The Instigator
Skyguy366
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
PengWing
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Should prisoners be allowed to vote?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
PengWing
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 694 times Debate No: 98669
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

Skyguy366

Pro

Do you think that prisoners should be able to vote?
PengWing

Con

The prisoners are people we deemed to be destructive to society, hence we decided to isolate them away from us.
To suggest keeping prison, and keeping them isolated, yet at the same time want them to have the fundamental right of voting and deciding the fate of nations, is hypocritical at best, and dangerous in reality.

According to "US Bureau of Justice Statistics" the USA had more than 2 million people incarcerated in 2013. If you were to also include their families and friends that they can impact then they could actually impact a vote. So if you were to give the prisoners the ability to vote, they will be able to change the world to work better to their benefit, which could be very bad for the law-abiding people in society. Do we really want society to be controlled by criminals? do we really want the people we decided that they are dangerous to decide our lives? our fate? and our children's future?

If you deem them not dangerous, and thus they should be allowed to vote, then why are they in prison? why not change the discussion to how their crime isn't dangerous enough to keep them away from society?
Debate Round No. 1
Skyguy366

Pro

Yes, prisoners are deemed destructive in society, but prison is supposed to be a rehabilitation service. We are trying to rebuild them to be normal members of society, so why deny them the right to vote for the person that will be leading them. Now on the other hand, more serious crimes should not be rewarded with voting, but we should still allow most of our prisoners to vote. Someone in prison might even be innocent, followed the rules of society, and still wouldn't be allowed to vote because they were falsely accused of a crime and are now removed of their right to vote. We let the ex-convicts marry, drive, buy property, buy alcohol, all of the small things, but they can not decide who will lead them and their country because they are deemed ineligible.

If we thought that the prisoners could not be trusted, then why would we have let them out in the first place.
PengWing

Con

First, I will begin with a rebuttal:
"prison is supposed to be a rehabilitation service"
Indeed, that is one of the reasons behind the existence of prisons, however, thanks to major budget cuts in the U.S - prisons are for-profit, overpopulated places that only turn the minority of prisoners that are not destructive to society, to become more dangerous, as they have to learn to survive there.

"Now on the other hand, more serious crimes should not be rewarded with voting"
This is my first debate, but don't I automatically win if you agree with me? If you are agreeing that the "serious criminals" should not vote. Then, I argue that if a crime is serious enough to land someone in prison, then it is serious enough, regardless of whether it was a 1-year sentence or a lifetime.

"We let the ex-convicts marry, drive, buy property, buy alcohol, all of the small things, "
Notice, that what you said is about "ex-convicts". Once they paid their due to society, they can rebuild their life as we don't want people coming out of prison to cost tax payers even more money. No! we want them to work, and attempt to fix the harm they have done. However, that does not mean we should blindly trust them BEFORE they paid their paid their due to society.

My argument:
With 5% vote in some states in the U.S a nominee could receive federal funding for a campaign. If someone from the "Prison abolition movement" ran for office, wouldn't the majority of prisoners and their family vote for their own freedom? wouldn't that party then gain "convention grants" to become more serious and possibly win an election by being able to promote themselves by the next election?
By giving the prisoners the right to vote, we are giving them the keys to free themselves. Especially considering they have enough freedom to be able to contact their families and friends hence being able to influence a big population if they put their mind to it.
If we were to give the prisoners the option to vote, as I explained earlier, they will have a way to free themselves, hence having millions of prisoners free on the streets. And all of that, will be left to chance on whether or not they would unite to vote in their own self-interest or not? should the future of the country be left to chance?

Sources: http://www.fec.gov...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Skyguy366

Pro

Now I know I have agreed on some terms, but agreeing to some ideals is not the same as switching my views.

In the US, there is 326,474,013 people, and the US holds 24.7% of the worlds 9.8 million prisoners. Now this comes to about 2.5 million prisoners in the US and this number is so small that if all of the prisoners united, it would only make up a small amount of the population.

Now I must reiterate that the basic laws of the government are freedom, and as stated in Politico Magazine "Our constitutional ideals support the right of prisoners to vote, and denying it violates the concept of self-government that the founders cherished."

(Have to cut this short, debate class is ending)
PengWing

Con

"comes to about 2.5 million prisoners in the US and this number is so small"
This number is small in comparison, except the last few elections needed 1-2million people to tip the scale of who wins the election.

"the basic laws of the government are freedom"
Actually, the government does not provide freedom, the government provides fairness and safety. So basically, you and I pay taxes to keep prisoners away from society. and these prisoners have almost 10,000$ spent on them per year, without them contributing back to society, only harming it.
So ultimately they take the government's money, they don't have to work and they still have shelter, food and health care. They practically have more freedom than us who work all day to pay half of that money in taxes to our overlord government. And then, above all these privileges they receive, you also want to give them the option to gain more?

Imagine this, a candidate says "we will make something in prisons better" all the prisoners will vote for him, and the rest of the people won't really care. That, is simply not fair.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
The comments made by con, "Do we really want society to be controlled by criminals? do we really want the people we decided that they are dangerous to decide our lives? our fate? and our children's future?" are too overexaggerated and unrealistic. Saying that criminals will RULE THE UNITED STATES is a wee bit too much.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by paintballvet18 1 year ago
paintballvet18
Skyguy366PengWingTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro agrees with other side in Round 3. Therefore concedes conduct and arguments. Sources also back Con's thorough refutations, therefore 6-0.
Vote Placed by Mharman 1 year ago
Mharman
Skyguy366PengWingTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro agreed with con.
Vote Placed by torterra 1 year ago
torterra
Skyguy366PengWingTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with con mainly because with the thought of a prisoner having the right to got... they wound themselves up in jail, they should lose the right to vote. It is said that if something isn't broke don't fix it.. seeing as our current system isn't broken(not allowing prisoners to vote) then I see no reason for this to change. The pro didn't use any real sources to help nor did they use rebuttal time to pick apart the cons case. Con on the other hand used sources and rebuttaled nicely, excellent job on the debate, just want more facts from BOTH pro and con.