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(CNN)   Attorney general Eric Holder ponders allowing ex-cons to vote, like they were people who paid for their crimes against society and now get to be American citizens again   (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com) divider line 187
    More: Unlikely  
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572 clicks; posted to Politics » on 11 Feb 2014 at 11:17 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-11 10:00:44 AM  
Good on you, Mr. Holder.  I've always thought it was bullshiat that voting rights were permanently taken away even after the sentence was completed.  An ex-felon should still have a say in who his public servants are.

And Sens. Paul and Lee are helping him lead the push to restore the rights?  Bravo, Mr. Lee and Mr. Paul.  That's quite a welcome surprise.

Also: Florida, among the most restrictive, bars 10% of its population from voting as a result of such laws.

Holy Shnikees.
 
2014-02-11 10:01:48 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: Good on you, Mr. Holder.  I've always thought it was bullshiat that voting rights were permanently taken away even after the sentence was completed.  An ex-felon should still have a say in who his public servants are.


I would argue that even those currently in prison should.  Why not?
 
2014-02-11 10:02:43 AM  
Attorney general Eric Holder ponders allowing asks states to change their laws to allow ex-cons to vote, like they were people who paid for their crimes against society and now get to be American citizens again

FTFY.
 
2014-02-11 10:04:13 AM  

nekom: Three Crooked Squirrels: Good on you, Mr. Holder.  I've always thought it was bullshiat that voting rights were permanently taken away even after the sentence was completed.  An ex-felon should still have a say in who his public servants are.

I would argue that even those currently in prison should.  Why not?


I agree. Voting is not some privilege to be doled out like candy to those who 'deserve' it. The purpose of voting is so that the government is representative of the people, and that means all the people. You take the constituency as it exists.
 
2014-02-11 10:05:09 AM  

nekom: I would argue that even those currently in prison should. Why not?


That doesn't bother me as much, since if you are locked up, by definition your freedoms are being curtailed and it is part of the punishment.  It wouldn't bother me if they could vote as well, but doesn't really bother me that they can't.  But it does bother me that once their sentence is complete, part of their punishment continues ad infinitum.
 
2014-02-11 10:09:07 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: nekom: I would argue that even those currently in prison should. Why not?

That doesn't bother me as much, since if you are locked up, by definition your freedoms are being curtailed and it is part of the punishment.  It wouldn't bother me if they could vote as well, but doesn't really bother me that they can't.  But it does bother me that once their sentence is complete, part of their punishment continues ad infinitum.


It's wrong to conceive as voting as a 'freedom', IMO. It's not a freedom, it's a mechanism. Preventing people from voting doesn't just harm the people you're cutting out of the loop, but it simply makes the government unrepresentative. It makes our government 'incorrect'.
 
2014-02-11 10:11:28 AM  
Canadian convicts get to vote in federal elections by proxy where their last permanent resience was prior to being shipped off to prison. It's no big deal and most don't bother, being several thousand miles away and rather unconcerned with the state of snow plowing or property taxes. It's not like 12,000 cons spread across the country are a bloc to be reckoned with when their votes are split across 300+ ridings and 30,000,000 people. Why not let them vote?
 
2014-02-11 10:13:42 AM  

DamnYankees: It's wrong to conceive as voting as a 'freedom', IMO. It's not a freedom, it's a mechanism. Preventing people from voting doesn't just harm the people you're cutting out of the loop, but it simply makes the government unrepresentative. It makes our government 'incorrect'.


I agree.  If I had my choice, any person of legal age would be able to vote with easy access.  And while I disagree with the reasoning, I can at least understand the argument that someone who is locked up can have their right to vote revoked.  I just don't see any argument at all for preventing an ex-felon that has completed his sentence from voting.  Their doesn't seem to be any legitimate purpose at all.
 
2014-02-11 10:14:32 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: I've always thought it was bullshiat that voting rights were permanently taken away even after the sentence was completed.


These days, I'm inclined to think it's bullshiat that voting rights are taken away during, save in the cases of life imprisonment without possibility of parole, or of a conviction for vote fraud.


Though if I had my 'druthers, that would be a single case.
 
2014-02-11 10:15:04 AM  
Especially since we've been calling everything a felony lately.
 
2014-02-11 10:16:06 AM  
I didn't know Congressmen weren't allowed to vote.
 
2014-02-11 10:18:40 AM  

DamnYankees: nekom: Three Crooked Squirrels: Good on you, Mr. Holder.  I've always thought it was bullshiat that voting rights were permanently taken away even after the sentence was completed.  An ex-felon should still have a say in who his public servants are.

I would argue that even those currently in prison should.  Why not?

I agree. Voting is not some privilege to be doled out like candy to those who 'deserve' it. The purpose of voting is so that the government is representative of the people, and that means all the people. You take the constituency as it exists.


History disagrees with you.
 
2014-02-11 10:22:02 AM  
There's zero excuse for permanently barring from voting a person who has served their sentence for a felony. Beyond that, I'm not sure about disenfranchising currently incarcerated felons. Given that we incarcerate far more people than any other country on the planet and most of the people we incarcerate are poor, stripping their right to vote is a direct subversion of the principle that we all have a say in how our country is run.

/I like incarcerate
 
2014-02-11 10:24:00 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: DamnYankees: It's wrong to conceive as voting as a 'freedom', IMO. It's not a freedom, it's a mechanism. Preventing people from voting doesn't just harm the people you're cutting out of the loop, but it simply makes the government unrepresentative. It makes our government 'incorrect'.

I agree.  If I had my choice, any person of legal age would be able to vote with easy access.  And while I disagree with the reasoning, I can at least understand the argument that someone who is locked up can have their right to vote revoked.  I just don't see any argument at all for preventing an ex-felon that has completed his sentence from voting.  Their doesn't seem to be any legitimate purpose at all.



commons.trincoll.edu
 
2014-02-11 10:25:24 AM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: it does bother me that once their sentence is complete, part of their punishment continues ad infinitum.


See also: sex offender registries and restrictions.
 
2014-02-11 10:25:35 AM  
the only time you should lose your right to vote permanently is if you are convicted of felony election fraud, other than that you should be go to vote even from a jail cell IMO...although that could funkify the local elections, I dunno, you could sway me either way on voting while actually in prison...
 
2014-02-11 10:25:44 AM  

DamnYankees: Three Crooked Squirrels: nekom: I would argue that even those currently in prison should. Why not?

That doesn't bother me as much, since if you are locked up, by definition your freedoms are being curtailed and it is part of the punishment.  It wouldn't bother me if they could vote as well, but doesn't really bother me that they can't.  But it does bother me that once their sentence is complete, part of their punishment continues ad infinitum.

It's wrong to conceive as voting as a 'freedom', IMO. It's not a freedom, it's a mechanism. Preventing people from voting doesn't just harm the people you're cutting out of the loop, but it simply makes the government unrepresentative. It makes our government 'incorrect'.


Some people would go so far as to say that voting is a person's civic duty.

James!: Especially since we've been calling everything a felony lately.


Felons are typically poor, so this is just another avenue to keep the poor people out of the voting booths.
 
2014-02-11 10:26:08 AM  

abb3w: Three Crooked Squirrels: I've always thought it was bullshiat that voting rights were permanently taken away even after the sentence was completed.

These days, I'm inclined to think it's bullshiat that voting rights are taken away during, save in the cases of life imprisonment without possibility of parole, or of a conviction for vote fraud.


Though if I had my 'druthers, that would be a single case.


Yeah, that's one crime that I could see warranting permanent disenfranchisement.
 
2014-02-11 10:31:06 AM  

Snowrise: Canadian convicts get to vote in federal elections by proxy where their last permanent resience was prior to being shipped off to prison. It's no big deal and most don't bother, being several thousand miles away and rather unconcerned with the state of snow plowing or property taxes. It's not like 12,000 cons spread across the country are a bloc to be reckoned with when their votes are split across 300+ ridings and 30,000,000 people. Why not let them vote?


In Virginia at least, the intent was pretty explicitly admitted as disenfranchising blacks. In particular, one delegate to the 1901 the Virginia State Constitution that added the amendment for felony disenfranchisement explicitly claimed that "the great underlying principle of this convention movement, the one object and cause which assembled this body, was the elimination of the negro from the politics of this state", and another when asked whether this would be done by fraud and discrimination answered "By fraud, no; by discrimination, yes. But it will be discrimination within the letter of the law, and not in violation of the law. Discrimination! Why that is precisely what we propose; that exactly is what this convention was elected for - to discriminate to the very extremity permissible under the limitations of the Federal Constitution with a view to the elimination of every Negro voter who can be gotten rid of, legally, without materially impairing the numerical strength of the white electorate ... As has been said, we have accomplished our purpose strictly within the limitations of the Federal Constitution by legislating against the characteristics of the black race, and not against the 'race, color or previous condition' of the people themselves. It is a fine discrimination, indeed, that we have practiced in the fabrication of this plan." Which does make me wonder if there would be a basis for modern Federal challenge to that part of the Virginia Constitution, since it is discriminatory in specific effect and general intent; however, I Am Not A Lawyer.

Anyway, though there's some general ingroup/purity social psychology involved, it seems principally another legacy of America's peculiar racial conflicts.
 
2014-02-11 10:31:16 AM  
good
 
2014-02-11 10:34:03 AM  
If we allow ex-cons to vote, they'll all vote to legalize murder and robbery. Society as we know it will collapse. That's how our system works.
 
2014-02-11 10:37:47 AM  

Headso: other than that you should be go to vote even from a jail cell IMO


I'm willing to consider disenfranchisement in life-without-parole cases. Those cases are essentially a form of the death penalty, where society is merely taking precautions against an erroneous conviction to try and allow at least some reversibility for its (hopefully rare) mistakes; and we don't allow anyone to vote after they've been executed.
 
2014-02-11 10:42:23 AM  

JerseyTim: Society as we know it will collapse.


Well, society-as-we-knew-it has collapsed at least three times in your lifetime. You should be used to that by now.
 
2014-02-11 10:42:42 AM  

James!: Especially since we've been calling everything a felony lately.


...and every suspect an adult
 
2014-02-11 10:44:01 AM  
It's almost like he thinks that allowing people to participate in their society is a good thing. That commie bastard.
 
2014-02-11 10:44:21 AM  

Lionel Mandrake: James!: Especially since we've been calling everything a felony lately.

...and every suspect an adult


You can loose your right to vote before you're old enough to vote for a little weed in your pocket in some states.
 
2014-02-11 10:44:45 AM  
Look what happened when we gave women the right to vote. Now I have to make my own sammiches!
 
2014-02-11 10:45:45 AM  

Lionel Mandrake: James!: Especially since we've been calling everything a felony lately.

...and every suspect an adult


And nobody who hasn't met the age of majority should be tried as a felon or as an adult, no matter their crime. They simply aren't adults.
 
2014-02-11 10:46:56 AM  
I keep hearing that popping sound...
 
2014-02-11 10:52:02 AM  
I say let 'em all vote regardless, just because I want to see a bunch of weasel state legislators try to gerrymander the inside of a prison by gang affiliation.
 
2014-02-11 11:05:48 AM  

Headso: the only time you should lose your right to vote permanently is if you are convicted of felony election fraud, other than that you should be go to vote even from a jail cell IMO...although that could funkify the local elections, I dunno, you could sway me either way on voting while actually in prison...


Republicans already use prisoners to help gerrymander. Put a few thousand people in a prison in a red part of the state, count the population as living their in the census, and now you've--legally--got a red legislative district with 12,000 non-imprisoned citizens as compared to all those sucker blue districts that need to use 15,000 people.
 
2014-02-11 11:05:52 AM  
So,the Democrat strategy is to allow any and all votes from folks who would vote for them. Seriously, give them a reduced sentence if they commit to voting Dem.

Nice to see confirmation that the Attorney General is now a DNC operative.
 
2014-02-11 11:10:41 AM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: So,the Democrat strategy is to allow any and all votes from folks who would vote for them. Seriously, give them a reduced sentence if they commit to voting Dem.

Nice to see confirmation that the Attorney General is now a DNC operative.


Republicans have never been convicted of a felony?
 
2014-02-11 11:11:49 AM  
Serious question: Is it the case that if a member of Congress gets convicted of a felony (it has happened), they can still vote on bills in their Chamber (assuming they weren't expelled, which I think has happened) even though they can no longer vote in an election?
 
2014-02-11 11:12:19 AM  
Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms. Are you certain you want to go down that road?
 
2014-02-11 11:16:52 AM  

cman: Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms. Are you certain you want to go down that road?


Was it a non-violent felony that didn't involve firearms? I'm absolutely on board with people who committed those kinds of crimes having those rights restored.

Was it a violent felony that didn't involve firearms? I'm not so sure. I can see arguments both ways.

Was it a felony that involved firearms? Fark that shiat, man. If you proved you can't handle a firearm responsibly in the past, why should we trust you to be responsible with a firearm in the future?
 
2014-02-11 11:17:32 AM  

cman: Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms. Are you certain you want to go down that road?


If they've paid their debt to society they should be able to fully rejoin society.  If they haven't they should still be in jail.
 
2014-02-11 11:18:21 AM  

cman: Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms.


Only if you define it that way. The 'also' isn't automatic.
 
2014-02-11 11:20:33 AM  

cman: Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms. Are you certain you want to go down that road?


It's kind of like the argument above that felons' voting rights should be restored, unless the felony involved voting/election fraud.

Did your felony involve voting shenanigans? No? Then you can get your right to vote back.
Did your felony involve violence? No? Then you can get your gun back.

I'd be fine with that.
 
2014-02-11 11:21:21 AM  

the_rev: Three Crooked Squirrels: it does bother me that once their sentence is complete, part of their punishment continues ad infinitum.

See also: sex offender registries and restrictions.


I am not a fan of those.
 
2014-02-11 11:22:44 AM  
I have to chuckle suddenly realizing that my last 2 governors cannot vote.
 
2014-02-11 11:24:15 AM  

nekom: Three Crooked Squirrels: Good on you, Mr. Holder.  I've always thought it was bullshiat that voting rights were permanently taken away even after the sentence was completed.  An ex-felon should still have a say in who his public servants are.

I would argue that even those currently in prison should.  Why not?


I'm with you.

I honestly don't understand why being in prison should stop you from having citizenship rights. That is, unless you are in there for treason, espionage, etc. And even with that in mind, I am reasonably sure if all of the people in prison for treason voted, it would not mean a thing.
 
2014-02-11 11:25:04 AM  

James!: cman: Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms. Are you certain you want to go down that road?

If they've paid their debt to society they should be able to fully rejoin society.


I agree.  While we're at it we should be looking to abolish lifetime sex offender lists and registrations for first time offenders, and revamping our prison system to focus on rehabilitation so that those convicted of crimes can learn the skills and get the help they need to become productive members of society upon release instead of being left with a far tougher road to hoe just to survive in society, creating our revolving door problem.
 
2014-02-11 11:25:13 AM  
Now that I think about it, this sort of things could take some pressure off poltiticians feeling like them need to prove themselves as "tough on crime" with the bad policy that entails.
 
2014-02-11 11:25:15 AM  
So, how do you guys feel about restoring gun rights for felons upon their release?
 
2014-02-11 11:25:21 AM  

Serious Black: cman: Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms. Are you certain you want to go down that road?

Was it a non-violent felony that didn't involve firearms? I'm absolutely on board with people who committed those kinds of crimes having those rights restored.

Was it a violent felony that didn't involve firearms? I'm not so sure. I can see arguments both ways.

Was it a felony that involved firearms? Fark that shiat, man. If you proved you can't handle a firearm responsibly in the past, why should we trust you to be responsible with a firearm in the future?


While I agree with you, I don't have a good reason.  The argument I would want to give would be "owning a gun is a privilege, not a right" so if you prove to be irresponsible, that's that.  So the answer to your question is "because it's a right, not a privilege."  This would be akin to we busted you for a felony drug crime with pounds of cocaine in your house, so now you lose your 4th amendment rights for the rest of your life.

For this and many other reasons, this is why I'd want a constitutional amendment revising the 2nd amendment.  And I only post that comment to Serious Black because I know he'll read it without gettin all herped up on the derp.
 
2014-02-11 11:26:23 AM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: So,the Democrat strategy is to allow any and all votes from folks who would vote for them. Seriously, give them a reduced sentence if they commit to voting Dem.

Nice to see confirmation that the Attorney General is now a DNC operative.


Why are you assuming they'd vote Democratic?
 
2014-02-11 11:26:35 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: James!: cman: Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms. Are you certain you want to go down that road?

If they've paid their debt to society they should be able to fully rejoin society.

I agree.  While we're at it we should be looking to abolish lifetime sex offender lists and registrations for first time offenders, and revamping our prison system to focus on rehabilitation so that those convicted of crimes can learn the skills and get the help they need to become productive members of society upon release instead of being left with a far tougher road to hoe just to survive in society, creating our revolving door problem.


Agreed, Prison shouldn't be a warehouse were we keep people we don't want to deal with.
 
2014-02-11 11:27:47 AM  

cman: Restoration of civil rights also means the ability to purchase firearms. Are you certain you want to go down that road?


Doesn't the NRA support that part?

And, yes, I do want to go down that road.  After all, I'm told that people who really want guns and can't get guns legally will just get them illegally.  I've heard that my whole life.  And I believe it.
 
2014-02-11 11:28:51 AM  

Fark It: So, how do you guys feel about restoring gun rights for felons upon their release?


No problem. Ex-cons are allowed to buy cars and alcohol, and that combination kills thousands every year.
 
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