Re: OT:Thanksgiving

On Fri, 30 Nov 2007 11:42:17 -0700, Howard Brazee <howard@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Fri, 30 Nov 2007 13:06:30 -0500, SkippyPB
<swiegand@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I was not commenting on whether it was good or not, just that not all
states do it and how it came to be. My personal belief is that once a
person has done their time and have either been paroled or released
because they've satisfied their sentence, they should be allowed to
vote again.

A couple of questions:

Should they be able to vote if they are in prison awaiting trial?

Of course, they are "innocent until proven guilty."

Should they be able to vote if they are in prison serving time?

A resounding YES. Here's why.

1. Prisoners are counted in the census.
2. The census is used to determine apportionment i.e. political power in the state
legislature and ultimately in US Congress.
3. Most prisons are in rural places, which are generally Republican strongholds.
4. Prisoners receive no benefits from 'their' representatives' pork barrel efforts.
5. The vast majority of prisoners (>90%) would vote Democratic.

Therefore, counting prisoners in the census while denying them the vote is nothing but a
ploy to give rural Republicans more political power than they deserve.

They want the jobs created by a prison in their community, while regarding prisoners as
subhuman. Giving prisoners the vote would raise their awareness that prisoners are people.
It could change the attitudes of guards and provide more infrastructure support e.g. a
better road to the prison, a Visitors' Center for families. It would change the prison
from a burden into an asset. It would even cause candidates to visit the prison and
address prisoners' concerns. Most importantly, it would tell prisoners that they're still
citizens with rights, not total losers written off by society.The biggest obstacle faced
by inmates, and losers in general, is lack of social support. The vote would affirm their
citizenship and provide a connection to the outside world.

Should they be able to vote when they are released, but still under
probation, wearing a leg brace or otherwise not completely free?

And if not, why not?

The idea that only "my kind" should vote is as old as voting.

At the time of the American Revolution, only 6% of Americans could vote. Now it's over
90%. IMO, it should be 100%.