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chyna's avatar

The governor of Virginia is now allowing felons to vote. Should this be allowed?

Asked by chyna (50803points) April 22nd, 2016
17 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I thought it was a law that felons were not allowed to vote. Should they be allowed to vote?

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johnpowell's avatar

My mom is a felon. She killed my father for beating the shit out of us. When she threatened to leave him he said he would have us killed. So one night when he was pounding my sisters head into the bathtub because my 13 year old sister “was getting fat” she shot him in the head.

So technically a felon. Should she be allowed to vote?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ I am very sorry your family had to endure such an experience.

Had I been on the jury I would have voted for your mother’s exoneration, or a reccomendation for the lightest possible sentence (if applicable).

As children you and your sister needed you mother to be there for you.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Of course it should. If the person served time, got through probation, then they are entitled to all the rights of any other citizen.

Anything else would be simple vindictiveness.

johnpowell's avatar

@SecondHandStoke :: She got time served. She walked out a few weeks after the sentencing.

But me and my sister had to go in front of a full court and explain everything. So that was a pretty fucked up thing for a 11 year old kid to do.

And the media was so horrible the lawyers had to drape us in their coats as we left the courtroom.

trolltoll's avatar

Are felons citizens? Do the laws that politicians pass affect them?

tinyfaery's avatar

Everyone has the right to vote. I can see not letting those currently incarcerated vote, but once a person has done their time that person should be allowed to vote.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

If I had not moved to a state that allows for a felony conviction to be changed to a misdemeanor after a successful probation period I’d still be a convicted felon. I’ve never shared this with Fluther.

When I was 19 and attending college is CA a few male friends (bad influences) of mine from IL came to visit. We were out one night and stopped at a 7/11. The girls in the vehicle next to us in the parking lot got out and went inside the store. It was a convertible and a purse was left on one of the seats. One of my friends grabbed the purse and we took off. I resembled the girl in the photo ID and the guys thought it’d be a great idea if we all went shopping with the checks that were in the purse. They asked me to write the checks. Stupid me said yes.

Long story short, we were caught and we spent just over the limit that made this crime spree a felony. I spent 24 hours in jail. I was given 5 years probation as a first offense, but I was considered a felon.

After my arrest I moved back home to Illinois and was given a probation officer to finish my probation. Not long after I met Jon, then a year later we were married and having children. I went to college while my sons were toddlers and successfully finished my probation. Lucky me, Illinois allowed my felony charge to be changed to a misdemeanor. Even if it hadn’t been changed, shouldn’t I be allowed to vote if I paid my dues?

zenvelo's avatar

I thought it was a law that felons were not allowed to vote.

Laws can be changed, they are not cast in stone and unalterable. There are a lot of bad laws on the books from a more vindictive time.

Political vengeance and vindictiveness continues but changes emphasis over time. Forty years ago a drunk driver would be escorted home, now they are pilloried. Forty years ago possession of a joint would result in the years prison, now it is legal in some places, ignored in others. And in the early nineties, there was a general push to enact “three strikes” legislation, with numerous injustices resulting until the laws started to be repealed.

I am not saying any of these changes are right or wrong, just that attitudes towards different things change over time. And many people feel that a felon who has done time and is past parole or probation should be allowed to vote.

rojo's avatar

At some point your punishment for screwing up has to cease.

You f*ck up, you do your time, you get through with your probation and then you are a functioning member of society again. Sound fair to me; better than the present system.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I’ve always felt this was unconstitutional. They get sentenced, they pay their debt. Basta. They shouldn’t have to keep paying.

Jak's avatar

Hell yes they should be allowed a voice in the country in which they live.

johnpowell's avatar

Keep in mind the felon thing is a trick to keep brown people from voting since most are democrats.

They do the same with voter ID laws.

Time to tell a story….

About a year ago I went to Eugene for some healthcare stuff. On the way to my moms house from the train station I asked her to buy me a 40 of Mickeys since I had just shaved and they most likely wouldn’t sell to me since I look 12 when I shave.

She wondered why I couldn’t buy it myself. I explained my state issued ID expired in 2012 and my passport expired in 2009.

So the next day mom was being all momish and took me to the DMV for a new ID. Great, I thought. This will make my life easier.

I had my old ID and passport, and my social security card, and a ton of mail with my name and address on it. Credit and debit cards too. I strut up to the counter at the DMV thinking this would be easy.

They won’t do shit without a birth certificate.

No worries I thought. The vital records office in Eugene will print one off for seven bucks.

Oh.. They closed the vital records office in Eugene years ago to save some cash. I will have to go 120 miles to the office in Portland. Not a huge deal since I actually live in Portland.

So I schlep to the birth certificate place in Portland. I pay the 30 bucks to get my birth certificate. It is printed and sitting in front of me. So close to being able to go to a bar without a beard.

No dice.. Expired ID so they won’t give it to me. Only option is to have my mom (lives 120 miles away) or my sister come in to vouch for me. Luckily my sister lives in Portland and was able to come in the next day. w00t birth certificate.

Then the next day I went to the DMV and got a valid ID for 48 dollars.

I was reminded of why I stopped reading Kafka and was out about 100 bucks. But now I don’t have to ask my mom to buy me beer.

So folks. Getting a state issued ID isn’t cheap or easy. I wouldn’t have been able to get mine if I didn’t have a family member to “vouch” for me.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’ve never heard a good reason why felons should not be allowed to vote.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Reporting from Virginia, home of the very reasonable and rational Gov. Terry McAuliffe…

The right to vote is exactly that – a legal right, something irrevocable and held inherently, not a privilege or special entitlement. Felons shouldn’t be stripped of their voting rights any more than they should be denied their right to legal counsel and defense.

@johnpowell Your mentions of your childhood never fail to upset me.

johnpowell's avatar

@Love_my_doggie :: It gets weirder.

Time for another story. I honestly wish I was making this up.

So it was clear the police knew that mom killed dad and were actively hunting her. So off to Mexico. We landed in a little place called Copala that was around 60 minutes west of Mazatlan. We met a guy named Tony that claimed he was the founder of AVIS car rentals and made a ton of cash and went to Mexico to die. We would walk around and hunt rabbits and when he found cow patties he would put them in a bag to smear on his head later. He thought this would promote hair growth. My mom thought leaving us with this guy was a good idea. It wasn’t.

So after a few weeks my mom somehow got to Arizona. After some time she decided prison wasn’t what she wanted to do. So she hopped trains for a bit and ate from garbage cans. Then eventually came back to Copala to get us.

Then we tried to drive up to LA but our car broke down about 100 miles north of Copala. We were in the middle of nowhere. Luckily a nice guy came our way. He lived in a shack in the middle of nowhere. He took us back to his place and had us help kill chickens for diner. And we got water from a 50 gallon oil barrel that was covered in bugs. We were incredibly desperate at this time and he saved our lives.

Eventually the Green Angels came along. They left us with a guy that owned a 7/11 type store. He paid for a bus ticket so me and my sister and mom could get to my aunts place in Los Angeles. The plan was for my mom to turn herself in.

But again she just couldn’t do it. She once again hopped on a train and went to Arizona. She hopped trains for about six months while hiding from the pigs. My mom is awesome.

jca's avatar

I could never understand why felons are not allowed to vote.

jca (36059points)“Great Answer” (1points)
marinelife's avatar

If they have served their time, why should any of their rights be abrogated?

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