The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Allowing prisoners to vote

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,467 times Debate No: 63094
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Nfl rules applied. Keep it clean! Have fun! Will share link to rules if needed.


This person ignores my PMs.

I choose to ignore the round 1.
Debate Round No. 1


Here are some links to the rules. It is for ld of Lincoln-Douglas debate. (Page 9)

1: First let us see what everyday people have to say.
-"People need to stop thinking about themselves Of course prisoners should have the right to vote! A convicted criminal or not, they are still members of our society. To say they no longer deserve a voice is not only inconsiderate but selfish. Give me one good reason why prisoners shouldn't be able to vote? I guarantee ever answer will be an selfish excuse. Just because their opinion may not align with yours, doesn't mean that it should be stripped from them. Prisoners are put under the protection of the government and therefore have the full right to be able to have a say on who protects them."
-"YES They Should!!!!!! Some are good they just made a mistake, so why shouldn't they decide on their future when they come out?If they don't vote it would be very unfair. After all, they are human no matter what they have done they are still citizens. They have human rights and two wrongs doesn't make a right! If you do let them vote, when they come out they will probably not commit to a crime or break the law because they respect their prime minister! They have their rights and we have ours too! They should because its like saying you cant play this board game because you cheated in one 10 years ago!"
-"YES In regards to the person's statement saying "they broke the law, therefore they don't deserve the law" argument... if that is the case, do you suggest that we don't provide them with lawyers, judges, jury, etc. in which to try and convict them? Your argument suggests that we should simply throw people in jail, swallow the key, and let them rot. This, while these people may violated human rights and law, deserve the equal right to be judged under our culturally unique system of law... and pay for their crimes dearly."
Read more of what others have to say @

2: Here are top 10 reasons why inmates should be allowed to vote.
A: "We let ex-convicts marry, reproduce, buy beer, own property and drive. They don't lose their freedom of religion, their right against self-incrimination or their right not to have soldiers quartered in their homes in time of war. But in many places, the assumption is that they can't be trusted to help choose our leaders... If we thought criminals could never be reformed, we wouldn't let them out of prison in the first place."
B: "In many states, felony disenfranchisement laws are still on the books. And the current scope of these policies is not only too significant to ignore " it is also too unjust to tolerate...
And although well over a century has passed since post-Reconstruction states used these measures to strip African Americans of their most fundamental rights, the impact of felony disenfranchisement on modern communities of color remains both disproportionate and unacceptable. Throughout America, 2.2 million black citizens " or nearly one in 13 African-American adults " are banned from voting because of these laws. In three states " Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia " that ratio climbs to one in five."
C:"There are three potential constitutional bases for Congress's authority to enfranchise non-incarcerated offenders for federal elections :
- Congress's supervisory power over federal elections, rooted in Article 1, Sec. 4;
- Congress's enforcement power under Section Five of the Fourteenth Amendment, and
- Congress's enforcement power under Section Two of the Fifteenth Amendment."
D: "It is plain to anyone reading the Voting Rights Act that it applies to all 'voting qualification[s].' And it is equally plain that [New York Election Law] " 5-106 [which denies the vote to incarcerated felons and felons on parole] disqualifies a group of people from voting. These two propositions should constitute the entirety of our analysis. Section 2 of the Act by its unambiguous terms subjects felony disenfranchisement and all other voting qualifications to its coverage.
The duty of a judge is to follow the law, not to question its plain terms. I do not believe that Congress wishes us to disregard the plain language of any statute or to invent exceptions to the statutes it has created. The majority's 'wealth of persuasive evidence' that Congress intended felony disenfranchisement laws to be immune from scrutiny... includes not a single legislator actually saying so. But even if Congress had doubts about the wisdom of subjecting felony disenfranchisement laws to the results test of " 2, I trust that Congress would prefer to make any needed changes itself, rather than have courts do so for it."
E: "The Eighth Amendment 'succinctly prohibits 'excessive' sanctions,' and demands that 'punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to the offense'... Thus, the states that continue to exclude all felons permanently are outliers, both within the United States and in the world."
F: "[T]he argument that allowing prisoners to vote would be costly and impractical is ethically unjustifiable. Similarly, the fact that prisoners lose many freedoms does not imply they should lose all their civil rights.
Denying prisoners the right to vote is likely to undermine respect for the rule of law... Allowing prisoners to vote, by contrast, may strengthen their social ties and commitment to the common good, thus promoting legally responsible participation in civil society."
G: "I believe that the commission of a crime must have a tough and just consequence...
I also believe that once an offender has fully paid his debt to society, he deserves a second chance...
It is a mark of good government to restore felons' rights and provide them the opportunity to succeed and become law-abiding citizens again...
Therefore, I am amending the criteria used to adjudicate non-violent felons applications for restoration of rights. With these changes, Virginia will have an automatic restoration of rights process..."
H: "People should not be barred from voting solely because they are unable to pay back their fines, fees and interest. If we truly want people convicted of felonies to re-engage with society, become rehabilitated, and feel a part of a broader community (thus creating incentives not to recidivate) then our State should do everything possible to re-incorporate these individuals into mainstream society. In terms of being a just and even handed society, it is not fair if thousands of people are unable to re-gain their voting rights because they are poor... People who are wealthy or have access to money are able to repay their financial debts and poor people (the vast majority of people who have felony convictions) are not. This is an unjust system."
I: "Despite its initial attractiveness, the use of social contract theory to defend felon disenfranchisement is in fact specious. Under a regime of disenfranchisement, an individual who breaches the social contract continues to be bound by the terms of the contract even after being stripped of the ability to take part in political decisions. However, contract doctrine does not allow an injured party to force the breacher to perform its contractual duties without the injured party performing its own. The contract can be terminated or the injured party can accept the performance, but the injured party cannot simply pick and choose which terms will remain and which will not...
Social contract theory and the objectives of punishment fail to provide a satisfactory explanation for the denial of one of the most fundamental rights to millions of citizens."
J:"[In New York] ex-felons who are registered overwhelmingly register as Democrats. Of those discharge records that match to at least one voter file record, 61.5 percent match only to Democratic voter records. In contrast, 25.5 percent match only to voter records with no affiliation or an affiliation with a minor party, while 9 percent match only to Republican voter records...
...[R]egistered ex-felons in New Mexico tend to be overwhelmingly Democrat: 51.9 percent match to only registered Democrats, 18.9 percent match to only registered Republicans, 21.7 percent match to only individuals registered neither as Democrats nor Republicans, and 7.5 percent match to multiple individuals who affiliate with different parties..."

3: Many countries restrict the right of those sentenced to imprisonment to vote in elections. For example, convicted prisoners are automatically banned from voting in Armenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Luxemburg, Romania, Russia and the United Kingdom. In Australia, prisoners are only entitled to vote if they are serving a sentence of less than three years. Eighteen European states, including Spain, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland, place no formal prohibition on prisoners voting. In practice

4: During 2002 Canada gave prisoners the right to vote. On January 4, 2010, a federal appeals court ruled that Washington State prisoners should be allowed to vote to ensure that racial minorities are protected under the Voting Rights Act, as African Americans make up 3% of Washington's general population, but are 28% of its prison population. The lawsuit that was ruled on contended that as non whites make up a large percentage of the prison population, the State law prohibiting inmates and parolees from voting is illegal as it dilutes the electoral clout of minorities. The Sentencing Project estimates that due to their legal status, 5.3 million Americans who would otherwise be entitled to vote do not have that right.
laws barring prisoners and parolees from voting violate the Voting Rights Act.
Comment,?, or concern?


Issue of Plagiarism

The entire R2 was pretty much copy and pasted. Regardless of the fact that Pro admitted this and provided links to the places he pasted from, it is still a shock that not a single argument of Pro's was his/her own.

My Rebuttal

"People need to stop thinking about themselves, thus prisoners should have the right to vote!"

This is a baseless assertion that actually goes against the entire philosophy of democracy. [] In a democracy, where people vote on certain matters to reach a conclusion based on what the majority wants, it is supposed to be every person looking out for themselves (or what they believe to be best) and what the majority wants will inevitably become the conclusion.

"Prisoners are still members of our society."

A prisoner, in the context of this debate, one in custody for doing a crime that relinquished their rights to be a citizen ( Thus, they are not functioning as members of society until they are freed.

"Give me one good reason why prisoners shouldn't be able to vote?"

If you have proven that you fail to understand the law by breaking it, or that you care so little that you'd be willing to do so then you have no right to be voting on who runs the show regarding it.

"So why shouldn't they decide on their future when they come out?"

This is debate is about convicts only. Ex-Cons were never mentioned in R1 or the resolution.

The majority of your remaining debating is aobut Ex-convicts... This is not the debate at all.

In actual fact unless you make a single original argument of your own, I have won this debate since I'm the only one actually debating my own thoughts.

Debate Round No. 2


1: G2;plājəG6;rīz/
gerund or present participle: plagiarizing
take (the work or an idea of someone else) and pass it off as one's own.
synonyms:copy, infringe the copyright of, pirate, steal, poach, appropriate; More
copy from (someone) and pass it off as one's own.
A not plagarizing if I give full credit to who wrote the story. I am not taking these ideas for my own.

2: Well these inmates have broken the law. Yes I give you points for nosing what an image is. The fact still remains however that they should still be able to vote on what their life will be like when they get out.

3: ""People need to stop thinking about themselves, thus prisoners should have the right to vote!"
"This is a baseless assertion that actually goes against the entire philosophy of democracy. [] In a democracy, where people vote on certain matters to reach a conclusion based on what the majority wants, it is supposed to be every person looking out for themselves (or what they believe to be best) and what the majority wants will inevitably become the conclusion." From your own rebuttal. This just supports democracy. Prisoners get to vote. So this is not against democracy.

4; yes I have all these as original thoughts. The next round will be a combination of my thoughts and others' thoughts. Yes. Will give them full credit on their part. So therefore it is you, v.s. me and other people in this world. I have the strength of numbers and professionals on my side. So therefore seems like you haven't won yet.


vwv forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Tmdog3758 forfeited this round.


vwv forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by JonDanzig 3 years ago
In the UK all convicted prisoners are denied the right to vote.

But the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Britain's blanket ban on voting for all convicted prisoners is a breach their human rights. Allowing only some prisoners to vote would be ok, states the Court; but refusing the vote to all convicted prisoners is unacceptable.

My view? One of the most important contributions citizens can make to society is to take part in our democracy and vote. It doesn't make any sense to me that removing the obligation of a civic duty (i.e. voting) should be considered a "punishment".

So, I don"t believe that a complete, blanket ban on all prisoners from voting is useful or beneficial to society. If we believe reform is possible, then voting should not only be a right, but actively encouraged among those prisoners who will one day return to our communities.

See my full commentary about this at: "Should prisoners be allowed to vote?"
Posted by Batman74574 3 years ago
They should
Posted by benjaminimuffin 3 years ago
Support it!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Imperfiect 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: ff