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Ex-felons who commited minor crimes or crimes at a early age should be allowed to vote

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/13/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 693 times Debate No: 65095
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)




Clarification: Minor as in like, a crime as a child, minor theft, driving away from a car wreck out of fear, basically anything that isn't huge like rape, or murder. Childhood crime could be minor theft.
1. Try not to forfeit.

2. have fun

3. go by resolution


Crime-an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.
Utilitarianism- The greatest benefit for the greatest number of people
A lot of people would think that I am being close minded in believing that ex-felons should not be allowed to vote. Well I am here today to prove that I am not. These children need to bear the punishment of their actions. Better not, they need to be the face of the consequence of crime. I think we can all agree that crime is a horrible, unethical thing to do in a society. But we need to convince these children of it too. These children should know that there privileges will be taken away, and there voting rights will be taken away. I am looking at it from a utilitarian view. This will be the greater benefit for the new generations.
Debate Round No. 1


Intro: Voting is a right that everyone should have, voting allows people to express how they feel and different opinions and this is a belief that is an important American value to have. Since ex-felons are citizens and since they have served their time and went through all the requirements to get out of their punishment they have every right to vote.
Also not allowing criminals to vote will not change the way they act or help them become productive citizens so there is no benefit from it anyway.
1.Broadness of a felon/some committed crimes as kids
A felon could be a man who raped and murdered someone in cold blood, but also could be a young man who, after crashing his car into another, drove off out of fear. A felony conviction doesn't automatically make someone so bad of a person that they shouldn't be allowed to vote. Also some committed a crime or action as a kid or teenager and since then they have changed or learned from it, so their right to vote should be given back.
2.Taxation without representation
"If you are free and required to pay taxes, which funds the salaries of government officials, then you should have the right to vote for those who will receive those salaries.
"America was founded on the concept of no taxation without representation. If felons have paid their debt to society and did the time for their crimes, they should be allowed to vote. They shouldn't be required to pay sales tax and income tax without the ability to influence governmental policy through the ballot.
3.Some claim that some ex-felons go back to jail
" shows that 50% of felons who could not secure any employment during the time of their supervised release (generally two-to-five years) committed a new crime or violated the terms of their release and were sent back to prison. However, an astonishing 93% of those who were able to secure employment during the entirety of their supervised release were able to successfully reintegrate back into society and not return to prison.
"So the clear solution is to help ex-felons returning to the society find jobs and again not all return to jail anyway.

4.Benefits of ex-felons voting
"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. IF we really want to remain status as a free country as a country you can have opportunities in we shouldn"t limit freedom of speech.
"Returning the vote to ex-felons promotes re-integration and gives them representation not only in presidential and state elections, but in the evolution of the laws governing the criminal justice system, which most of us can agree is imperfect also the best way to see problems and issues with the criminal justice system is from people who have experienced it themselves.

5.Racial felon disenfranchisement laws/ racist voting

"In America the majority of felons tend to be minorities. In fact according to the Department of Justice for every 15,000 felons sentenced to prison 450 were white 1,356 were Hispanic and 3,188 were black.

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.
This is way more than the amount of white 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."

Conclusion: the main point however is the fact that no harm comes from letting a ex-felon, even a felon vote. I am not arguing for felons but I am just trying to point out something here. Felons/ex-felons are just as ignorant to politics as most Americans so they have the overall similar political knowledge, since both ex-felons and Americans harm voting by overall being ignorant of the voters they are voting for, both should be allowed to vote.

Response to what my opponent said: Since most of the felons/ex-felons who commit these crimes as a kid tend to be in poorer/ghetto areas they do not have any knowledge whatsoever over the privileges lost when doing something, they do not realize they will lose the right to vote.


Intro: I am going to try to stress a utilitarian view of America, and how we can benefit from these punishments on criminals. America needs to focus on its new generation which is growing up in a ever changing world. America's new generation needs to learn that it can't just break laws, and think it is okay. We can let ex-felons start to teach everyone from there neighborhood, through there county, through there state how hard prison is, and to the people above there twenties that your voting rights will be taken away. It is for the greater good for America, and that is what I am going to try to stress in this argument.
I will like to go by the same definitions provided by my opponents.
1. Minority
5.83 million Americans out of the 300 million Americans are not allowed to vote. This is actually 2% of the American population that my opponent is fighting for. This is where I would like to stress the word Utilitarianism. The greatest benefit for the greatest number of people. Children need to learn the value of breaking the law, and the consequence for breaking the law. Lets try to decrease the 5.83 million people that 1% of the American population.
2. Voting Rights is irrelevant
56% of violent felons are repeat offenders and 61% of all felons are repeat offenders, partially because we"ve given them no choice. It is not the case of voting rights, but it is the case of companies not hiring them. We should prioritize companies hiring them, than voting rights. It is not the voting rights that we should take into priority, but there jobs. We should first make them get financially secure.
3. Lessons
We should focus on getting America's children to learn the consequence of breaking the laws. There should be downsides to breaking laws. It would be for the greater benefit of America. We should teach the new generation not to break the law.
Debate Round No. 2


I will first reply to his comment that only 2% of American population is not allowed to vote, he is saying that that isn't enough Americans worth fighting for, there are a total of 316.13 Americans in the U.S. Just 2% is a big chunk. Also what my opponent is clearly saying is that if lets say only 5 million Americans lets say, had any sort of rights violated, or needed help it doesn't matter.

My opponents next argument is about prioritizing companies hiring the ex-felons rather then voting rights, I agree that getting them a job is important, so why not do both? All we have to do to allow them to vote is get a law passed or a bill or whatever may be needed to get them to vote, there is no reason why you can't prioritize both.

Again in my case I specifically talk about how some felons go back to the economy and find jobs so of course that is on my side and has no impact onto he round. Here is part of the contention I posted earlier for reference.
an astonishing 93% of those who were able to secure employment during the entirety of their supervised release were able to successfully reintegrate back into society and not return to prison.

His main point however is that we should teach them a lesson not to break the law, and I agree with that, but I don't see how removing voting rights will make them better citizens or effect them heavily, yes they would love to vote but removing voting rights isn't as sever a punishment as going to jail or being fined.

The punishments already set for a felony are more then enough to teach them a lesson.
"Nineteen states "may terminate the parental rights of convicted felons.
"In twenty-nine jurisdictions (includes states and the District of Columbia) being convicted of a felony is "legal ground for divorce."
"In twenty-five jurisdictions, convicted felons can never hold public office.
"In six states a felon can never hold public employment.
"Federal law forbids felons from holding many government jobs or receiving federal contracts.
"In thirty-one jurisdictions convicted felons are permanently barred from serving on a jury.
"Federal law forbids all convicted felons from owning a firearm.
"Forty-six jurisdictions require former felons to register with local law enforcement.
"All sexual offenders must register with local law enforcement officials for at least ten years after release from prison; longer times for certain offenses. The names of those registered are made available to any member of the public.
"People convicted of a drug felony can be denied all forms of federal assistance, including food stamps. Although states can opt out or narrow the focus of these penalties, only twelve states have entirely rejected them; slightly more than half have narrowed the scope of these rules.
"Everyone convicted of a drug-related felony, and indeed, many former felons, can be denied access to federal housing.
"The Higher Education Act of 1998 suspends their eligibility for student loans for at least a year, even for simple possession; longer, for second offenses and for selling drugs. This loss of benefits may be reinstated if the person goes through an "approved" drug treatment program.

The scope and significance of these collateral consequences show that the real world of punishment is far different from the one most people imagine. In this world a felon's debt to society is rarely paid in full. For these felons the Mark of Cain is permanent. The current punishment is just like my opponent wants it, deadly, strict, and hard to resolve, he wants to add even more punishments for felons in general and keep them restricted instead of helping them develop the qualities of a proper citizen to ensure crime is less. Felons have more then enough punishments so why not give them the right to vote?

Also the only reason some felons are repeat offenders is because lack of job opportunities , " shows that 50% of felons who could not secure any employment during the time of their supervised release (generally two-to-five years) committed a new crime or violated the terms of their release and were sent back to prison. However, an astonishing 93% of those who were able to secure employment during the entirety of their supervised release were able to successfully reintegrate back into society and not return to prison. So since some find job opportunities and become citizens they should be allowed to vote, again I agree if we provide more job opportunities for ex-felons this method will be even more effective. So the clear solution is to help ex-felons returning to the society find jobs and again not all return to jail anyway.

4. Racial disfrenchment laws are still a big problem as I pointed out "In America the majority of felons tend to be minorities. In fact according to the Department of Justice for every 15,000 felons sentenced to prison 450 were white 1,356 were Hispanic and 3,188 were black. I also pointed out that if these people were allowed to vote it would have effected as much as seven recent U.S. Senate elections and one presidential election.

Conclusion: I agree that some level of punishment must be set for actions in order to ensure order and tranquility continute to be established, however I believe the current punishments are more then enough and that crimes committed at a order age, either due to the influence from their environment or stealing food because they are poor and hungry shouldn't make them lose the right to vote in the future.





Fair points that my opponent had to say about my case. But now I will have to do the job of proving them wrong.
1. Broadness of a felon
My opponent gives the usual things an ex-felon could do. Though he makes the case that after they have done there time in jail they learn there mistake. I agree with that statement, but my case is to help young kids not get into crime. What is more important the 5.83 million ex-felons, or the 74.8 million minors learning that doing drugs, and alcohol is cool. 5.83 million people need to be an example to the 74.8 million minors living in America. It is about the new generation. Focus on the right now, instead of the past. We can get them financially secure, but they have to serve as an example to our minors.
2. Taxation without representation
My opponent tries to make the claim that there debt to society has been served in jail, and it should be a right for them to vote. I respect that my opponent is trying to protect the 2% of America, but I am trying to protect the 74.8 million minors that can get in trouble with the law. Lets try to decrease the 5.83 million Americans to 1 million. We should have these ex-felons as examples to the larger demographic. We need to protect the 74.8 million minors. We need to focus on the right now. We need to focus on the greater benefit of the 74.8 million than the 5.83 million Americans.
3. Ex-Felons go back to jail
His argument in a way helps my case, because he is saying that this is a way felons can actually help themselves. We should give them jobs, but we shouldn't give them voting rights because they could be put up as an example.
4. Benefits of ex-felons voting
My opponent said that countries do well if they let ex-felons voice there opinions. Ex-felons can voice their opinions anytime in America. Maintaining our status as a free country has nothing to do with the resolution, therefore it is invalid. My opponent also said the returning there vote can integrate the criminal system. I said earlier in this argument that they still have the power to voice there opinions. They can create awareness about how tough it is in prisons. But they should also serve as an example to the 74.8 million minors who might commit a crime. It is truly the greater benefit for our society.
5. Racial felon disenfranchisement laws/ racist voting
My opponent tries to make the case that there is discrimination against minorities. I totally agree that there is discrimination against minorities when it comes to the prison system. That is why I have been trying to stress through out this whole case that the ex-felons should serve as an example to our new generation. I think, and my opponent can correct me if I am wrong, but I think he is trying to say that giving these rights back to them will fight discrimination. He also stated that these ex-felons come from poor neighborhoods. That is exactly why we should have ex-felons as an example to the poorer neighborhoods. We should teach these neighborhoods the consequences of their actions. It will serve as a greater benefit for American society.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent brings up some new argument at first about how he is trying to focus on a new generation and show kids/younger people the harmful effects of alcohol and committing crimes. However there is already a program that trys to decrease the demand of drugs which is called DARE and so far it hasn't been that successful. I am not saying it's not a good program to have I am just saying that as long as Americans continue to demand illegal drugs, drug cartels and other organizations will keep sending them here. Also my opponent must realize that most felons who commit crimes like theft, which is the most common one, do a lot of these crimes due to what they are exposed to, or because they are poor and need food. So you can't just tell them "drugs are bad" and expect them to listen. You have to improve there economic conditions and give them a replacement for drugs, something more appealing that isn't dangerous. This logic is the same reason why the war on drugs doesn't work, you can't just remove all the drugs and except them to stop, the reason why fights increase after the drugs are removed is because they still have a desire for the drugs, and therefore will do whatever it takes to get them.

My opponent try's to attack my contention saying taxation without representation, but he mentions the argument and goes completely over it. The argument is just saying that since they pay certain taxes to the government and for some of the people who work in the government they should be able to vote for people in the government. It's just a logical argument that has no holes in it. He skips over the argument he trys to make and again says that 5.83 million people don't matter. He is dismissing American citizens. That is like me saying "oh forget about the unemployed they only make 5% of the American population lets focus on most Americans who at least have a job and can actually benefit the economy."

He claims that my ex felons contention helps him but it doesn't actually, it shows that 90% of ex-felons who get jobs don't go back to jail so why punish those and not allow them to vote if they are proper citizens? The contention is pointing out that not all ex-felons go back to jail.

Main argument against my opponent: is how he is basically saying that we should leave ex-felons alone and let them go with punishments some that last forever just to show people what happens when they don't listen? First of all it is common sense that when you commit crimes you can end up in jail, and a lot of people realize that a year sentence or so results in a Felony, they don't need extra things to know this.

The main argument against this idea is that ex-felons can be primary sources with or without voting. What I mean by this is that ex-felons can share their stories so society will still learn the consequences of actions from ex-felons themselves. Giving them the right to vote will still leave the other punishments they have and still make felony a popular sentence well known among Americans.

Conclusion: The reason why I win is because my opponent never really goes by the resolution, he try's to broaden the debate and he hasn't shown why ex-felons shouldn't be allowed to vote. He also how voting can't provide any of the benefits he mentions that would help society. Also my case structure overall was better then his as well.

In conclusion vote for me because I followed the resolution, and proved that there is no reason not to allow ex-felons to vote.


My opponent tries to attack my argument with a program called DARE, and he admits that this program has not worked. He admits that Americans continue to demand illegal drugs. He is trying to advocate the idea that the war on drugs cannot be beat. That is why I am trying to push for a greater benefit for our new generation. 35 percent of high school students have reported using marijuana. 40% of America is in the middle class. We can safely speculate that this is America's middle class minors. These people are suffering. That is why America should make an example of the 2% that did commit crimes. My opponent points out that we should improve the neighborhoods that these kids live in. I would agree, but it takes billions of dollars to improve these neighborhoods. My opponent assumes that we can just improve neighborhoods just like that, but it is not that simple. We should educate our minors on what can happen if you resort to crime, instead of actual jobs. It would be for the greater benefit of America if we could do this. Vote for the greater benefit, Vote for Con.

My opponent tries to critique the utilitarian view on this case, saying that we should also care about the minority. Some people would assume that it is very respectful to take care of the minority. That is like me trying to make the case that we should start giving taxes to the wealthy 1%, because they benefit the economy when they create jobs. He says using my logic can work for the 5% of the unemployed people. I mentioned in my case that we should focus on getting ex-felons financially secure. Getting them financially secure would be a greater benefit, than to just give them voting rights. He also acts like giving them voting rights is going to benefit the economy, when there are 74.8 million minors that are going to actually be the future of America. Vote for the 74.8 million minors that will benefit for Americans. Vote for the future. Vote for con.

My opponent says in his next argument that the 90% of felons benefit the economy. I agree, we should help them get financially secure. Voting Rights should pose as the example for the 74.8 million minors that are learning that doing drugs are cool. It would be for the greater benefit.

Lastly, my opponent makes the claim that ex-felons can be primary sources. I agree with this statement. However, this is also America. They can create awareness for themselves. Teach our minors their mistakes, so that history does not repeat itself. If the ex-minors know what kind of pain they go through, than they can teach the young the consequence of there action.

In the end, my opponent seems like he wants a change in how our society. But I have proved again, and again that we achieve a better, brighter future with my case. We have the chance to decrease crime in minors. We have 5.83 million ex-felons. We have the ability to decrease this number by setting an example. Don't let history repeat itself with my opponents case. Vote con, because Con has a set future in plan, knows the consequence of its actions, and will brighten our future. And if you still support my opponent's case, and are still willing to vote for his case, than I will give you 1 things to think about before making your decision.
1. What does America's future look like when you let my opponent's case run in America? You just benefited roughly 2% of the American population. But you have the chance to put a greater benefit for the 74.8 million minors that are learning that crime is cool. If you vote for his case, you have deleted a better future for America. Think about the consequence of my opponents case, and then think about the greater benefit for the 74. million minors that are going to continue to grow America. Vote for the better future. Vote for Con.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by moneystacker 1 year ago
blackkid yes they are. They can serve at least a year for the things I listed so it classifies under that.
Posted by cheyennebodie 1 year ago
No. They are not felonies. I believe once a person has served their time, their slate should be wiped clean. The only group I would take away voting priveleges is people on welfare.If they are not responsible enough to pay their way in life, they are not responsible enough to vote.

Of course if we stopped irresponsible people from voting, the democrats would be out of a job.
Posted by blackkid 1 year ago
... Are the things you listed even felonies?
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