2
   

The Right to Vote

 
 
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 02:42 pm
I just noticed that about 4.7 million Americans are unable to vote, voting laws that bar people with felony convictions from the polls. In some states, even citizens on probation can't vote, in a couple of stes the ban is permanent.

Link:
One nation? Hardly.

Two questions:

- does this mean that someone, who passed the red traffic lights and was convicted for that, can't vote (in those states) lifelong?

- what's the history of this (and legal reasons)?



In Germany, in principle, anybody who has possessed German nationality for at least one year is eligible to stand for election as long as he or she has reached the age of 18 on the day on which the election is held and has neither been disenfranchised nor lost the eligibility to stand for election or hold public office as a result of a ruling by a judge ("passive voting entitlement").
This happens very rarely and only with some 'capital crimes' against democracy, the state or ots organs (preparation of a war of aggression, espionage, high treason, unconstitutional attacks against the forces etc) and those "election-related" (like election fraud etc.).
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,698 • Replies: 13
No top replies

 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 03:54 pm
Re: The Right to Vote
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Two questions:

- does this mean that someone, who passed the red traffic lights and was convicted for that, can't vote (in those states) lifelong?

- what's the history of this (and legal reasons)?


A traffic ticket won't get you barred from voting. You have to have a felony conviction - armed robbery, rape, murder, etc... Civil judgements and petty crimes don't usually play into voting rights.

I don't know the complete history. I suspect it works off of the idea that when one commits a serious crime against society they don't deserve all the benefits of that society. Some would argue that criminals are likely to vote for other criminals given the chance but I don't know how serious of a problem that would ever be. It could be at the local level but not as likely at the national level. Others might claim that it's simply a part of their punishment for their crime. There are probbaly a thousand different reasons people think it's a good idea.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2004 04:01 pm
Thanks, fishin'!

(Although I'm not a criminal, I could vote for some criminals here in Europe, ehem politicans with a court-known background, I mean.)
0 Replies
 
pedronunezmd
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2004 03:58 pm
I live in Florida, USA, one of the 7 states where a convicted felon cannot vote, unless they petition the state to have their voting right reinstated.

The problem is that it has never been shown that the threat of revoking your voting right will deter the committing of a crime. That is what jail or death penalty do.

To make matters worse, Florida will prevent you from voting even if you are a suspected felon. The state uses a secret list of suspected felons, and if you are on the list by mistake, you won't find out until you are turned away at the poll on voting day!
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jun, 2004 04:46 pm
pedronunezmd wrote:
The problem is that it has never been shown that the threat of revoking your voting right will deter the committing of a crime. That is what jail or death penalty do.


I've never seen anyone make the claim that revoking someone's right to vote was ever intended to be a deterent to crime.
0 Replies
 
pedronunezmd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 03:00 pm
Then what is the point of having the right to vote revoked? A permanent punishment? Isn't prison supposedly to reform the person to be able to re-enter society? Isn't being a part of society again (including having to pay taxes again) include the right to vote? If not, then aren't you asking for taxation without representation?
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 03:50 pm
pedronunezmd wrote:
Then what is the point of having the right to vote revoked? A permanent punishment? Isn't prison supposedly to reform the person to be able to re-enter society?


In some people's view the purpose of prison is for rehabilitation. Others views it as punishment. I don't see either way as being 100% or 100% wrong.

Quote:
Isn't being a part of society again (including having to pay taxes again) include the right to vote?


Apparently not. Some people might say that being released back into society again is but one of several steps toward completely regaining full citizenship again. (btw, you are still liable for you taxes while you are in prison)

Quote:
If not, then aren't you asking for taxation without representation?


I think there is a difference between never having a chance to say anything in the tax issue being levied upon you and forfitting your chance to have a say by committing serious crimes against society.
0 Replies
 
pedronunezmd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 04:02 pm
So it sounds like you are of the view that a person who is a felon should be punished for his crime forever? That taking away the right to vote is just another part of the punishment? If you have that view, that once you commit a crime, you are forever a criminal, then no one will be able to show you how revoking someone's right to vote, after they've completed the prison time, is not justifiable. You are probably in the majority opinion.

However, I presume you are not a convicted felon. How would you feel if you showed up to vote on election day and were turned away at the poll, because your name (or someone with very similar name) was on the secret felon list that the state used? There are 43,000 people on this year's suspected felon list in Florida who will not be able to vote... Who is verifying that list?
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 04:04 pm
What part of "I don't see either way as being 100% or 100% wrong." didn't you understand? Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
pedronunezmd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 04:08 pm
You seem to be defending the stripping of voting rights from convicted felons, am I reading that incorrectly?
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 04:17 pm
I haven't "defended" anything nor stated my views on the topic.

The ONLY thing I've done is stated two common views on the subject are. There are probably several hundred varying views in between them.
0 Replies
 
pedronunezmd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 04:32 pm
It's perfectly obvious you haven't stated your view. I'm just trying to ruffle some feathers to get more views on the topic of voting rights. Wink

But that is not my point. I was just trying to point out to Walter, who started this thread apparently from Germany, that in the USA, even being a suspected felon can prevent you from voting, at least in 7 states including Florida. And the list of suspected felons is secret, so you probably won't find out there was an error until you are turned away at the polls.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 04:39 pm
Here is a really, really long article that I boil down to saying - it is one of the last of the Jim Crow laws:

http://www.righttovote.org/upload/resources/156_UFile_mauer-crj.pdf
0 Replies
 
pedronunezmd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2004 04:46 pm
Excellent article, BillW, I loved it. Thanks for the post. I just learned a lot of new information!
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » The Right to Vote
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/19/2021 at 06:35:45