The Instigator
lin0913
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
tomschase
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Convicted ex-felons should be able to vote in all US elections.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
lin0913
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,087 times Debate No: 43019
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

lin0913

Pro

First round is acceptance.
Second round is constructive only (no rebuttals).
Third round is constructive and rebuttals.
Fourth round is rebuttals only (no new arguments).
Fifth round is summary and impact weighing.

Please keep content organized, appropriate, and respectful. Use correct grammar and spelling. Ad hominem will not be tolerated. A forfeit means a win for the other side. I will define in the second round and set up framework.

Thanks, and good luck!

-Lulu

P.S. Feel free to leave constructive criticism in the comments. Voters, give reasons for your decision.
tomschase

Con

I accept your challenge and will be arguing that convicted ex-felons should not be able to vote in all US elections. I look forward to debating with you :)
Debate Round No. 1
lin0913

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting. I look forward to an interesting debate.

My three main contentions are:
P1: Restricting felons from voting violates the Constitution.
P2: Felon disenfranchisement encourages racial discrimination.
P3: Ex-felons deserve the right to vote.

Definitions:
Felon = an individual who has committed a felony.
Felony = a crime punishable by heavy fines, jail/prison time for more than 10 years, and/or death.
Disenfranchisement = restriction of an American citizen from voting.

FRAMEWORK: The topic strictly states ex-felons, meaning felons released from prison, parole, and/or probation.

P1: Restricting ex-felons from voting violates the Constitution.
Voting is a right given to all US citizens by the Constitution. Since an ex-felon has been fulfilling their duties as citizens, they must be able to enjoy the full rights of citizens, which includes the right to vote.
Also, ex-felon disenfranchisement violates the 8th Amendment.
According to the 8th Amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
According to the Atkins v. Virginia Supreme Court case: The 8th Amendment "succinctly prohibits excessive sanctions."
Disenfranchising an ex-felon is an excessive sanction in the sense that it extends the punishment beyond the felon"s sentence.
Furthermore, the 15th Amendment is violated by ex-felon disenfranchisement.
According to Section 1 of the 15th Amendment: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Since ex-felons had already been released from prison, according to the 15th Amendment, they cannot be denied the right to vote.
We can conclude that ex-felon disenfranchisement is unconstitutional.

P2: Felon disenfranchisement encourages racial discrimination.
A disproportionate percentage of convicted felons are a minority race.
According to the Guardian: The people overwhelmingly affected by felony disenfranchisement laws are minorities. Only 2.5%, 5.8 million people in the voting age population were made ineligible to vote by felon voting laws in 2010. That percentage tripled to 7.7% among African-Americans. Another way of putting this is that 38%, 2.2 million, of all those stopped from voting by felon restrictions are African-American. About a million African-American ex-felons are disenfranchised.
According to the Washington Post: In Virginia, Kentucky, and Florida, 1 in 5 African Americans are affected by felon disenfranchisement laws.
This is way more than the amount of Caucasian individuals affected by the same laws in the same states, thus creating an imbalance at the ballot box. This creates discrimination against minorities, especially when they have the potential to change the outcome of a race.
According to the Georgetown Law Journal: Felon disenfranchisement has tremendous effects on the political landscape - leading researchers report that felon disenfranchisement "may have altered the outcome of as many as seven recent U.S. Senate elections and one presidential election."
When

P3: Ex-felons deserve the right to vote.
A felon is only released from prison, parole, and/or probation after they have abided by the law, paid off their fines and/or served their sentence. Ex-felons have already paid off their debt to society. Inflicting disenfranchisement upon them is unfair. They deserve the right to vote, no matter what they've done in the past. Emphasis on the PAST.
Many other countries allow felons to vote.
According to Think Progress: 21 out of 45 countries surveyed have NO restrictions on felon voting at all. Only 5 out of 45 countries bar felons from voting after they've served their sentence.
These countries are doing quite well with felons being able to voice their opinions in politics.
According to the 2012 Sentencing Project: Nearly 6 million Americans are barred from voting due to their previous conviction. This means that 1 out of 40 adults in this country cannot vote. America is supposed to be a democracy, but how is it democratic when so many otherwise eligible citizens can't vote due to crimes they've committed and have already been punished for? These people deserve their full rights. They deserve to vote.

Thank you, this concludes my argument. The spotlight is now on my opponent, to whom I wish the best of luck.
tomschase

Con

I will attempt to construct my arguments in a similar fashion in order to keep the format consistent

Contentions:
P1: Many felons return to prison within 3 years for the same or a different crime
P2: It would not be fair to citizens who have never been convicted of a felony
P3: Felons should gain the right to vote, by proving that their judgement is valid

Definitions:
Recidivism- Measured by criminal acts that resulted in the rearrest, reconviction, or return to prison with or without a new sentence during a three-year period following the prisoner's release.

P1:
With many felons returning to prison within three years, how are we to be able to have faith in their good judgement? These are obviously not simple crimes, and if so many return to a life of crime as soon as they get out, then why should they have the right to vote? The effectiveness of our criminal justice system is for another debate, but as it is now, its not actually correcting anybody, its simply detaining them. Here is some interesting data: "Released prisoners with the highest rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%), those in prison for possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%), and those in prison for possessing, using, or selling illegal weapons (70.2%)." This would allow all of these felons, most of which return to prison within several years for the same crime, to vote in elections. There is more information on Recidivism rates here [1].

P2:
Why should citizens who have been convicted of a felon have the same right as those who have never been convicted of one? Certainly they are not of equal value to society when one was thrown in prison for being a danger to society. If these felons are at risk of recidivism, of which many of them are, then I don't quite think their judgement is valid enough to allow them to vote in elections that could effect the rest of society.

P3:
Perhaps there should be a system in place for convicted felons to earn the right to vote. I feel that this would be a lot better than simply giving them the right to vote once they had served their time. This would ensure that we do not have voters with compromised judgements, and that they cannot vote before proving that they are able to be productive members of society. Otherwise, they may base their vote on a topic of interest, such as the legalization of a certain drug, etc.

[1] http://www.bjs.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
lin0913

Pro

An excellent opening argument put forth by my opponent.

My opponent's contentions were
P1: Many felons return to prison within 3 years for the same or a different crime
P2: It would not be fair to citizens who have never been convicted of a felony
P3: Felons should gain the right to vote, by proving that their judgement is valid

I'll start by refuting them.

P1: Many felons return to prison within 3 years for the same or different crime
It may be true that many ex-felons are convicted again, however, my opponent fails to realize that a felon is usually put on parole and/or probation for 3 or more years after being released from prison. These felons are allowed to vote if and only if they are released from all kinds of probation/parole.

P2: It would not be fair to citizens who have never been convicted of a felony
My opponent claims that giving citizens and ex-felons on even ground is somehow unfair to the group that did not commit a crime (normal citizens). However, the whole point of letting a felon out of prison is to try and let them blend back into normal life, so to speak. But how can they blend back if they forever have a black shadow looming over them? It would not be "fair" to hand a prisoner a lifelong sentence if they've already served their time, but this is what my opponent wants to do.

P3: Felons should gain the right to vote by proving that their judgement is valid
The main point here is "gain the right to vote" not HAVE the right to vote. By serving their sentence and fulfilling their civic duties, felons gain their full rights. Also, I'd like to request that my opponent provides evidence for this point and put forth a more detailed solution. How will they earn the right to vote?

Having refuted all my opponent's points, I'll move on to my own:
P1: Restricting felons from voting violates the Constitution.
P2: Felon disenfranchisement encourages racial discrimination.
P3: Ex-felons deserve the right to vote.

P1: Restricting felons from voting violates the Constitution.
I've proven in the previous round that not just one, but multiple amendments are violated.
1. The 8th Amendment -- Disenfranchisement for LIFE falls under the category of "excessive sanctions." The prisoner has already served his sentence. He's supposed to be free now, right? But the government still sanctions him on the right to vote. This is clearly a violation of the felon's 8th amendment rights.
2. The 15th Amendment -- Disenfranchisement after release from prison/probation/parole is like denying the citizen the right on account of "previous condition of servitude." The main point here is PREVIOUS condition. It is (quite obviously) true that a ex-felon has been in prison, and I'm not arguing for them to be allowed to vote FROM prison. But after they're out, logically their right should be returned to them by the 15th amendment.

P2: Felon disenfranchisement encourages racial discrimination.
When so many people of a minority race are not allowed to vote, this clearly creates an imbalance between races. America is known as the "Great Melting Pot" of diversity, but how can we continue to boast this if one minority is a million people down at the ballot box while others go on almost like normal? An overwhelming majority of ex-felons are African American or Hispanic. Not only is this unfair, it actually bolsters crime later on -- it backfires, doing the opposite of what it's supposed to do.
According to USA Today: The right to vote helps people get more educated on issues they care about.
Also, people who can't voice their opinion in the law might resort -- AGAIN -- to breaking it.
Sentencing Project: An overwhelming 78% of all repeated offenses had been disenfranchised.
This creates an endless cycle: person commits crime, person can't vote, person commits crime again, person still can't vote. We need to prevent things like this from happening by allowing ex-felons to vote.

P3: Ex-felons deserve the right to vote.
A felon is essentially a person who makes a mistake. True, a BIG mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. They are still human beings and part of our society, like it or not. They could be limited on the issues they are allowed to vote on, like bills and laws, but they should be allowed to vote in elections. Ex-felons are still affected by the next President. They are still affected by their next Senator. If they're going to follow the law, they should have a say in who makes the law. People can't be persecuted for the past.

This concludes my argument for this round. Thank you, I look forward to my opponent's response :)
tomschase

Con

First I will begin by responding to your refutation of my main points

P1: Many felons return to prison within 3 years of the same or another crime
Although I was not able to find data for the rate at which ex-felons return to prison after 3 years, I'm sure it is still a significant percentage, especially after being let off of parole or probation, where they are no longer monitored. The simple fact that many ex-felons are convicted of another crime should be proof enough that all ex-felons should not be allowed the right to vote.

P2: It would not be fair to citizens who have never been convicted of a felony
You are correct in your statement that " the whole point of letting a felon out of prison is to try and let them blend back into normal life, so to speak". However, by refusing ex-felons the right to vote, are we really hindering their ability to assimilate back into society? I don't think so because this right does not define who is a member of society and who is not, nor does it prevent an ex-felon from doing other things such as getting a job, or driving a car. So the daily interactions involved in "normal life" are not effected by an ex-felons inability to vote.

P3: Felons should gain the right to vote by proving that their judgement is valid
By serving a full sentence in jail, should an ex-felon really regain the right to vote? Who is to say that serving a full sentence in prison is only a part of the punishment committing a felony, and that an ex-felons inability to vote serves to remind him/her that a life of crime is not worth it, and that they will have to prove that they are productive members of society to regain this right. I think that once a felon gets off of probation or parole that he/she can choose to be evaluated by a psychologist to see whether or not his/her judgement is valid in order to regain the right to vote. However, this would be something that our lawmakers would decide upon so I'm sure a reasonable solution could be agreed on.

Now I will move on to your arguments and refute them

P1: Restricting felons from voting violates the Constitution.
If a US citizen commits a felony, isn't that sufficient means to revoke the right to vote? Also, restricting a person from voting does not seem to be a cruel or unusual punishment, because it does not prevent them from performing daily functions of life. So as I mentioned earlier, the right to vote does not effect an ex-felons ability to function in society and in no way directly harms him/her (indirectly perhaps). As for the 15th amendment, I would interpret it to mean that a right should not be refused as a result of a previous condition of servitude, but would the right be refused as a result of the felony committed?

P2: Felon disenfranchisement encourages racial discrimination.
Well I would like to point out that African Americans and Hispanics already make up a minority in this country, and so your claim that felon disenfranchisement "creates an imbalance between races" would be true regardless. Its not as if white people vote for one thing and minorities vote for another, so I see it as one million people simply not voting, and do not assume that most of them would have voted for X person due to the color of their skin. That is almost like saying that if we let all prisoners vote, the minorities would have helped Obama win and therefore we are restricting their ability to vote in an attempt to sway election results. Simply not true, for all we know, half of them supported Obama and the other half Romney, so skin color does not determine how a person will most vote. You claim that "people who can't voice their opinion in the law might resort -- AGAIN -- to breaking it." Relating to my first point, if they would break the law a second time because their individual opinion
was not heard, then they probably should not have the right to vote. That would be like if I smoked weed even though its illegal because I support its legalization (I don't smoke, but the war on drugs is expensive and ineffective). My individual opinion about the legality of weed was not heard, but does that mean that I can proceed to break the law? Absolutely not. I'd like to point out that although ex-felons cannot vote, they are still able to do a lot of other things such as organize a peaceful protest, or petition for change, etc. This would still allow them a chance to voice their opinion.

P3: Felons deserve a right to vote
I don't believe that they deserve this right until they can prove that they can handle the right responsibly (as I have pointed out in my third point). You are right, the next president will effect the lives of them as well. However, the president is meant to make decisions in the best interest of the majority, with the goal of producing a solution that satisfies both if possible. Assuming that felons could influence the outcome of an election, which is very unlikely, wouldn't it be detrimental to the majority? It just does not make much sense for people who have made a "BIG mistake in life", as you put it, to be able to influence the outcome of an election that will effect all of us.

Thank you, I patiently await your response :)
Debate Round No. 3
lin0913

Pro

I'll respond to my opponent's defenses of his main points.

P1: Many felons return to prison within 3 years of the same or another crime.
Does it make sense to take away the rights of a citizen just because of something they MIGHT do? Why not give all of them life sentences while you're at it? Obviously the answer is that they don't deserve a sentence for life. It's too big a punishment, However, isn't this what disenfranchisement is? It's inability to vote -- for LIFE -- just because of something they might or might not do. Is this fair?

P2: It would not be fair to citizens who have never been convicted of a felony.
Citizens are not on even ground with felons. For example any person with a criminal record (ex-felons fall under this category) will get heavier fines and punishment than a normal person if they were caught shoplifting or exceeded the speed limit. It's also harder for convicts to get a job, because (admit it) no one wants to hire a criminal no matter how changed they are.

P3: Felons should gain the right to vote by proving that their judgement is valid.
If disenfranchisement is a punishment, then the disenfranchised convict is not an ex-felon. Since we're debating ex-felons, the point about disenfranchisement being a punishment is invalid. My opponent also argues that a felon needs to prove that his/her judgement is valid, however, voting is very subjective and varies from person to person. There is no such thing as a "valid" vote in an election. No politician is going to go up there and say, "We should legalize all types of drugs and drop the smoking age completely." We all know that's completely crazy and the millions of non-felons in the US are going to vote against it. A felon's vote won't cause something really crazy to happen, but their vote will matter when it comes to something like the Affordable Care Act.

Now I'll defend my main points. I will be splitting the defenses into A), B), C), etc. since my opponent made multiple refutations to each point.

P1: Restricting felons from voting violates the Constitution.
A) "If a US citizen commits a felony, isn't that sufficient means to revoke the right to vote?"
Actually, I do agree that a convicted felon shouldn't be able to vote from prison, jail, or while on parole or probation. But after the sentence is over, the right should be returned along with the felon's liberty, freedom of speech, etc. However, since we're debating ex-felons here, my opponent's point is invalid.
B) "Also, restricting a person from voting does not seem to be a cruel or unusual punishment..."
I never said this. I said ex-felon disenfranchisement violated the part of the 8th amendment about excessive sanctions.
C) "As for the 15th amendment, I would interpret it to mean that a right should not be refused as a result of a previous condition of servitude, but would the right be refused as a result of the felony committed?"
Again, we're debating ex-felons, not convicted felons in general. Perhaps disenfranchisement could be a form of capital punishment, but once the felon is free and served all sentences, he/she can't have the right to vote taken away.

P2: Felon disenfranchisement encourages racial discrimination.
A) "...African Americans and Hispanics already make up a minority in this country, and so your claim that felon disenfranchisement "creates an imbalance between races" would be true regardless."
The problem is that even though these races make up a minority of the country's total population, they occupy the majority of prison cells. If felon disenfranchisement didn't exist, the imbalance would be gone.
B) "It's not as if white people vote for one thing and minorities vote for another, so I see it as one million people simply not voting, and do not assume that most of them would have voted for X person due to the color of their skin."
It's not just race, it's class and socio-economic status. Race and class are inseparable because minorities make up much of the lower income class, more so than the majority race. Overwhelmingly, the people who commit crimes are from the lower income class, and these are also the people who tend to vote for Democrats. Wealthier people tend to vote for Republicans. Indirectly (please note this statement is not trying to discriminate) Caucasians tend to vote for one candidate while minorities vote for the other.
C) "...If they would break the law a second time because their individual opinion was not heard, then they probably should not have the right to vote."
Then how do you explain the countries that do not disenfranchise ex-felons? These countries have a way lower crime rate than the US and other ex-felon disenfranchisement countries. Obviously, a felon's right to voice his/her own opinion prevents him/her from breaking the law.
D) "I'd like to point out that although ex-felons cannot vote, they are still able to do a lot of other things such as organize a peaceful protest, or petition for change, etc."
Remember, the topic states ELECTIONS. Not laws or policies. Felons need to vote on who leads their country for the next 4 years of their lives. Felons can't petition for a new president. How do you suggest to replace the right to vote in elections?

P3: Felons deserve a right to vote.
A) "I don't believe that they deserve this right until they can prove that they can handle the right responsibly"
My opponent seems to think that if felons are allowed to vote, they'll somehow vote to legalize marijuana or something, but again the topic states elections not issues. The most felons will base their vote on is ObamaCare and other extremely controversial issues because no candidate is going to come out and say they want to legalize marijuana.
B) "Assuming that felons could influence the outcome of an election, which is very unlikely, wouldn't it be detrimental to the majority?"
My opponent has asked me a direct question. My answer is that no, it will not be a detriment, because again I'm arguing for them to vote in elections, not on bills or policies or issues. They make up part of the population and their voices need to be heard. This is actually better for the majority as there are more opinions on the election rather than just one group.

Thanks, I look forward to the next round.
tomschase

Con

I'll begin by responding to refutals

P1: Many felons return to prison within 3 years of the same or another crime.

You asked "Does it make sense to take away the rights of a citizen just because of something they MIGHT do?". To that question, I respond by saying that this right would be taken away because of something an ex-felon has done in the past and is LIKELY to do again (according to statistics, I know that not every ex-felon is going to be convicted again, but a majority are). I believe that the punishment of disenfranchisement lasts for life simply because its meant to prevent citizens from committing a felony, and thus give them an incentive not to become a felon.

P2: It would not be fair to citizens who have never been convicted of a felony.

I think that it is perfectly justified to implement bigger consequences for those who have broken the law in the past, in an attempt to prevent them from doing so again. However, if a criminal is determined to start a new life as a law abiding citizen (who would not be shoplifting or anything of the sort anyways), then who is to say that they are not able to find work? Sure, it may be more difficult, but not impossible, and that is just one of the social consequences of breaking the law the first time. If you wanted to become the next CEO of a major corporation, you probably should not have committed a felony. So obviously ex-felons are barred from high ranking positions, and that's because of society, but there are plenty of jobs out there if one is looking for them and is determined to work hard.

P3: Felons should gain the right to vote by proving that their judgement is valid.

The life long consequences of breaking the law do not mean that a felon cannot become an ex-felon, that's absurd. Once a felon is released from prison, he/she can pursue anything he/she wants, and the inability to vote will not directly effect that freedom (once again, perhaps indirectly). Clearly somebody who has committed a felony has at one time had an invalid judgement, and so, should we really be required to allow them to vote if they are still in a similar state of mind? Would we want a mentally ill person voting? Not an irrelevant comparison, as both may have distorted views of what is right and wrong. Thus the implementation of some sort of psychological evaluation would be enough to confirm a certain level of mental stability and reasoning that is acceptable. Clearly somebody with a reasoning that its ok to kill or steal should not be allowed to vote in elections that influence all of us as a whole. Their judgements and by extension opinions are invalid.

Now on to refuting your points

P1: Restricting felons from voting violates the Constitution.

A) I meant that if a US citizen commits a felony, it is justifiable to revoke their right to vote for life (I'll explain why later)
B) Although revoking the right to vote lasts forever, I do not believe it to be an excessive sanction either. Once again, individually, the right to vote does not effect normal life in society, and you can function perfectly fine without it.
C) Here I was saying that an ex-felon's right to vote was revoked simply because they broke the law, not because of the previous condition of servitude itself. The mere fact that they were in prison does not effect the right to vote, its the felony that was committed.

P2: Felon disenfranchisement encourages racial discrimination.
A) Your statement that minorities " occupy the majority of prison cells" is correct. However, even if they could vote, the imbalance would still very much be there. Also, just because many prisoners are minorities does not make it acceptable to give them the right to vote, based merely on that fact. They did something wrong, and the color of their skin has nothing to do with that (although it may be linked to socio-economic background). This is implemented across the board, so even though many ex-felons are minorities, white ex-felons do not have the ability to vote either, and so the law does not discriminate against race.
B) You said "Overwhelmingly, the people who commit crimes are from the lower income class, and these are also the people who tend to vote for Democrats". While this may be true, we cannot assume that they would vote for any one candidate, and so revoking an ex-felons ability to vote cannot be seen as an attempt to suppress Democratic voters. That would be openly admitting that most ex-felons are Democrats due to the fact that they are minorities.
C) You asked "Then how do you explain the countries that do not disenfranchise ex-felons?" Well I have found no data that would suggest that crime rates and disenfranchisement have any correlation at all. If I had to guess, I would say these countries have a lower crime rate because of their social safety nets and superior public education systems, but I honestly do not know.
D) I did not suggest that ex-felons replace the right to vote, I was simply implying that there are other ways to express an opinion other than voting. According to your argument, ex-felons resort to breaking the law if their opinions are not heard, but expressing your opinion can be done through many other ways, and not just through voting.

P3: Felons deserve a right to vote.

A) How are we supposed to gauge whether or not an ex-felon is capable of using this right responsibly? He/she may vote for a candidate with many flaws because he/she does not have the judgement necessary to see or even weigh these things against possible benefits that the candidate may provide to him/her specifically.
B) By voting for the next president, ex-felons indirectly decide which policies and bills are implemented or signed into law. Although they do provide a larger group that is voting, are every single one of their opinions valid enough to be able to effect us all? This is why some kind of evaluation should first be done to ensure that ex-felons are able to reason, and subsequently weigh pro's and con's of candidates in elections.

Those were some very strong arguments you put up, I look forward to the final round :)
Debate Round No. 4
lin0913

Pro

Now into the summary and impact round!
No new arguments and refutes as this is the last round :) thanks

To summarize, my points were
P1: Restricting felons from voting violates the Constitution.
P2: Felon disenfranchisement encourages racial discrimination.
P3: Ex-felons deserve the right to vote.

Ex-felons cannot be barred from voting on legal premises since disenfranchisement for life violates the Constitution. It violates the excessive sanctions part of the 8th amendment as well as the 15th amendment. America needs to defend everyone's voting rights, but how can we fulfill this if ex-felons are still not allowed to vote? Everyone is supposed to be part of the American Dream. We all should have an equal opportunity at life, but ex-felon disenfranchisement violates this.
Voting still is a big part of society. Ex-felons are affected by the results of elections. They should be able to have a say in who leads their country. Once a felon starts fulfilling his/her civic duties, they should have their full rights returned to them.
On top of all moral values, ex-felons who actually have a say in their government are less prone to committing crime again. Since this reduces crime rates, it only further proves that ex-felons SHOULD be able to vote.

What this debate really comes down to is weighing my opponent's main points (bad judgement and potential dangers of felons recommitting crimes) against the simple reality that ex-felons are people who abide by the law and deserve their full rights. If a person has bad judgement, does that mean he can be denied his Constitutional rights? The fact remains that ex-felon disenfranchisement is illegal. Furthermore, the past is the past; we cannot continue to punish ex-felons for mistakes they made long ago. They are already on lower ground than normal citizens. Also, if an ex-felon has bad judgement, he would not have gotten out of parole or probation -- felons have to be reviewed to get fully free. The potential dangers of felons recommitting crimes are not relevant because studies show that ex-felons who can vote are way less likely to commit crime. This is what sets me over my opponent. He has failed to prove the morality and legality behind disenfranchisement, but I've proven the moral and legal reasons behind allowing ex-felons to vote.

I suggest voters cast their ballot for my side because I've proven convicted felons released from prison/parole/probation should be able to vote for both legal and moral reasons. I've refuted all of my opponent's refutations/contentions effectively (his refutations were quite repetitive and can be refuted by my rebuttals in previous rounds) and provided more detailed evidence. Overall, I have presented a stronger case. Thank you.

Also, I'd like to say thank you to my opponent for an excellent, engaging debate. Your arguments were very well thought out. It was fun debating with you :)
tomschase

Con

My main points were:
P1: Many felons return to prison within 3 years for the same or a different crime
P2: It would not be fair to citizens who have never been convicted of a felony
P3: Felons should gain the right to vote, by proving that their judgement is valid

Statistically speaking, many ex-felons return to prison after they have been convicted of a felony. If many of them return to prison, even after they have been let off on parole, it can be said that these people have invalid judgements and are not capable of making informed and educated decisions. Therefore they indirectly effect citizens who are able to weigh the consequences of their decisions, and should not be afforded this right unless they can prove that their judgement is valid. Once a person commits a felony, it should not be assumed that he/she is of a stable mental state when he/she is released from prison, and as such the right to vote is no longer a right but a privilege. I have proven that revoking this right does not constitute an "excessive sanction" and does not in any way violate the constitution. For these reasons I urge you to vote con!

I would also like to thank my opponent for an engaging debate and applaud his arguments. I wish you the best of luck :)
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by ruiran0326 3 years ago
ruiran0326
tomschase, I advise you to supply valid evidence for your second and third contentions, as pure reasoning weakens your case.
Posted by neilk787 3 years ago
neilk787
GG nore lulu, I love ur comment replies and you could be any of the three speakers...
Posted by lin0913 3 years ago
lin0913
Please ignore the rogue "When" at the end of my 2nd contention... don't know how that got there.
Posted by lin0913 3 years ago
lin0913
In reply to zxcvzxcvzxcv,
It's great that you think so, however, the comments section is not exactly for debating. If you wish to debate me, accept the debate. Thank you.
Posted by zxcvzxcvzxcv 3 years ago
zxcvzxcvzxcv
They should NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE in ANY election.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by neilk787 3 years ago
neilk787
lin0913tomschaseTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was clearly more respectful and had better spelling and grammer. Pro had their arguments more organized and concise making it clear for the judge and broke it down. There were not many sources used but Pro used more sources that were more reliable.
Vote Placed by ruiran0326 3 years ago
ruiran0326
lin0913tomschaseTied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate was great, and both sides had extremely convincing arguments - however, the sources point has to go to Pro.