The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Allow prisoners the right to vote

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 482 times Debate No: 75205
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




R1 acceptance


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


C1. The views and needs of prisoners should be represented in a democratic system

The refusal to grant prisoners the right to vote 'is not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society'1. Such societies pride themselves on the participation of all in the political process, regardless of wealth, class, gender or sexual orientation. The objective of such systems, to ensure that all views are represented fairly and voters represented equally, does not stop at the gates of a prison. Issues such as prison overcrowding and abuse by warders are not treated seriously as political issues, since those most directly affected cannot vote and the public generally has little interest in prisoners' well-being. Prisoners should also have the opportunity to influence the formation of policy on healthcare, education, the environment and all the other issues that affect the world into which almost all of them will someday be released. Prisoners are not treated as "civically dead" when it benefits the State: they are liable for taxation on any earnings and savings that they have. There should be no taxation without representation.

C2. Prisoners are less likely to re-offend if encouraged to participate in the civic process as part of their rehabilitation

Prisoners are more likely to ease comfortably and peacefully back into civilian life if, whilst in prison, they retain links with the democratic process. Enfranchisement confers not only self-worth and meaning within a society, but can encourage research and engagement with contemporary issues. To deny this right is to force 'the disinherited (to) sit idly by while others elect his civil leaders and while others choose the fiscal and governmental policies which will govern him and his family'1. Such an outcome conveys to prisoners that not only they committed a crime, but that they committed that crime because they were incapable of acting in a manner fit for society. Mistakes made by otherwise altogether rational, beneficial members of society should not be punished by preventing their say in how that society is run.

C3. Prisoners retain their right to basic human rights

Prisoners remain human beings. We should respect their human rights and should infringe upon their liberty as little as possible, except where it concerns the protection of the public. Denying prisoners the right to vote does not protect the public in any way and is therefore an unwarranted infringement upon the human rights of prisoners. As the U.S. Congress decreed in 1993, 'the right of citizens to vote is a fundamental right'1. Those rights which are unalienable should not be lost when one is incarcerated.


I would like to state that my opponent has plagiarized his whole entire argument from this website.

I don't have any interest in debating with someone who plagiarizes. Maybe you can save and justify yourself in the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


I did not plagiarize this I never said it was my own work plus I am a beginner so its a simple mistake I am not the only one

by continuing this debate it is a fundamental human right to vote doesn't matter if your in prison or not you have the right to vote for your freedoms.


"I did not plagiarize this I never said it was my own work plus I am a beginner so its a simple mistake I am not the only one "

[1] pla"gia"rize : copy from (someone) and pass it off as one's own.

You didn't give any credit to the author at all. You simply copied and pasted someone else's work. It's common sense. You are taught not to do this is school as well.

"I am a beginner so its a simple mistake I am not the only one "

So just because other people plagiarize, it gives you the right to do so as well?


When you get put into prison, you must faces the consequences for committing a crime. Prison isn't all fun and games. Just because "the right to bear arms" is a right, doesn't mean I can bring a gun to prison because I have the right to do so.
Prisoners are given basic rights which are needed to survive.

[2] All prisoners obtain the basic rights which are needed to survive, and sustain a reasonable way of life (meaning they have the necessities), despite their imprisonment. Most rights are taken away so the prison system can maintain order, discipline, and security. Any of the following rights, given to prisoners, can be taken away for that purpose:

- The right to not be punished cruelly or unusually.

- The right to due processes.

- The right to administrative appeals.

- The right to access the parole process (denied to those incarcerated in the Federal System)

- The right to practice religion freely.

- The right to equal protection (Fourteenth Amendment).

- The right to be notified of all charges against them.

- The right to receive a written statement explaining evidence used in reaching a disposition.

- The right to file a civil suit against another person.

- The right to medical treatment (both long and short term).

(Mental Patients/Prisoners) - The right to treatment that is both adequate and appropriate.

- The right to a hearing upon being relocated to the mental health facility.

- The right to personal property such as: cigarettes, stationary, a watch, cosmetics, and snack-food.

- The right to visitation.

- The right to food that would sustain an average person adequately.

- The right to bathe (for sanitation and health reasons).

Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
>Reported vote: Cowboy0108 // Moderator action: removed<

4 points to Pro (conduct, arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Lee did not deny the accusation.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Failure to explain conduct. (2) Incoherent argument point explanation. This explanation makes no sense to an objective reader, and even if it did, I doubt it establishes how Pro proved the resolution (that prisoners have the right to vote).
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Plagerism, so Con gets conduct for that. Since she is the only one to post arguments she also gets arguments and sources.
Vote Placed by kasmic 1 year ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to con as pro plagiarized. Same with spelling and grammar. Sources also to con as she at least cited them. I found the plagiarized arguement convincing. I agree that the views and needs of prisoners should be represented. I also buy contention 3 that voting is a fundamental right. Cons contention partially negates this citing the the right to bear arms as reasonably restricted in prison. Though the harm from not doing so seems obvious. I would have liked to see con argue the harm that would be a result of prisoners voting... Which was not argued. Ultimately a fundamental right and the concept of democracy convinces me prisoners should be able to vote. I am bothered to award points to a plagiarized argument but it was more convincing.