The Instigator
Meropenem777
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
DeezNutz64
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Prisoners Should be Allowed the Right to Vote in Politics.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Meropenem777
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 437 times Debate No: 81511
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

Meropenem777

Pro

Prisoners Should be Allowed the Right to Vote in Politics.

Prisoner: "a person legally held in prison as a punishment for crimes they have committed"
Allowed: "Let (someone) have or do something"
Right: "a...legal entitlement to have or obtain something..."
Vote: "a formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot"
Politics: "the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power"

1st round: Simply greetings and acceptance.
2nd round: Main arguments
3rd round: Rebuttals/counters/additional points
4th round: Rebuttals/counters/final points

Rules:
- No abuse of semantics.
(This is standard since I gave definitions)
-No trolling.
- A forfeit is an automatic loss.
-Cite sources.

Sources:
-http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

-http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

-http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

-http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

-http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
DeezNutz64

Con

A very good early morning to you. My name is John and I am here to object the notion that prisoners should be allowed the right to vote in politics. I'm from North Carolina and it is very nice to meet you. To give the audience and you a clear background, I am going to refer to the American law so good luck :)
Debate Round No. 1
Meropenem777

Pro

Thank you for accepting my debate. Keep in mind that this is not a debate of whether it is illegal for prisoners to vote, but of whether they "should" be allowed this right. Therefore, referencing a policy/law such as the Supreme court decision of 2000 for the disenfranchisement of voting rights is likely to be deemed as irrelevant in the context of this debate, so debate with caution.

Opening Arguments:

Felony disenfranchisement:
excluding people otherwise eligible to vote from voting (known as disfranchisement) due to conviction of a criminal offence (Wikipedia). Also this is a general issue, but I will be referring to the US frequently, since US polices condone felony disenfranchisement for the most part. Felony disenfranchisement varies in degree in some circumstances sometimes based on the type/degree of the offence or what state they were located in when serving their sentencing.

Prisons are generally seen as a punishment for some convictions while for other convictions, they are seen as a means for rehabilitation. This perspective usually varies depending on the viewpoints of the outside parties. Arguably, punishment is the subjective perspective while rehabilitation is the objective perspective. The same case can be likened to voting disenfranchisement. Many prisoners (especially those with minor offenses), contrary to popular belief, strive to better themselves and rejoin society.


Felony disenfranchisement is often an overly excessive punishment for certain prisoners.
Prisoners already have their liberty take away, including their rights to be with their family and friends or occupy a job whilst in prison. It is certainly justified for them to serve a court's sentencing, but why should their right to vote be taken away as well? Especially considering that there are prisoners serving relatively short-term sentences and who had committed minor offenses.

Prisoners would be less likely to be involved in criminal activities if encouraged to participate in the politics as part of their rehabilitation.
-Enfranchisement not only bestows self-esteem and a sense of purpose in society, but encourages research and participation with contemporary political 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" (Parris). Felony disenfranchisement 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. Granting them the right to vote would likely be consistent with the American tradition of making our democracy more and more inclusive. Arguably there would be reduced re-offending rates and perhaps a society with fewer criminals as a long term effect.

Felony disenfranchisement distorts the total voter turnout.
-In 2012, all the various state felony disenfranchisement laws added together prevented "an estimated 5.85 million felons" from voting, "up from 1.2 million in 1976" (Wikipedia). "This comprised 2.5% of the potential voters in general; and included 8% of the potential African American voters." The estimated population for Florida in 2010 was"18,804,623" (US census) and it had the highest disenfranchised voters for any state, with "1.5 million" disenfranchised from voting. That is roughly a calculated 12.5% of the total population that was not represented in Florida. It would virtually be an inaccurate representation in our society, a largely democratic society that prides itself for representing the general populace rather than a select few. The equal protection clause can also come into play if it is recognized in the courts that prisoners who are colored are not represented and are racially discriminated against in terms of voting.

Prisoners are not treated as "civically dead" when it benefits the government.
- Prisoners remain liable for taxation on any earnings and savings that they have. This is virtually taxation without representation. Many convicts have difficulty finding employment when put on parole after serving a sentence, and so this would be an unfair and excessive punishment when taking that into account.

The support of felony disenfranchisement is largely based on subjective values of furthering justice against those convicted, rather than objective values concerning what would really function well in terms of rehabilitation and voter representation.


Sources Utilized:
-http://quickfacts.census.gov...

-https://en.wikipedia.org...

-http://archive.fairvote.org...

-http://insidetime.org...
DeezNutz64

Con

DeezNutz64 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Meropenem777

Pro



My opponent have violated the terms of the debate by breaking this rule: “- A forfeit is an automatic loss”.


Therefore, voters should take this into account and my opponent’s potential to receive favorable votes should be nullified completely regardless of any arguments that are posted by them.



DeezNutz64

Con

DeezNutz64 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Meropenem777

Pro

onwards V
DeezNutz64

Con

DeezNutz64 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Bosoxfaninla 1 year ago
Bosoxfaninla
Meropenem777DeezNutz64Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF, although Pro had a much stronger argument anyways
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
Meropenem777DeezNutz64Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture