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(Talking Points Memo)   With all this talk about Voter ID laws and racism, it's easy to overlook a huge mass of forgotten voters: convicted felons   (tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line 294
    More: Interesting, id law, voter ID, Ryan J. Reilly, disfranchisements, Jim Crow, elections in 2012  
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2805 clicks; posted to Politics » on 30 Apr 2012 at 12:45 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-30 11:15:16 AM  
"I remember when I was released from prison, and this happens a lot, and this pretty lady came up to me and asked me 'want to register to vote?' - I'm not going to tell her I was an ex-con. And she smelled good too. I just got out... I want to hang out with her as much as possible."

Dude, I'm all for people who have paid their debt to be able to vote again, but you're sure not helping.
 
2012-04-30 11:16:22 AM  
There probably should be a process that would allow them to vote again, like they have in Florida (At least I think they still have it. Could have sworn Gov Luthor changed something with it). But in doing so it would have to show they're ready to be a normal part of society again.
 
2012-04-30 11:28:57 AM  

Codenamechaz: There probably should be a process that would allow them to vote again, like they have in Florida (At least I think they still have it. Could have sworn Gov Luthor changed something with it). But in doing so it would have to show they're ready to be a normal part of society again.


What part of 'time served' doesn't qualify for that? Not to mention that there simply isn't any kind of re-integration process.
 
2012-04-30 11:34:51 AM  
There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.
 
2012-04-30 11:42:52 AM  

Mugato: There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.


This. Why societal benefit do you have in disenfranchising these people further?
 
2012-04-30 11:43:27 AM  

mrshowrules: Mugato: There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.

This. What societal benefit do you have in disenfranchising these people further?

 
2012-04-30 11:43:34 AM  

hillbillypharmacist: Dude, I'm all for people who have paid their debt to be able to vote again, but you're sure not helping.


Careful, it sounds like you're insinuating that a fella might like a pretty girl who smells good and subsequently wants to hang out with her.
 
2012-04-30 11:45:35 AM  

mrshowrules: What societal benefit do you have in disenfranchising these people further?


Er....keeps people who have faced the business end of the legal system from having a say in it? Work with me here.
 
2012-04-30 11:48:25 AM  
Sheeeesh. Time served is time served. The end. You've paid your debt to society, you're a completely free person now.

I can see *incarcerated* people not being allowed to vote. Most of your freedoms have been taken away for that time period. That's the point of prison. But once you're out- you're free. The end.
 
2012-04-30 11:49:07 AM  

Mugato: There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.


What if they're on probation?

Most people who go to jail later exit before serving their full sentence, and continue on probation for years. Should they have the vote, or are you just saying that after you've completed your full sentence they should get it back?
 
2012-04-30 11:50:41 AM  

Somacandra: mrshowrules: What societal benefit do you have in disenfranchising these people further?

Er....keeps people who have faced the business end of the legal system from having a say in it? Work with me here.


But once you've fulfilled the punitive requirements of your conviction, further denying their benefits would imply their punishment is still being administered.
 
2012-04-30 11:51:04 AM  

Mugato: There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.


"Did their time" is getting more and more meaningless. Look at the ever-expanding sex offenders registry that ruins people for life.

Voting rights should be unimpeachable. Even if someone is strapped to an electric chair at the time, they should be given an absentee ballot. Fark the government if they say otherwise.
 
2012-04-30 11:51:53 AM  

mattharvest: What if they're on probation?


Probation, in my opinion, means the punishment is still being administered and therefore no votey. Once completed they should be able to vote.
 
2012-04-30 11:53:17 AM  
You know very well my convicted felons cannot vote. They are overwhelmingly brown or black skinned, or have been convicted of drug law violations. Those all look like Democrat voters to me, so it is in society's interest to keep them from voting by whatever means are necessary.
 
2012-04-30 12:01:19 PM  

GAT_00: Codenamechaz: There probably should be a process that would allow them to vote again, like they have in Florida (At least I think they still have it. Could have sworn Gov Luthor changed something with it). But in doing so it would have to show they're ready to be a normal part of society again.

What part of 'time served' doesn't qualify for that? Not to mention that there simply isn't any kind of re-integration process.


There needs to be a re-integration process.

And time served doesn't always mean they're ready to be part of society again. What with a number of people out there who are prone to re-offending and what not and ending up right back in jail, either because of their own tendencies or just because there's nothing available to them in their area to keep them on the right path.

Doesn't even have to be anything major.

Just like hold a steady job for a month or so or do something to show you're going to be a contributing member (With the state's help, of course, in case there's opposition to hiring felons)
 
2012-04-30 12:05:21 PM  
How hard is it to have those rights restored, or does it vary depending on your felony? I know a couple people who had their rights restored, one because he wanted to vote, the other because he wanted to own a gun and hunt again. But I really don't understand the process, who decides it, and how?
 
2012-04-30 12:05:32 PM  
While I am sure there are some civic-minded ex-cons out there who have reformed, I get the feeling that they wouldn't be the most active voting block if they suddenly regained the right to vote.

Could lead to some fairly entertaining campaigning, though, if they suddenly became an influential voting bloc, like an AARP for ex-cons or something.
 
2012-04-30 12:06:49 PM  

Generation_D: You know very well my convicted felons cannot vote. They are overwhelmingly brown or black skinned, or have been convicted of drug law violations. Those all look like Democrat voters to me, so it is in society's interest to keep them from voting by whatever means are necessary.


And how many convicted felons do you have now adays?
 
2012-04-30 12:09:07 PM  

mattharvest: Mugato: There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.

What if they're on probation?

Most people who go to jail later exit before serving their full sentence, and continue on probation for years. Should they have the vote, or are you just saying that after you've completed your full sentence they should get it back?


Probation is largely a money making endeavor than anything else.
 
2012-04-30 12:11:39 PM  

Somacandra: mrshowrules: What societal benefit do you have in disenfranchising these people further?

Er....keeps people who have faced the business end of the legal system from having a say in it? Work with me here.


Don't follow your logic. They are bad people and therefore shouldn't have a say in society?

Is your argument that voting is a privilege or a responsibility?
 
2012-04-30 12:14:05 PM  

Codenamechaz: GAT_00: Codenamechaz: There probably should be a process that would allow them to vote again, like they have in Florida (At least I think they still have it. Could have sworn Gov Luthor changed something with it). But in doing so it would have to show they're ready to be a normal part of society again.

What part of 'time served' doesn't qualify for that? Not to mention that there simply isn't any kind of re-integration process.

There needs to be a re-integration process.

And time served doesn't always mean they're ready to be part of society again. What with a number of people out there who are prone to re-offending and what not and ending up right back in jail, either because of their own tendencies or just because there's nothing available to them in their area to keep them on the right path.

Doesn't even have to be anything major.

Just like hold a steady job for a month or so or do something to show you're going to be a contributing member (With the state's help, of course, in case there's opposition to hiring felons)


Going to jail makes it more likely you will go to jail, or back in their case. People in prison not only lose all connection but lose all opportunity. Nobody hires felons except in minimum wage potions. When you come out, you're probably on probation, which is at least a thousand dollars per year. The whole thing is designed to throw people back in jail, and turn to a permanent life of crime.
 
2012-04-30 12:16:21 PM  

violentsalvation: How hard is it to have those rights restored, or does it vary depending on your felony? I know a couple people who had their rights restored, one because he wanted to vote, the other because he wanted to own a gun and hunt again. But I really don't understand the process, who decides it, and how?


It varies by state. Only Kentucky and Virginia still do a lifetime disenfranchisement.

Interestingly, the idea goes back to the Greeks and Romans and was part of "Civil Death" which is a crazy concept.
 
2012-04-30 12:29:17 PM  

dletter: Generation_D: You know very well my convicted felons cannot vote. They are overwhelmingly brown or black skinned, or have been convicted of drug law violations. Those all look like Democrat voters to me, so it is in society's interest to keep them from voting by whatever means are necessary.

And how many convicted felons do you have now adays?


The one I paid to type this in...
 
2012-04-30 12:37:52 PM  
This feels weird to say. Everything GAT_00 said is right.
 
2012-04-30 12:43:39 PM  

Codenamechaz: And time served doesn't always mean they're ready to be part of society again. What with a number of people out there who are prone to re-offending and what not and ending up right back in jail, either because of their own tendencies or just because there's nothing available to them in their area to keep them on the right path.


So that means they can't vote?
 
2012-04-30 12:44:53 PM  

James!: Only Kentucky and Virginia still do a lifetime disenfranchisement.


It's not lifetime in Virginia. However, restoration is not automatic, and is a pain in the ass.
 
2012-04-30 12:46:04 PM  

RobertBruce: This feels weird to say. Everything GAT_00 said is right.


Wut

That's never happened before.
 
2012-04-30 12:48:37 PM  
Jail is the punishment.
 
2012-04-30 12:53:08 PM  
I would love to see a felons right to own firearms be reinstated. Voting... not so much.
 
2012-04-30 12:54:52 PM  
As long as their crime didn't involve some sort of voter fraud, I have no issues with them voting.

In Missouri, felons can vote after the completion of their sentence. However, anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony 'connected to the right of suffrage' is disenfranchised for life as far as I can tell.


http://felonvoting.procon.org/sourcefiles/Missouri_Voting_Code.pdf
 
2012-04-30 12:55:20 PM  
which would create a federal standard for restoring the voting rights of felons

I am 100% for this. There should be a federal standard and states should not be determining who is eligible to vote and who isn't. We don't let states determine who is and isn't a citizen so why not do this for voting.
 
2012-04-30 12:56:51 PM  

Saiga410: I would love to see a felons right to own firearms be reinstated. Voting... not so much.


So you prefer bullets to ballots?
 
2012-04-30 12:57:39 PM  
I don't really understand why they are disenfranchised. Don't they pay taxes too? Aren't they citizens? It's their government too.
 
2012-04-30 12:57:51 PM  
Citizenship is a privilege, not a right, dontchaknow
 
2012-04-30 12:58:32 PM  

Saiga410: I would love to see a felons right to own firearms be reinstated. Voting... not so much.


You're a farking moron.
 
2012-04-30 12:58:58 PM  

mrshowrules: Don't follow your logic. They are bad people and therefore shouldn't have a say in society?


i.imgur.com

I was hoping the last sentence would give it away. :-(
 
2012-04-30 01:00:05 PM  
I somehow doubt ex-felons loose much sleep over not being able to vote.

Time served is merely the punishment given for the crime. a person will always be a convicted felon regardless of how much time they served. They still have it on their record for life.

I don't particularly have an issue with felons voting, but I don't see the logic of the time served argument as a reason to allow them to vote. They need to prove themselves to society after they've served their time.
 
2012-04-30 01:00:45 PM  
They can still post on twitter, right?
 
2012-04-30 01:01:21 PM  
But I do have to play devils advocate here. The 2nd amendment is a fundamental right to our country, yet we don't let those who have served their time have guns. I'm not saying felons should have guns, I'm just saying that we deny them the right to have guns and everyone seems on board with it despite the notion that it's a gross violation of the 2nd amendment. It's a double standard that doesn't follow a constitutionally logical basis.

I could see this SCOTUS imparting some gray area where former felons are relegated to in terms of a no-man's land and citizenship. That would benefit the 1% immensely.
 
2012-04-30 01:02:03 PM  

downstairs: But once you're out- you're free. The end.


i152.photobucket.com

No. It means you get your yellow ticket of leave, #24601.
 
2012-04-30 01:02:11 PM  
Someone who breaks the law and getting convicted proves that they have extraordinarily poor judgement. Why should we let them sort out and pick government representatives? The collective intelligence of the voting pool doesn't need to be dragged down any further.
 
2012-04-30 01:02:17 PM  

Forgot_my_password_again: They need to prove themselves to society after they've served their time.


It would make sense to have them pass the same approval process that everyone else has to go through when they earn their privilege to vote.
 
2012-04-30 01:03:14 PM  

GAT_00: Going to jail makes it more likely you will go to jail, or back in their case. People in prison not only lose all connection but lose all opportunity. Nobody hires felons except in minimum wage potions. When you come out, you're probably on probation, which is at least a thousand dollars per year. The whole thing is designed to throw people back in jail, and turn to a permanent life of crime.


This. And it needs to change. The power of the prison system in this country is scary. Treating people like animals only makes them animals. All you do when you put someone in jail is let them network with other criminals.

I have a young daughter who is 18 months old. I was reading about disciplining your child when they are around that age. They say you shouldn't get mad. You are supposed to put them in a timeout location for a set period of time and then let them out. The punishment is the time. When they are out, they can do whatever they want. But you don't get mad about it.

This is how the prison system should work. Time out. You serve the time, and then you are let out. Instead, many people think it's fine to treat them like less than human beings, that prison rape is OK, that allowing inmates to attack one another is OK, that putting them in a dark cell for 2 days is fine, that giving them no access to education or computers is OK, because they wouldn't be there if they didn't do something horrible, right? And that is the problem.

Parole is really designed to be a way to keep people in a cycle of going back to prison. I mean why else would the drug war be so damn important? "Oh I caught him going 5 over and discovered .2 grams of marijuana so back to prison for him." Because that solves our ills.
 
2012-04-30 01:03:34 PM  

Lost Thought 00: It would make sense to have them pass the same approval process that everyone else has to go through when they earn their privilege to vote.


everyone else didn't commit a felony.
 
2012-04-30 01:05:02 PM  

Forgot_my_password_again: Lost Thought 00: It would make sense to have them pass the same approval process that everyone else has to go through when they earn their privilege to vote.

everyone else didn't commit a felony.


What does that have to do with anything? Everyone needs to prove they are trustworthy enough to use their power of the vote properly before we allow them into the booth. Just look at what happened in the last election!
 
2012-04-30 01:05:05 PM  

mattharvest: Mugato: There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.

What if they're on probation?

Most people who go to jail later exit before serving their full sentence, and continue on probation for years. Should they have the vote, or are you just saying that after you've completed your full sentence they should get it back?


Hi herp and derp!

Probation is not "time served".
 
2012-04-30 01:06:53 PM  

Somacandra: downstairs: But once you're out- you're free. The end.

[i152.photobucket.com image 383x267]

No. It means you get your yellow ticket of leave, #24601.


God dammit. Now that soundtrack will be in my head for the rest of the day.
 
2012-04-30 01:06:54 PM  

Mugato: There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.


this

once you are out, you should have ALL your rights restored, anything less means you are no longer a citizen.

If you can not be trusted to vote, or behave peacefully, you sould not be let out.

But then, if what you were convicted of wasn't violent or theft related, you shouldn't be in jail to start with.
 
2012-04-30 01:07:04 PM  

Mugato: There's no legitimate reason in the world why felons who did their time shouldn't be allowed to vote.


Some of them might not be White.

In all seriousness this looks a lot like an extension of voter suppression we see around the country - aided by sentencing bias and selective enforcent of laws and police effort. And the groups most affected are not middle class white folk.
 
2012-04-30 01:07:47 PM  

Lost Thought 00: Everyone needs to prove they are trustworthy enough to use their power of the vote properly before we allow them into the booth.


it goes off the assumption of trust. Felons break that trust and therefore have an extra burden to re-establish trust.

I don't think there should be a lifetime ban after their release. But not right away.
 
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