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Felon VotingFollow

#1 Mar 05 2013 at 7:05 AM Rating: Good
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Maine and Vermont are the only two states that allow felons to vote, even while incarcerated. Nine other states disenfranchise felons permanently, while the norm is to disallow voting only while serving a sentence and perhaps during probation.

The Felon Voting Organization estimated that there are currently nearly 6 million felons who are disenfranchised. That's nearly 2% of the US population.

Questions:

Should convicted felons get to vote while in prison, after serving their term or ever?

Could the prison vote make a difference in an election - locally, or at federal or state level?

Do you think a politician would ever pander to the prisoners ...perhaps while covertly trying to change laws to allow them to vote?

What kind of leader do you think the general felon population would support, or perhaps the group is too diverse to categorize??

Edit: Another question, what's a wild estimated of the percentage of felons that would bother voting even if they could?

Edited, Mar 5th 2013 2:12pm by Elinda
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#2 Mar 05 2013 at 7:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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It makes sense to me to let them vote. The point of prison is to rehabilitate criminals so they can live a normal life after they get out, banning them from their right to vote doesn't look like something that contributes to that to me.
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#3 Mar 05 2013 at 8:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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The point of prison is to rehabilitate criminals

I don't really pay attention, but which non US country are you from?
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#4 Mar 05 2013 at 8:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Felons have the right to vote just as they have the enumerated right to own firearms.

I don't have a real problem in theory with letting them vote in federal or statewide elections. Unfortunately, there's no way to divorce that from voting in local elections and the prison population probably makes up a significant part of the population in many prison towns. As a random example, Pontiac Illinois has 11,000 people and has a state prison housing 1,600 prisoners. That'd be ~10% of the population. Even for Congressional House elections, they could potentially swing a vote. I'm not sure I'm cool with the idea that the local inmates would be a major swing vote for the local mayor, sheriff, county board or whatever.

Quote:
what's a wild estimated of the percentage of felons that would bother voting even if they could?

I guess Maine and Vermont would have the only data on that. Half of me says "They wouldn't bother", the other half says "What else do they have to do that day? Voting would probably break up the routine a little."

Edited, Mar 5th 2013 8:26am by Jophiel
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#5 Mar 05 2013 at 8:26 AM Rating: Decent
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
It makes sense to me to let them vote. The point of prison is to rehabilitate criminals so they can live a normal life after they get out, banning them from their right to vote doesn't look like something that contributes to that to me.

Since when?
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#6 Mar 05 2013 at 8:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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cidbahamut wrote:
Since when?

Opinions on efficiency aside, since the 20th century at least. Hence the job training programs, educational programs, programs for placing prisoners in half-way houses and jobs after release, etc available now that weren't available in the 18th century when you threw them in a hole as a strictly punitive measure until you were ready to boot them out the door with a pair of pants and $2 in fare to get the **** out of town.

This isn't to speak for how great it works. Just that the focus has in fact shifted since the earlier days.
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#7 Mar 05 2013 at 8:35 AM Rating: Good
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As Joph mentioned, it could be potentially problematic in local votes. Particularly in those where judges are up for re-election. I don't have a problem with them being able to vote again once their probationary period is over, but I wouldn't think they should until then at least.
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#8 Mar 05 2013 at 8:36 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
"What else do they have to do that day?
Shower ***.
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#9 Mar 05 2013 at 9:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
The point of prison is to rehabilitate criminals

I don't really pay attention, but which non US country are you from?
The one with weed, prostitutes, cheese and tulips.
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#10 Mar 05 2013 at 9:10 AM Rating: Good
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Way off the point but speaking about rehabilitation, another local bill that has come up before the lawmakers here would essentially house convicted criminals up to 25 years old within the juvenile system. The argument being that the juvenile system provides more resources for rehabilitation and also doesn't see the recidivism rate of adult prisons (of course once they're adults they don't come back anyways). I think this may also be spurred in part by a bit of a prison over-crowding issues that we're having.

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#11 Mar 05 2013 at 9:12 AM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
The point of prison is to rehabilitate criminals

I don't really pay attention, but which non US country are you from?
The one with weed, prostitutes, cheese and tulips.

My husband is currently pondering the creation of a line of high-end hand-made collector bongs in the advent of recreational dope becoming legal. He wants to use different specialty woods and what-not.

Do you have anything like that there?
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#12 Mar 05 2013 at 9:28 AM Rating: Good
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Only in the tourist trap shops.

As far as I know, most people here smoke joints.
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#13 Mar 05 2013 at 9:28 AM Rating: Good
If they wanna bother getting absentee ballots so they can vote in their own district, sure, why not? Fixes Joph's issue.

I doubt it'll matter much, though. The majority of prisoners probably wouldn't bother, just like how about half the registered voters already don't bother.

Elinda wrote:
My husband is currently pondering the creation of a line of high-end hand-made collector bongs in the advent of recreational dope becoming legal. He wants to use different specialty woods and what-not.

Do you have anything like that there?


If he's using wood to make bongs, he's doing it wrong. Glass is the go too, although vaporizers are the healthier alternative & seem to be increasing in popularity.

Quote:
As far as I know, most people here smoke joints.


If "here" is anywhere other than the US, they do, & they mix tobacco with it. Only us crazy Americans seem to smoke it straight.

Edited, Mar 5th 2013 10:31am by Omegavegeta
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#14 Mar 05 2013 at 9:36 AM Rating: Good
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Some people smoke it straight but that's from a pipe and it's pretty much only the people who grow their own plants (you can have up to 6 per person legally) because you go through weed much faster when smoking from a pipe I think. I've never actually tried it.
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Astarin wrote:
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#15 Mar 05 2013 at 9:37 AM Rating: Decent
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I don't have a real problem in theory with letting them vote in federal or statewide elections. Unfortunately, there's no way to divorce that from voting in local elections and the prison population probably makes up a significant part of the population in many prison towns. As a random example, Pontiac Illinois has 11,000 people and has a state prison housing 1,600 prisoners. That'd be ~10% of the population. Even for Congressional House elections, they could potentially swing a vote. I'm not sure I'm cool with the idea that the local inmates would be a major swing vote for the local mayor, sheriff, county board or whatever.

Right, we wouldn't want them to have a voice in the conditions of their incarceration. It's not like they're PEOPLE.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#16 Mar 05 2013 at 9:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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Omegavegeta wrote:
If they wanna bother getting absentee ballots so they can vote in their own district, sure, why not? Fixes Joph's issue.

I would assume they're technically residents of their current location though and would be legally allowed to vote there. Sort of like college students being allowed to register and vote in the town their dorms are in. If you're allowing them to vote, there's a strong argument that the local political scene affects them more strongly than that in their hometown.
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#17 Mar 05 2013 at 9:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Right, we wouldn't want them to have a voice in the conditions of their incarceration. It's not like they're PEOPLE.

Prison-People!
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#18 Mar 05 2013 at 9:43 AM Rating: Decent
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I would assume they're technically residents of their current location though and would be legally allowed to vote there. Sort of like college students being allowed to register and vote in the town their dorms are in. If you're allowing them to vote, there's a strong argument that the local political scene affects them more strongly than that in their hometown.

Think of the gerrymandering possibilities! Honestly, having a prison population that's a significant percentage of the surrounding population is a problem. Of the things I find troubling about it, the potential for prisoners to say local elections if allowed to vote is about #42 on the list.
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Disclaimer:

To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#19 Mar 05 2013 at 9:51 AM Rating: Good
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Omegavegeta wrote:


If he's using wood to make bongs, he's doing it wrong. Glass is the go too, although vaporizers are the healthier alternative & seem to be increasing in popularity.
But wouldn't the wood mellow and add flavor - like it does to bourbon or scotch?

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#20 Mar 05 2013 at 9:53 AM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Of the things I find troubling about it, the potential for prisoners to say local elections if allowed to vote is about #42 on the list.

Well, if I was imprisoned, not being able to vote would probably be about #442 on my list of current issues. But that's the topic the OP gave me.
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#21 Mar 05 2013 at 9:56 AM Rating: Decent
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Well, if I was imprisoned, not being able to vote would probably be about #442 on my list of current issues. But that's the topic the OP gave me.

I don't know, I've worked in a few prisons when I was in school. I think it would be a significant issue. Obviously the fear of physical harm is real, but mostly it's the overwhelming feeling of abject powerlessness that drives much of the negative consequences of being imprisoned. There's an argument that's part of the punitive aspect, but it doesn't seem particularly useful.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#22 Mar 05 2013 at 10:01 AM Rating: Good
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Felons being disenfranchised is pretty low on my list of concerns.
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#23 Mar 05 2013 at 10:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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I think if they were already registered to vote, they shouldn't lose the right. However, if they were not registered to vote at the time they committed the crime, the state is under no obligation to hold voter registration drives at the prison or to go out of their way to get them registered. Also, they probably need to vote absentee at best and be barred from participating in the campaign process.

I have no issue letting someone vote once they're out of prison or on probation.
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#24 Mar 05 2013 at 10:19 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
But that's the topic the OP gave me.
You're lucky you got that. Smiley: clown

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#25 Mar 05 2013 at 10:48 AM Rating: Decent
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Felons being disenfranchised is pretty low on my list of concerns.

Sure, it's not impacting you, so fuck the other guy, right? Enlightened way to order your concerns. "Does it directly effect me? No? Fuck it, then."
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Disclaimer:

To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#26 Mar 05 2013 at 10:57 AM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
Felons being disenfranchised is pretty low on my list of concerns.

Sure, it's not impacting you, so fuck the other guy, right? Enlightened way to order your concerns. "Does it directly effect me? No? Fuck it, then."

Smiley: lolgaxe

When they came for Lolgaxe there were only the felons left.

Edited, Mar 5th 2013 5:58pm by Elinda
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