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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 01:07:52 PM  

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


Are the majority of these people black?
 
2012-04-30 01:08:04 PM  
i64.photobucket.com
 
2012-04-30 01:08:05 PM  

Lumpmoose: 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.


What? Who gets an absentee ballot for staying home on election day? If they want to vote, they should get to the booths like everyone else.
 
2012-04-30 01:08:41 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.


How/why does being on probation cost money?
 
2012-04-30 01:08:56 PM  

tomWright: But then, if what you were convicted of wasn't violent or theft related, you shouldn't be in jail to start with.


Apparently you forgot about the war on drugs. Big bag of non-violent weed can get you 7 years or more in jail with a felony record.
 
2012-04-30 01:09:49 PM  

downstairs: 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.


This.
 
2012-04-30 01:10:01 PM  

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


Clearly there is some logic to the notion of the rights of a citizen being held to a felon. We can't execute child molesters because it violates the 8th Amendment. If felons aren't in some way citizens, the 8th Amendment example shouldn't hold water.
 
2012-04-30 01:10:26 PM  
If you did your time, including probation, you should regain all of your rights, period, including the right to vote. Also, if you have completed the sentence, it should be illegal for an employer to discriminate against you, unless the crime directly relates to the job, i.e. thieves should not be allowed to be bank tellers (on the other hand if you robbed the bank from the inside, you probably didn't even get prosecuted,) sex offenders should not work with children. Other wise, every felony may as well be a life sentence. Unfortunately, our punitive society will never, ever choose to forgive and forget like this, and petty felons will continue to be treated like they can not be rehabilitated, because we have no intention of rehabilitating them.
 
2012-04-30 01:12:11 PM  

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

You're a farking moron.


Why is my cherished right any less inaliable than yours?
 
2012-04-30 01:12:28 PM  

downstairs: Sheeeesh. Time served is time served. The end. You've paid your debt to society, you're a completely free person now.


Except: in many states sex offenders can't live near children or any place children might congregate. People who have committed certain financial crimes can never work in the financial industry again. The precedent is established that a criminal may never have the full range of freedoms granted to non-criminals, it's just a matter of what specific groups one wants to target, for what crimes, and what liberties are to be denied.

Personally, I don't have a problem giving ex-cons the vote, particularly since I know the vast majority of them are stupid and/or apathetic and/or sociopathic and/or dysfunctional and will never use it. We have few enough of the law-abiding exercising the franchise, and jailbirds would be even worse.
 
2012-04-30 01:12:44 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?


Depends on the state in which you live.

Brennan Center for Voting Rights is probably the best source for information.

Forgot_my_password_again: 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.


If you have no say in society, how do you respect it?
 
2012-04-30 01:13:39 PM  

Forgot_my_password_again: 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.


The convicted felon stigma has lead to more crime; further harming communities and increasing our taxes for no gain. Back in the early days of our country a person released from prison would receive some land to live on. Why? Because the Christians of THAT time believed as Jesus did in forgiveness and allowing one a chance to make a life for themselves. Today, they get out of prison with court costs, sometimes prison costs, often no property but what is on their back, an inability to get a job because the vast majority WILL NOT hire them (especially in this economy), unable to vote, and have difficulty finding a place to live as some places even deny them that. So imagine yourself as a felon and you get out of prison in this economy. Your chance of getting a job is near zero, you probably have been given a lifetime probation designed specifically to ensure you go back to prison. You'd feel bitter and frankly you'd feel it better to just get locked up again because at least you'll be taken care of.
 
2012-04-30 01:14:16 PM  

Karac: How/why does being on probation cost money?


Costs them money. It's money making for the state.
 
2012-04-30 01:14:51 PM  
Someone still needs to explain to me how it is even acceptable that inmates are denied the right to vote. Evidently incarceration involves the temporary abrogation of some civil liberties/human rights, but this does not justify removing all of them, particularly political rights.
 
2012-04-30 01:15:04 PM  
Heard this being discussed on NPR two years back. There's more support for (and actual bills being advanced) to restore fire arm rights to felons then there is for voting rights.

Think about that; we as a society say that we're more scared of a felon voting then we are with him having a gun.
 
2012-04-30 01:16:02 PM  

Karac: How/why does being on probation cost money?


Fees.
 
2012-04-30 01:16:32 PM  

GAT_00: Karac: How/why does being on probation cost money?

Costs them money. It's money making for the state.


Right, but how? What does the person on probation have to pay for?
 
2012-04-30 01:16:47 PM  

Lost Thought 00: 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!


Isn't that process "Are you at least 18 years of age and not a convicted felon? Check the appropriate box."?
 
2012-04-30 01:17:18 PM  
If your party needs as few people to vote as possible to move your agenda your ideology might suck a cock.
 
2012-04-30 01:17:52 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: Heard this being discussed on NPR two years back. There's more support for (and actual bills being advanced) to restore fire arm rights to felons then there is for voting rights.

Think about that; we as a society say that we're more scared of a felon voting then we are with him having a gun.


Voting rights need a better lobbyist
 
2012-04-30 01:18:29 PM  
FTFA: "... the ACLU's Deborah J. Vagins...."


/giggity
 
2012-04-30 01:18:37 PM  

qorkfiend: GAT_00: Karac: How/why does being on probation cost money?

Costs them money. It's money making for the state.

Right, but how? What does the person on probation have to pay for?


Effectively, their parole officer's salary.
 
2012-04-30 01:19:04 PM  
"Our position is that when it comes to something like voting, it should be taken out of the politician's hands."

THIS
 
2012-04-30 01:19:05 PM  

qorkfiend: Right, but how? What does the person on probation have to pay for?


Shakespeare Probation officers, courts, communities, governments got to get paid, son.
 
2012-04-30 01:19:16 PM  

qorkfiend: GAT_00: Karac: How/why does being on probation cost money?

Costs them money. It's money making for the state.

Right, but how? What does the person on probation have to pay for?


they have to pay for the costs incurred in utilizing the courts and their PO, for some reason taxes no longer cover anything.
 
2012-04-30 01:19:32 PM  

bobbette: Someone still needs to explain to me how it is even acceptable that inmates are denied the right to vote. Evidently incarceration involves the temporary abrogation of some civil liberties/human rights, but this does not justify removing all of them, particularly political rights.


It might be because there's no explicit right to vote in the Constitution, so the states can put in place whatever voting restrictions they want, as long as it's not based on gender, race, poll tax, etc.
 
2012-04-30 01:20:13 PM  

Guidette Frankentits: 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.


Weapon ownership and the risk of a person committing a violent crime is entirely different from political participation. One is directly related to the commission of the original crime and the heightened risk of re-offending that results from incarceration. Abrogating that right therefore has a justification because of a compelling public interest.

There is no reasonable rationale for stripping somebody's right to vote simply because they've been convicted of a felony. You wouldn't strip their right to free speech or freedom of religion in these cases, either, for example.
 
2012-04-30 01:20:22 PM  

Guidette Frankentits: 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.


People who have served their time should be given a voter registration card and a concealed carry permit.

Ok, so I'm bored.
 
2012-04-30 01:21:54 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?


Changes from state to state. In PA it requies a governors pardon. Big boondoggle for the lawyers. It's going to cost me $2k to start and I am not even going to try before the election. If PA changes governors I will try to slip it in at the end of term.

Nabb1: 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.


I made a stupid mistake. I've paid my debt to society in full. I never stoppped being civic minded because of it.

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.


I made one mistake in an otherwise law abiding life. I have paid my debt to society in full. I still get taxed just like you. Are you suggesting I should be treated as a lesser citizen for the rest of my life due to one lapse in judgement that I have taken full responsibility for and will never repeat again? If so, GFY.
 
2012-04-30 01:21:56 PM  

Forgot_my_password_again: 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.


So what you're saying is that we should have some kind of assessment to determine, based on the nature and severity of the case, how long a "felon" must serve his/her sentence, and, upon completion of that sentence, his/her rights get restored?

It's called "sentencing". We do it all the time.

Once you've served your "sentence" (prison time plus some extra goodness for felons), you get your rights - including voting - back. It's the State's job to convince the Court during sentencing that you should have voting rights taken away evermore.
 
2012-04-30 01:22:21 PM  

Misch: if you have no say in society, how do you respect it?


well for starters by not committing another crime.
 
2012-04-30 01:23:05 PM  

qorkfiend: bobbette: Someone still needs to explain to me how it is even acceptable that inmates are denied the right to vote. Evidently incarceration involves the temporary abrogation of some civil liberties/human rights, but this does not justify removing all of them, particularly political rights.

It might be because there's no explicit right to vote in the Constitution, so the states can put in place whatever voting restrictions they want, as long as it's not based on gender, race, poll tax, etc.


Oh, I know the chequered history of voting rights in the US. My point is that this situation is farked up, in my opinion.
 
2012-04-30 01:23:15 PM  

sammyk: Are you suggesting I should be treated as a lesser citizen for the rest of my life


in a later post I aid it should be a life time ban, so no.
 
2012-04-30 01:23:23 PM  

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

[i.imgur.com image 400x362]

I was hoping the last sentence would give it away. :-(


God, I'm dense today. As you were.
 
2012-04-30 01:24:18 PM  
In the words of G. Gordon Liddy: "I am a convicted felon and have no firearms. Mrs. Liddy, however, has an extensive collection." Priceless.
 
2012-04-30 01:25:20 PM  

Forgot_my_password_again: n a later post I aid it should be a life time ban, so no.


damn Monday keyboards, I said it should NOT be a lifetime ban
 
2012-04-30 01:26:23 PM  
Misch: if you have no say in society, how do you respect it?

Forgot_my_password_again: well for starters by not committing another crime.

Seeing as how felons can be denied the right to vote, excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits, that's sometimes a pretty tall order.

I encourage you to read "The New Jim Crow."
 
2012-04-30 01:26:51 PM  

Somacandra: 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.


This.
 
2012-04-30 01:26:51 PM  

Headso: qorkfiend: GAT_00: Karac: How/why does being on probation cost money?

Costs them money. It's money making for the state.

Right, but how? What does the person on probation have to pay for?

they have to pay for the costs incurred in utilizing the courts and their PO, for some reason taxes no longer cover anything.


Wow, never knew that. That's incredibly scummy, almost mob protection racket-ish.
 
2012-04-30 01:27:33 PM  
I think voter disenfranchisement made more sense when the voter pool was limited to just white land owning males. If you have a community with on 20 or so eligible voter pulling one or two out due to criminal history could make a real difference. Now that any citizen over 18 can vote I don't think bringing felons in is really going to change much.

It's not like it's much of a deterrent anyway.
 
2012-04-30 01:28:16 PM  

SuperTramp: I encourage you to read "The New Jim Crow."


I encourage you to buy it for me
 
2012-04-30 01:29:43 PM  

James!: I think voter disenfranchisement made more sense when the voter pool was limited to just white land owning males. If you have a community with on 20 or so eligible voter pulling one or two out due to criminal history could make a real difference. Now that any citizen over 18 can vote I don't think bringing felons in is really going to change much.


A million votes lost to criminal history here, a million votes lost to voter ID laws there, and pretty soon you're talking about real elections.
 
2012-04-30 01:30:13 PM  

James!: It's not like it's much of a deterrent anyway.


There are no deterrents, there is no rehabilitation. The US does not work that way. There is only vengeance and punishment.
 
2012-04-30 01:32:03 PM  

jagabaya: James!: It's not like it's much of a deterrent anyway.

There are no deterrents, there is no rehabilitation. The US does not work that way. There is only vengeance and punishment.


Just like Jesus taught us.
 
2012-04-30 01:34:47 PM  

Karac: James!: I think voter disenfranchisement made more sense when the voter pool was limited to just white land owning males. If you have a community with on 20 or so eligible voter pulling one or two out due to criminal history could make a real difference. Now that any citizen over 18 can vote I don't think bringing felons in is really going to change much.

A million votes lost to criminal history here, a million votes lost to voter ID laws there, and pretty soon you're talking about real elections.


Right, my point it that felon disenfranchisement doesn't really have a purpose any more.
 
2012-04-30 01:35:26 PM  

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


Yeah, pretty much this.

Time served is time served.
 
2012-04-30 01:37:59 PM  
Until I see some compelling and principled arguments against it, voting rights should be restored (as well as all civil liberties) once a person has served their time.

Additionally, there needs to be a massive amount of prison reform in America.

On the surface, it looks like almost everything being done with, to, and about convicts is just wrong.

First, we need to stop locking up people for bullsh*t "crimes" like drug possession, disturbing the peace, indecent exposure, loitering, failing to abide by nonsense regulations, and so on.

Second, we need to give petty criminals the opportunity to learn a trade and apply for job placement (they should pay back the tuition on their own with no sponsor, too).
 
2012-04-30 01:38:19 PM  

bobbette: Weapon ownership and the risk of a person committing a violent crime is entirely different from political participation. One is directly related to the commission of the original crime and the heightened risk of re-offending that results from incarceration. Abrogating that right therefore has a justification because of a compelling public interest.

There is no reasonable rationale for stripping somebody's right to vote simply because they've been convicted of a felony. You wouldn't strip their right to free speech or freedom of religion in these cases, either, for example.


Everything you said makes 100% sense and I agree with it.

The "problem" is, not letting former felons have guns violates the 2nd Amendment. I was referring the fact that the 2nd Amendment is right there, clear as day and that gets violated so I can see how it's possible that (and clearly don't agree with) felons not having their right to vote reinstated, automatically.
 
2012-04-30 01:38:28 PM  

Karac: James!: I think voter disenfranchisement made more sense when the voter pool was limited to just white land owning males. If you have a community with on 20 or so eligible voter pulling one or two out due to criminal history could make a real difference. Now that any citizen over 18 can vote I don't think bringing felons in is really going to change much.

A million votes lost to criminal history here, a million votes lost to voter ID laws there, and pretty soon you're talking about real elections.


There are a lot of countries that have corruption and slanted elections. Many countries over time that have attempted to keep whole groups of people from participating in politics that we have fought. Nice to know that you feel, in your very unChristian way, that we should be exactly like them.
 
2012-04-30 01:39:24 PM  

Karac: Headso: qorkfiend: GAT_00: Karac: How/why does being on probation cost money?

Costs them money. It's money making for the state.

Right, but how? What does the person on probation have to pay for?

they have to pay for the costs incurred in utilizing the courts and their PO, for some reason taxes no longer cover anything.

Wow, never knew that. That's incredibly scummy, almost mob protection racket-ish.


It's also just general fines. There's no listing of how it's used. You can be on probation 10 years easy, having to pay every month, and if you fail to pay one month, you can and will be thrown in jail for the full original sentence.
 
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