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Should convicted locked up terrorists have the right to vote?

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Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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Every expansion of voting rights ever in the US has run up against the same bullshit argument.
It's weird IMO that some people believe that, in a democratic society, it should be considered wrong to try to get more votes.
If this is what the Republican party believes, then who else does the Republican party believe should not be allowed to vote?
 
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mect

Platinum Member
Jan 5, 2004
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I just don't think the problem in the US is _too many_ people voting or actively participating in society. I think it's a bit embarrassing that you end up locking up such a huge proporiton of the population. Seems like a symptom of failure, just as high unemployment figures can be.
This is one reason I'm opposed to removing felons rights to vote. In America, the prison system is often used as a political tool to advance political agendas. Minorities suffer unequal application of the law. We don't need to tempt politicians to continue to create laws specifically targeting demographics they don't want voting.
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
6,953
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Really, all this time I've been told every vote counts. Guess they lied.
If they told you that then, yeah, they were lying. It's not really worth the effort of an individual to vote. It's a well-known paradox. I wonder about it every election (especially as I've never lived in a 'marginal' constituency where there was any doubt at all about the result) But I vote because its an important social ritual. It feels emotionally satisfying in some weird way.

I guess Christians go to church or perhaps pray in a similar spirit. Unlike church (or maybe church works the same way?) it has the weird paradoxical result that the mass result of everyone individually being irrational, is useful for society. It's collectively rational but individually irrational. Which is kind of weird.


Hmmm, yeah, I think voting does require some sense of being part of a larger whole, some level of collective identification. A strict expected-value calculation for an individual probably would lead to the conclusion it wasn't worth the time and energy. That it's so marginal a cost-benefit thing is an argument against making it any more work than it needs to be. Unless you wan't to suppress voting en masse of course.
 
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SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
998
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If your citizenship isn't revoked when you commit a crime, your right to vote for your representation shouldn't either.

Why? I mean, your freedom is. Your right to pursue liberty and happiness is severely restricted as well if convicted of a crime of sufficient magnitude. That's what punishment in our society is, a loss of rights, if you commit a crime of significant value and are found guilty through due process, you lose rights. You guys think it is a good idea to be able to take someone's guns if a concern is raised about that person, despite our second amendment right. I don't feel you guys are consistent on this because Bernie told you what to think.
 

pcgeek11

Lifer
Jun 12, 2005
17,548
1,759
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No, absolutely not.

I think any convicted felon should lose the right to vote while in prison. Once they have paid their debt to society they should get the right to vote back.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Diamond Member
Dec 15, 2015
8,007
3,826
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Why? I mean, your freedom is. Your right to pursue liberty and happiness is severely restricted. That's what punishment in society is, if you commit a crime of significant value and are found guilty through due process, you lose rights. You guys think it is a good idea to be able to take someone's guns if a concern is raised about that person, despite our second amendment right. I don't feel you guys are consistent on this because Bernie told you what to think.
If a person is locked up due to them committing a crime, it's because of an ongoing concern for the potential of them committing a crime, and the need to rehabilitate them.
If a gun is taken from a person due to concerns raised regarding them, again, it's because of the potential of them doing something with that gun and the need to rehabilitate or potentially medicate them.

Neither of those are relevant to the discussion of voting because them voting doesn't affect others from the perspective of the potential for criminality or harm to others. Even if they voted for some candidate running on the platform of 'I'm going to let all the criminals go free', I doubt that candidate would go far enough for it to be a concern, and as others have noted if it does get that far, we're fucked anyhow.

Now if a person committed voting fraud, or was convicted of a crime related to voting in some way, I agree, restrict them from voting until they've served their sentence. Then? They should be free to do as they wish as they had prior.

If you're going to reduce someone to sub-human status for life for a given crime, you may as well just punt them out of the country or kill them.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
824
126
If they told you that then, yeah, they were lying. It's not really worth the effort of an individual to vote. It's a well-known paradox. I wonder about it every election (especially as I've never lived in a 'marginal' constituency where there was any doubt at all about the result) But I vote because its an important social ritual. It feels emotionally satisfying in some weird way.

I guess Christians go to church or perhaps pray in a similar spirit. Unlike church (or maybe church works the same way?) it has the weird paradoxical result that the mass result of everyone individually being irrational, is useful for society. It's collectively rational but individually irrational. Which is kind of weird.


Hmmm, yeah, I think voting does require some sense of being part of a larger whole, some level of collective identification. A strict expected-value calculation for an individual probably would lead to the conclusion it wasn't worth the time and energy. That it's so marginal a cost-benefit thing is an argument against making it any more work than it needs to be. Unless you wan't to suppress voting en masse of course.
I do not find voting satisfying at all. Voting between bad and worse is not a choice, it's a joke. That being said, I can't imagine a sane, rational, non self-centered, honest person running for political office as their primary career goal.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
824
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Most importantly, what should be changed, and never allowed to happen again, is the travesty of disenfranchisement which the Republican party committed against America with the Drug War, where millions of Americans were permanently stripped of their right to vote because of convictions for minor drug offenses.
But of course, in your typical dishonest fashion, you are trying to conflate the issue through fearmongering, by equating restoration of voting rights for those convicted of minor drug offenses as the same as letting murderers and rapists vote from prison.
Meanwhile, the people in Florida voted to restore voting rights to felons who have paid their debts to society, and the Republican party is unlawfully blocking the will of the People there. I wonder why?
While you aren't directing this at me, I brought this up a few times in the sense that yes, some laws/regulations need to be looked at and severity adjusted. Peoples thoughts on some laws change over time. I think this is the more difficult to accomplish, but better option.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
824
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To put it in a very simplistic terms, the danger of disenfranchising large groups of people for innocuous crimes such as smoking weed is a far greater threat to society than letting a few really horrible people like Trump vote from prison.
Again with the weed thing. Go for the change of the law regarding severity - because apparently most of you are more concerned about being jailed for smoking dope than anything else - yea we get it. How can you change the law about smoking weed if you are in jail for it and can't vote right? SMH.
 

fleshconsumed

Diamond Member
Feb 21, 2002
5,914
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Again with the weed thing. Go for the change of the law regarding severity - because apparently most of you are more concerned about being jailed for smoking dope than anything else - yea we get it. How can you change the law about smoking weed if you are in jail for it and can't vote right? SMH.
It really doesn't matter. Voting is a fundamental right that should not be infringed upon. So long as you strip away felons right to vote, you create an incentive for unscrupulous party to put away people who are likely to vote against you. You can't fix that, so the best solution is to let felons vote even if they're serving their sentence.
 

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
25,083
9,950
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I'm ok with suspending the vote of convicted felons but as part of their release procedures are in place to have them restored as they leave. If released on probation the right to vote should also be restored.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
824
126
It really doesn't matter. Voting is a fundamental right that should not be infringed upon. So long as you strip away felons right to vote, you create an incentive for unscrupulous party to put away people who are likely to vote against you. You can't fix that, so the best solution is to let felons vote even if they're serving their sentence.
Well apparently it isn't a fundamental right, since it hasn't been for years for felons. Free speech is also a fundamental right by these definitions and much of the the same group sure want to stomp that out - anything they don't agree with. Same with guns.
 

fleshconsumed

Diamond Member
Feb 21, 2002
5,914
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Well apparently it isn't a fundamental right, since it hasn't been for years for felons. Free speech is also a fundamental right by these definitions and much of the the same group sure want to stomp that out - anything they don't agree with. Same with guns.
So your counterargument is.... ignore half my message and defer to whataboutism?
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
824
126
So your counterargument is.... ignore half my message and defer to whataboutism?
I'm not ignoring it, but what you are referring to is not even close to a majority of who we are talking about. That is just as much FUD as what SS is being accused of in his first post. It is the opposite of what I said which is if you give them the rights to vote it could be used for unscrupulous party to get them to vote for you. The 2nd one is way more likely to happen and be more impactful as they have way more leverage over said group of people.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,497
3,001
126
Probably white teens too. I don't think anyone should be in prison over what they choose to put into their own bodies. But, all we can do is work to change the law.

That has nothing to do with if or if not someone should have the right to vote after being convicted of a substantial crime and still in prison for that.
I'll admit "still in prison" bothers me a bit.

But they've made some fine arguments here in this topic. Something I am otherwise uncomfortable with may be logically sound.

Though I wonder, if they do get to vote... in prison. What sort of local elections do they gain access to? Local for the prison, or local for their previous home address? That's quite a pickle. Is it proper voting or absentee? The logistics of this seem to confound the issue.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
47,640
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I'm not ignoring it, but what you are referring to is not even close to a majority of who we are talking about. That is just as much FUD as what SS is being accused of in his first post. It is the opposite of what I said which is if you give them the rights to vote it could be used for unscrupulous party to get them to vote for you. The 2nd one is way more likely to happen and be more impactful as they have way more leverage over said group of people.
Well, at least we can agree that Slow's OP was pure FUD.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
70,147
18,924
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Well apparently it isn't a fundamental right, since it hasn't been for years for felons. Free speech is also a fundamental right by these definitions and much of the the same group sure want to stomp that out - anything they don't agree with. Same with guns.
Nobody wants to stomp out free speech, that's nonsense. The main problem I see today is that people think freedom of speech means freedom of consequences (ie: criticism) for that speech. That's not freedom at all, that's indulgence. True freedom comes from freedom of action and acceptance of consequences.

Doesn't it seem pretty at odds with the concept of democracy that the majority can make something illegal and then anyone who does it going forward can no longer decide what is legal? Doesn't that seem like a really big problem?
 
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Thump553

Lifer
Jun 2, 2000
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The problem I have is with your right to vote being REVOKED like so many states do. I have no problem, personally or under the constitution, with your right to vote being suspended while you are serving your sentence but it should be restored automatically once that sentence is done. It shouldn't be used as a matter of continuing punishment-rather the restoration of the right to vote should be a signal to the person that they can now be a productive part of society.

The problem is many (mostly southern) states revoke the right to vote-either permanently or you have to go before a commission and plead to restore your right to vote. That was the law in Florida for years, although it my understanding that they may have revised it recently. My state suspends the right to vote like I set forth in the first paragraph.

Here's an interesting article on the subject:
http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights.aspx


BTW I'm what OP would call a leftist. Unlike the GOP we don't feel compelled to march in lockstep.
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
35,173
8,479
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Though I wonder, if they do get to vote... in prison. What sort of local elections do they gain access to? Local for the prison, or local for their previous home address? That's quite a pickle. Is it proper voting or absentee? The logistics of this seem to confound the issue.
I'd probably go with where they were eligible to vote pre-incarceration. Do it all by mail so that any fucking around by prison officials means a felony mail tampering charge.

We already do this for the military so the logistics aren't really that complex.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,794
824
126
Nobody wants to stomp out free speech, that's nonsense. The main problem I see today is that people think freedom of speech means freedom of consequences (ie: criticism) for that speech. That's not freedom at all, that's indulgence. True freedom comes from freedom of action and acceptance of consequences.

Doesn't it seem pretty at odds with the concept of democracy that the majority can make something illegal and then anyone who does it going forward can no longer decide what is legal? Doesn't that seem like a really big problem?
You are taking some things I say way too literal and not really understanding it so I'll state that I agree with you on the free speech stuff. Goes completely back to accountability which I fully believe in.

That being said, if the majority think something should be illegal, is it your right to break that law because you disagree with it? Should those that break the law have all the same rights as those who don't? Why stop at voting?

And if those 'convicted' numbers are not enough to sway anything - as keeps being said here - why does anyone care if they can vote?

EDIT: I too agree while in prison, not after time served.
 

SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
998
126
The problem I have is with your right to vote being REVOKED like so many states do. I have no problem, personally or under the constitution, with your right to vote being suspended while you are serving your sentence but it should be restored automatically once that sentence is done. It shouldn't be used as a matter of continuing punishment-rather the restoration of the right to vote should be a signal to the person that they can now be a productive part of society.

The problem is many (mostly southern) states revoke the right to vote-either permanently or you have to go before a commission and plead to restore your right to vote. That was the law in Florida for years, although it my understanding that they may have revised it recently. My state suspends the right to vote like I set forth in the first paragraph.

Here's an interesting article on the subject:
http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights.aspx


BTW I'm what OP would call a leftist. Unlike the GOP we don't feel compelled to march in lockstep.

I actually agree with you pretty closely. While in prison, in particular for felony level crimes (and maybe then even not all felony level crimes) I don't believe people should vote. I don't understand why some seem to think that is a magical unicorn of a right. We take away rights as part of the punishment for certain crimes, I don't see anything that makes voting different in that respect. But, once the sentence is served out, that right should be reinstated.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
70,147
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I'd probably go with where they were eligible to vote pre-incarceration. Do it all by mail so that any fucking around by prison officials means a felony mail tampering charge.

We already do this for the military so the logistics aren't really that complex.
Ironically, as prisons are usually in rural, conservative areas conservatives have successfully argued that prisoners should be counted as citizens of the state/district where they are incarcerated, not where they are from. This helps give conservative areas even more disproportionate clout despite the fact that none of the 'citizens' of that area can vote.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
70,147
18,924
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You are taking some things I say way too literal and not really understanding it so I'll state that I agree with you on the free speech stuff. Goes completely back to accountability which I fully believe in.

That being said, if the majority think something should be illegal, is it your right to break that law because you disagree with it? And if those 'convicted' numbers are not enough to sway anything - as keeps being said here - why does anyone care if they can vote?

EDIT: I too agree while in prison, not after time served.
It's not that you have a right to break the law, it's that things as currently situated in many states mean that you aren't allowed to have any say in what those laws are going forward. Maybe you think the law you were convicted under is wrong and should be changed, why can't people vote to do that?

As for if they are enough to sway things why does it matter if they are enough to sway things or not? It's either the right thing to do or it isn't. I support all sorts of laws that don't affect me personally and I suspect you do too.
 

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