member

    3,101
    129
    63
    Sep 18, 2010
    Completely agree with everything said here.
    I'm sure you would agree with prisoners being incarcerated for non-violent crimes as well.
    Like possession of illegal substances when that person is in their own home, or walking down the street.
     
  8. bordelais7

    bordelais7 Contributor

    1,480
    467
    83
    May 26, 2010
    Good luck with that.

    Anyhow, why restrict under-18 from voting? I was a taxpayer at age 14...where was my representation?
     
  9. Siro

    Siro Mrs. Featherbottom Contributor

    12,937
    1,045
    228
    May 25, 2010
    Because there is no such thing as "justice" and the judicial system is based on the idea of vengeance. Even the idea of prison is suspect. What purpose do prisons serve? It does not seem to provide for an effective deterrence, and it creates a fantastic atmosphere for nurturing violence and criminality. Is it to protect society? Okay, but that is an awfully expensive way to protect society from non-violent offenders (the majority of inmates), and it seems to have no ultimate goal at all. Rehabilitation? That's the most laughable justification as not only is it easily contradicted by real life observations, but it does not even offer a mechanism for how that's supposed to be accomplished.

    To make things worse, the system is the way it is because it's a reflection of society's mentality. If someone possesses the intellectual capacity and knowledge to question the system and propose alternatives, s/he will face an uphill battle of people questioning the motives, and an endless stream of accusation of having something to hide.

    Long story short, felons cannot vote because punishment requires the punisher and the punished to be unequal. What's a better way to facilitate and reinforce this mentality than stripping away their citizenship privileges?
     
    Gameface and candrew like this.
  10. Stoked

    Stoked Modstapo Staff Member

    34,185
    1,595
    148
    Dec 13, 2011
    In your mom and dads vote as you were still a minor.
     
  11. DutchJazzer

    DutchJazzer Well-Known Member

    14,802
    469
    168
    May 26, 2010

    or bears ****ting in the woods
     
  12. Surely

    Surely Active Member

    532
    78
    28
    Jun 7, 2010
    Wait, congressmen and senators can't vote?
     
  13. Gas

    Gas Well-Known Member

    17,146
    1,178
    228
    Aug 10, 2012
    Sirkicky is trying to bait someone into saying something racist so he can ban them.
     
  14. TheSilencer1313

    TheSilencer1313 Well-Known Member

    3,101
    129
    63
    Sep 18, 2010
    Agreed.
     
  15. TroutBum

    TroutBum My Member's Premium Contributor

    11,765
    1,531
    113
    May 26, 2010
    Wow, I hate white people.
     
  16. Scorpjazz

    Scorpjazz Well-Known Member

    1,522
    106
    63
    May 26, 2010
    Dont be a felon.
     
  17. Sirkickyass

    Sirkickyass Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    5,808
    455
    83
    May 25, 2010
    .

    I know you're trolling, but obviously the rationale is different. 18 is obviously an arbitrary number, but we've decided as a society that's when you're effectively a real boy or girl. In that instance you never had the right to vote when you were 14. Felons have the right to vote and then it's taken away from them. It's only recently that I've tried to figure out why this is so. Felon voting laws vary substantially from state to state (some states make it effectively impossible to ever vote again, others allow prisoners to vote from prison) but to the extent that we think of democracy participation as a fundamental right it's actually kind of bizarre that we strip ex-cons of this particular right.

    I, for one, think that the "tough on crime" escalation of politics might change if there was an extra constituency. Obviously there is a demographically disproportionate impact as well. Some rough figures I put together from research yesterday suggests that this one change alone would probably dramatically change the complexion of virtually all state-wide political races in Florida for example. Estimates on the number of potential voters disenfranchised range from 4 to 6 million in the United States. If even half of them voted that would markedly move the needle.

    However, this isn't the case in many Western societies. It appears to be largely particular to the US and UK. Other countries allow disenfranchisement essentially only under extenuating circumstances or by special petition (e.g. in the case of election fraud or bribery of public officials). To wit, it is easier to lose the right to vote in the US than it is in China.

    That's kind of chilling.

    Where's my banhammer?
     
  18. Stoked

    Stoked Modstapo Staff Member

    34,185
    1,595
    148
    Dec 13, 2011
    If they have been released then they paid the debt demanded by society for their crime. Why should they continue to be punished when they paid their debt?
     
  19. Gameface

    Gameface Fire Controlman

    17,662
    1,689
    113
    May 25, 2010
    Agreed, if any sort of felony is a life sentence then what's the point of letting the person out of prison so that they can be mocked daily by having to live with free people when they are not free?
     
  20. Gameface

    Gameface Fire Controlman

    17,662
    1,689
    113
    May 25, 2010
    Don't pass laws that make felons out of millions of non-violent productive citizens.
     

Share This Page