Voter's Rights - Your Opinion Please

United States
April 24, 2007 1:02pm CST
It is nearing the time when we will start voting for the nominee of our political party. People will be at their Campaign Headquarters making phone calls, preparing to go to the streets, and urge others to stand up and take advantage of their right to vote. However, there are many people that are United States citizens that do not have that right to vote. That right was taken away from them due to a felony they committed at some period in their lifetime. It makes no difference what the crime was, how old they were when the crime was committed, that they have served their time, or that they have paid their debt to society - they have lost their Right to Vote Forever. How do you feel about this? Is Martha Stewart such a horrible person that she should not be allowed to vote? If you are not from the United States, does your country have situations such as this? If they do, can you tell a little about it? ~Donna
7 people like this
11 responses
@feralwoman (2199)
• Australia
25 Apr 07
Hi there - I admit I didn't know that in the US you can have your voting rights taken away from you. I still can't get over the mental picture of Martha Stewart in prison! Anyway, here in Australia you HAVE to vote - if you don't you get fined! I'm not sure about anyone with a criminal record not being able to vote though. Since Australia was colonised by criminals it seems a bit odd not to let them vote! LOL
3 people like this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
25 Apr 07
I didn't know you had to vote in Australia that way or you get fined. I had never heard of that. Boy I could picture it if it happened here. I know some people who have never even registered to vote. Personally I think we all should but they feel they don't have to. Thanks for that bit of information.
• Australia
26 Apr 07
No worries Emeraldisle - hubby & I got caught out the first year we moved to Oz. We forgot to go and vote and hence got a hefty fine! We never forget to go nowadays! LOL
1 person likes this
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Hi Indium - I guess you could do that when voting, or "spoil" your vote by ticking the wrong boxes - but the way I see it is that a lot of people have given their lives to make this a free world so why waste my vote. If I don't agree with any of the major parties' policies then I'll go vote Green, but they are usually affiliated with one of the major parties anyway! lol
1 person likes this
@nicolec (2673)
• United States
24 Apr 07
I actually didn't know this, so I looked it up. And it does vary by state. Some states say they can't vote while still on parole. This, I can maybe accept, as their time has not quite finished for their crime. But I see your point. If they have paid their debt to society, done their time, why are they still being punished? According to the article I read, most of these are african americans and hispanic taking a huge chunk out of that voting population. However, as it is well known that many criminals are repeat offenders, perhaps it is a way to protect the government from these offenders. What I mean is, perhaps the law can be changed to read 1) If you do not repeat your offense, or any other crime, in X-amount of time, you will get your voting privilages back. And 2) If you are a repeat offender, you will lose it all together. I'm sorry, but I can't allow myself to think that repeat offenders can have a say in voting. They did not learn the first time, what gives them the right to chose our leaders. But on your side, there are many who are just trying to move on with their lives and perhaps simply made a mistake. They would get their voting privlages back.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Apr 07
Thank you for your response and for looking it up. I am so sorry that I started the discussion and was unaware of all of the facts. ~Donna
1 person likes this
@gifana (4836)
• Portugal
25 Apr 07
Don't be sorry for starting this. There will probably be a lot of differences of opinions. I still think that if more young people were cognizant of the fact that they could lose their voting privileges for the rest of their lives, it MIGHT be a deterrent for them to enter the crime world. At least I would hope it would as our crime rate is way to high for country which prides itself on freedoms of the people. +
1 person likes this
@nicolec (2673)
• United States
25 Apr 07
Exactly, don't be sorry for starting a discussion. You not only learned something, but so did a lot of the rest of us who took the time to look thinks up.
1 person likes this
@Arkadus (899)
• Canada
25 Apr 07
Those people should have thought about that kind of thing before they went and did something illegal. I'mnot ameican though so my opinion is'nt necesaruly valid on this.
2 people like this
@gifana (4836)
• Portugal
25 Apr 07
All opinions are valid....whether one agrees or disagrees. Never be afraid to voice an opinion....sometimes a voice from outside makes more sense than one closest to the heart of the situation with blinders on....they cannot see the forest for the trees. +
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Apr 07
Arkadus, As stated, your opinion is one that needs to be shouted. It is more than valid, in fact, I asked for input for those from different countries to ask how their country dealt with situations such as this. Thank you for responding ~Donna
1 person likes this
@alchemistrx (2569)
• Philippines
25 Apr 07
So far we are ones who do not vote but then if we do not vote, somebody will vote for us and our votes will go to waste. But some our not register due to the fact that illiteracy stung them.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Apr 07
This is so sad. It must make you very angry. I visited your site and saw that one of your interests is to learn English. May I please tell you that you are doing a great job of it! ~Donna
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
24 Apr 07
I think that all people have a right to vote...The ones that we have in office have even offended in some way,and they vote them into office.The Presidents and senators are not lily white.I can imagine any one of them has committed some type of crime behind closed doors...Some of them has visited houses of ill repute, smoked pot,committed adultery,probably done lots of dirt,and hid it...I do not feel it is fair to keep anyone from voting..I think that Martha stewert has every right to vote.I might have done the same thing she did...
2 people like this
• United States
24 Apr 07
Thank you so much for your response and comment. I was uninformed when I posted and am sorry but another poster left a great link that provides terrific information. ~Donna
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Apr 07
I'd say its sad for them to not vote. But the right is big. I think you should recall not too long ago it was just white men who could vote ONLY. So maybe thats why. If you do the crime you gotta do the time and it might include not voting for a while. But if its not forever then well thats kinda wrong I gues...
2 people like this
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
25 Apr 07
In regards to voters right I do not think that this system is fair if the person committed a crime as in Australia their rights are not taken away from them one they have done their time for their felony. The politial parties do nearly the same as America though in regards to their campaigns and it costs far too much money.
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
24 Apr 07
I think it's only in some states that ex felons can't vote. I'm not sure how many but I think a number of states are rethinking this one. Once the crime has been paid for, the right to vote should definitely be restored. The ex felon is supposed to live like a law abiding citizen and he or she should have the rights of a law abiding citizen and that includes the right to vote.
2 people like this
@gifana (4836)
• Portugal
25 Apr 07
Let It Be - image of a CD of the Beatles for the song Let it Be!
I profoundly believe that the law on loss of voting privileges whould stand as it is. It matters not whetherMartha Steward is or isn'ta horrible person. She new the law and decided to commit a felony crime. It was her choice. If you return her right to vote you will have to do it for every felon on the books....most of which I am sure are well deserving of the loss. We can't let white collar criminals have special privileges over blue collar criminals...it would be a miscarrage of justice. Concerning the voting loss law on the books, I would like to quote the Beatles: "Let it Be!"
• United States
28 Apr 07
Gifana, You have most certainly added a lively interjection to this discussion and for that I must give you thanks. I did not realize until I went to your site that you are from Portugal. Can you please tell how the system works in your country? I am so interested in learning more about things like this now. It seems that the older I get the more things I want to know. Perhaps it's because I have all of that empty space in my head from the things that I've already forgotten ~Donna
@Bizziebod (3526)
26 Apr 07
Hi, in the UK any criminal in prison do not have the right to vote, however apparently they are some who are campaigning against this as it's 'against their civil right' - well don't get me going on that! No they don't have their right, if they can't act like decent citizens, then why should they have the right to such priviledges?
1 person likes this
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
26 Apr 07
I think there should be some way a person could go to court and get their voting rights back. It should be on a case by case basisand not just automatic.