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Conspicuous

Do You Think Prisoners Deserve The Right to Vote?

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I think they should. Prisoners are still citizens in jail (right?) and are still affected by politics. As long as they are 18 and citizens of the United States they should be able to vote.

 

What do you think? Generally topic posters share their ideas too...

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I got mixed views

I think they should cos its a human right and youre human before a prisoner. then again some people might think that ppl who commit heinous crimes don't deserve that privilege

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Depends. If they are in jail for several years, I don't think so. If they're in for a week or something for a fairly petty crime, and that's during the time voting takes place, then yeah totally.

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Yes.

 

Here, the concept of prisons is to re-educate a criminal so that he or she can serve their punishment and then return to society as a functional (and law-abiding) citizen.

 

If we want to re-educate them to return to society, why should they not be allowed to share their opinion as to who should run the government? I would imagine that limiting their civil rights would be a severe deterrent to that process.

 

Besides, the principle is found in the Declaration of Human Rights set by the United Nations. :P

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No. And I don't believe that people who live off benefits should either.

 

Personally, I don't think that unless you're putting into the system you should have a say in the system.

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No. And I don't believe that people who live off benefits should either.

 

Personally, I don't think that unless you're putting into the system you should have a say in the system.

Do you think that for all benefits? For example if someone suffers from paralysis and can't get work due to that should they not have any say in how their country is run? They're still a citizen who lives off benefit through no fault of their own.

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Do you think that for all benefits? For example if someone suffers from paralysis and can't get work due to that should they not have any say in how their country is run? They're still a citizen who lives off benefit through no fault of their own.

I'm going to say yes to that. As harsh as it sounds, the benefit system (in the UK, I can't speak for anywhere else), is a complete sham. No matter what way it's worked there will always be a sickening number of people capable of taking advantage, and I think the only way to counter that is to remove the vote for all of those living on benefits, because, cynical as it may sound, I firmly believe there are more people taking advantage of benefits than there are people who genuinely need/deserve it, in the UK.

 

The very least I would be content to take the vote from are those living off Job Seeker's allowance, those living off child benefit with more than two children, those claiming alcoholic's allowance, and prisoners.

As a means of being allowed to vote again; prisoners would need to be out of jail, and working a permanent job. The same applies for those claiming job seeker's allowance who sign off after getting themselves a job, and those who claim child benefits whilst working at least 20 hours a week.

Edited by Jethraw

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I believe there should be limitations. Somebody only serving a month for a relatively petty crime would soon be affected by their decision in democratic matters, so their vote would be thought-out at least somewhat intelligently. A murderer who will be behind bars for ten years, however, won't even see the president for whom they voted by the time he's/she's free. In such a case, the things which influence the prisoner's decision would be very limited (eg. few prisoners get married, so gay marriage wouldn't matter very much to them. I believe they also get free healthcare, so anything pertaining to that would be out of the question.)

In other words, there should be some sort of split depending on the sentence/crime.

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I think the right to vote should only be denied to inmates facing life imprisonment. For those inmates, there is no rehabilitation.

 

The reason I say that is because the USA has THE highest known incarceration rate in the world--0.73% of all citizens. Meanwhile, 76% of all citizens are over 18, meaning the incarceration rate among adults is 0.96%. That's a pretty significant portion of the population that could sway most elections (assuming they turnout to vote).

 

On a side-note, the voter turnout in 2008 was 56.8% (132,618,580 voters) and mid-term elections in 2010 was 37.8% (90,682,968 voters). 2.29M prisoners could sway many elections. In 2008, they could have flipped MIssouri, North Carolina, or Indiana. Further, dozens of seats in Congress could have been swayed.

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No they shouldn't, they decided to live out side of the laws of society when they committed a crime. Why should they have a say in it?

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Permanent is going a bit too far, I think that as long as they are incarcerated they shouldn't be able to vote.

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I'm not quite sure on this: on one hand, I believe that prisoners should be able to vote because they are affected by politics and should have a say because of that; on the other hand, they are criminals and add nothing to the country's system, however this might also apply to people who are unemployed or living on the dole. Maybe their votes should count less in the ballot? I'm not too sure.

 

We should have a vote on whether to let prisoners vote or not.

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No. Prisoners give up their rights the second they go against the rights of others by committing a crime, no matter how petty it may have been.

 

There are rules for a reason, break them and you should face the consequences.

 

In response to an earlier statement about people on benefits not being allowed to vote. This is absurd. How can you justify denying the vote to a genuine member of society who is not able to work due to illness.

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In response to an earlier statement about people on benefits not being allowed to vote. This is absurd. How can you justify denying the vote to a genuine member of society who is not able to work due to illness.

Considering my posts on the matter were all about me justifying my stance on that subjcet, your question seems a little redundant.

Though I'm willing to listen to any suggestions that would tackle my concern that stems mainly from the masses committing benefit fraud or living off the state for no reason other than sheer laziness/abusing the system.

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No. Prisoners give up their rights the second they go against the rights of others by committing a crime, no matter how petty it may have been.

 

 

If this loss of the modern democratic right to vote is extended to all criminals "no matter how petty" you may as well abandon the elections & go back to dictatorships etc.

97% of people could safely be assumed to have commited some crime to a greater (obviously murders etc) or lesser (petty) extent, be it speeding by a few over the limit, running a red light, breach of copyright by recording songs/tv programs, software piracy, jaywalking..... the list of minor crimes that most will let slide because it "doesnt really matter" is long.

I realise you meant criminals who have been caught, but in the modern overregulated, nanny states that most of the western world is - you dont want to give the governments more than they take from you on a regular basis as it is.

 

Considering the main aim of the penal system for the majority of prisoners in most countries now is rehabilitation, as opposed to the pure isolation/punishment of historical systems - I believe that prisoners who potentially will be expected to return to society & contribute to it again deserve the right to have some say as to what that society could be, especially in nations where compulsory voting is the rule.

It has been less than 100 years since the numerical majority of societies (be it through sex,race, land ownership or just social class ) was denied the chance to have any input as to what government rules or what they do. Don't be so quick to throw away rights that took 100's of years to be gained.

 

Edit: Too busy ranting to check spelling/tenses :P

Edited by Bwauder

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@ those who say nay

 

As it's a human right to be able to vote, and you're a human before any label, wouldn't prisoners deserve the right to vote in that case? (This is obv in reference to countries who have laws about supporting human rights(Badly phrased, I know but I can't get my words out today :P))

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Another argument against: It would make politicians knocking on cell doors, give incentives to prisoners for voting for them.

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Eugene Debs ran for president from his prison cell in 1920 and garnered about 3.5% of the votes. If he can do that, then any citizen no matter their status has the right to vote.

If anything it might actually help with rehabilitation. If a prisoner feels that he is still a member of the voting public and fulfilling his Social Contract, I think it would go a long way to giving them hope. Too many prisoners are disenfranchised and forgotten as it is and this little bit of civic duty could give birth to civic pride.

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@ those who say nay

 

As it's a human right to be able to vote, and you're a human before any label, wouldn't prisoners deserve the right to vote in that case? (This is obv in reference to countries who have laws about supporting human rights(Badly phrased, I know but I can't get my words out today :P))

 

It's not a human right to be able to vote. It is possible for humans to live in a society that is governed undemocratically, so the right to vote is not a necessary aspect of human existence. The concept of voting was socially constructed in response to tension between government and the governed.

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There are rules for a reason, break them and you should face the consequences.

And we are evaluating if the rules are reasonable.

 

I think not killing people, not robbing people, and not doing other stupid things are reasonable rules though.

 

I think really it depends on the crime. If you serve a week in jail for something stupid, and the election is during that week, I think you should still be able to vote.

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