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BillCA
October 13, 2008, 03:59 AM
This popped up on my radar...

Many convicted felons remain on voter rolls, according to Sun Sentinel investigation
Thousands who should be ineligible are registered to vote

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-flbfelons1012sboct12,0,3762352.story

More than 30,000 Florida felons who by law should have been stripped of their right to vote remain registered to cast ballots in this presidential battleground state, a Sun Sentinel investigation has found.

Many are faithful voters, with at least 4,900 turning out in past elections.

Another 5,600 are not likely to vote Nov. 4 — they're still in prison.

Of the felons who registered with a party, Democrats outnumber Republicans more than two to one.

Florida's elections chief, Secretary of State Kurt Browning, acknowledged his staff has failed to remove thousands of ineligible felons because of a shortage of workers and a crush of new registrations in this critical swing state.

Browning said he was not surprised by the newspaper's findings. "I'm kind of shocked that the number is as low as it is," he said.

Asked how many ineligible felons may be on Florida's rolls, Browning said, "We don't know."

See the full story for more details.

Now, my opinion is that not having sufficient staff or funding to weed out these ineligible voters negatively affects my civil rights as well as yours. This is especially true given the political demographics of most felons and likely many illegals.

Have we gone too far in making voter registration too easy? Shouldn't it require answering a few important questions kind of like the 4473 form?

The recent abuses of ACORN tell me that if you can sign someone up to vote more than 20 times, we probably have a huge voter fraud problem in quite a few states. The question is, how do we limit the problem?

Hkmp5sd
October 13, 2008, 04:17 PM
In the article they explain that when one fills out a voter card they are automatically added to the voter list and it is then the responsibility of the state/county to identify those that are ineligible and remove them. There is the problem. Why don't we have the same ID requirements to get a voter card as we do to get a driver's license or even a state CCW? For some reason, any attempt to fix the system is equated to having a "poll tax" or some other method of keeping select groups from voting. As the democrats generally benefit from these errors, they are the first ones to yell when someone wants to change the registration process.

Webleymkv
October 13, 2008, 05:33 PM
Similar instances of voter fraud are appearing all over the country. I was suprised to see a big one here in Indiana. The city of Indianapolis has approximately 30,000 more people registered to vote that elidgable voters living in the city. If this election is already over as some in the media like to suggest, then why does an organization with ties to the winner have to cheat I wonder:rolleyes:

Socrates
October 14, 2008, 02:58 AM
I must be living under a rock.:mad:
First I miss the chance for a 110% house loan, with bad credit.
Now, I find I've missed the chance to vote 30 or 40 times.:mad:

BillCA
October 14, 2008, 08:12 PM
One would think that with most states now having a mag-stripe on your D/L or ID, that scanning the card could perform an electronic check of your citizenship status. At the polls, this could help reduce voter fraud.

In fact, using a card-scan plus a thumbprint scan could seriously elminate voter fraud. Even if you held several fake ID's, your thumbprint won't match the one on file and/or it might be able to detect that your thumbprint was already used with another ID.

Opinion: Voter fraud should be taken very seriously. If caught, the person should be detained for police to arrest. The penalty should also be serious - 12 years on the first offense. Conspiracy to violate election laws by fraudulent voting or use of false ID's, should be a 20 year sentence. Adding a $250,000 fine for each illegal vote cast may never be paid back, but would also be a deterrent.
Exemptions would be made for those assisting a disabled person in voting, such as the blind, stroke or paralysis victims, etc.

Hkmp5sd
October 14, 2008, 08:13 PM
They current penalty is 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Socrates
October 14, 2008, 08:26 PM
Is that a Federal or state statute?

grymster2007
October 14, 2008, 10:06 PM
One would think that with most states now having a mag-stripe on your D/L or ID, that scanning the card could perform an electronic check of your citizenship status.

For the past few elections, I've presented my CA DL to the elections folks when they look up my name in the books they use. This act invariably prompts them to tell me to "put it away" or say "we don't use photo ID to validate registrations". To which I usually respond "I want you to know my vote is legitimate" or "you should be using photo ID in validating registrations".

Probably nothing to do with the millions of potential illegal voters here in sunny California. Nah... must be just some short-sightedness or insensitivity on my part.:rolleyes:

Bogie
October 15, 2008, 04:36 PM
St. Louis City, with about 250,000 population (or less...), waits until dead last before turning its vote tallies in state and federal ballots... Why? So they know how many dead people have to vote.

They've also kept polls open WELL past established deadlines in order to properly stuff the boxes...

MD_Willington
October 18, 2008, 11:05 AM
IIRC 24,000 or so over here in WA State too...

Fraudoire and ACORN
http://biaw.com/images/acorn.jpg

blume357
October 19, 2008, 09:56 AM
Felon = criminal who deserves to lose their rights.. I may be politically incorrect here but a lot of our current released felons are political prisoners who have been let out of the box. We put more folks in jail and convict them of a felony than any other country.... I believe our government has evolved to the point it is refusing a large segment of society its rights. It should take more than one felony to cause a person to lose the rights our founding fathers claimed all folks have a right to.

44 AMP
October 19, 2008, 10:49 PM
Or is it a privilege conferred on us by our system of govt? Certainly it is a legal right under our Constitution today, but is it one of our "natural rights" as envisioned by the founding fathers? Blacks, women, and at one time the poor in our nation did not have the "right" to vote. This was changed by Constitutional Amendment, with women being the last, in 1920.

But of our natural rights, life, liberty, the right to arms, etc., we deprive felons of these as a matter or course as their just punishment for crimes committed. And at one time, this applied only to real crimes, crimes which directly harmed fellow citizens, like murder, rape, robbery, and assault.

But over the years, things have changed somewhat. Many, many things that were once misdemeanors, or were not even crimes at all are now felonies. And along the way, felons right to vote and right to arms after release is now denied automatically. They can petition a court for restoration of their right to vote, and get it restored, but it is a cumbersome process which most do not bother with.

Technically they can also petition the govt for the restoration of their firearms rights, but since Congress consistantly refuses to fund that portion of the govt that is a key feature in getting their rights restored, it cannot happen.

You are right, there are many people walking the streets of our nation who's terrible threat to society was to posess too much of a prohibited plant or chemical. Or who as a youth engaged in vandalism againt church property and recieved a conviction for felony trespass. Or who committed any number of other small offenses which in previous generations would not have merited a felony conviction, but do now. It is a game of words, and felon for having some dope is the same as felon for killing someone, a felon. And of course, we don't want felons voting or having guns, now do we? Just as someone with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction is a wife beater, and we don't want them having guns either, do we?

Unfortunately, perception creates its own reality, and the words used to describe something or someone create a certain perception. "Assault Weapon" comes to mind, as do "Cop Killer Bullets" for recent examples. It is very difficult to get our elected officials to vote for repealing anything, let alone something that "sounds" bad. And frankly, "felon" sounds bad.

I know some people that are felons, now and forever more, because they did something stupid in their youth. Minor things that injured no one except themselves, but under our system they are felons and denied the rights non-felons have, for the rest of their lives. It isn't fair, but unless and until we change it, it is what we have to live with.

Al Norris
October 20, 2008, 12:28 AM
To answer the simple question then: Voting is a political right, known back at the time of the founding as a "privilege." Immunities are those things that are considered "natural rights."

BillCA
October 20, 2008, 07:15 AM
44AMP - well said.

Many people refer to certain drug crimes as "victimless" crimes, but that is, unfortunately a misnomer. It is victimless only when the user of drugs acts in a manner that does not endanger others. Driving while intoxicated (drugs or alcohol) is not victimless. Nor are homicides that occur because the perpetrator was delusional under drugs or neglected the baby in the bathtub.

I once said that I'd be in favor of allowing felons to get their rights back, but only after their first imprisonment or sentencing (with exceptions). They would have to serve the full sentence* and remain free from further felonies or violent crimes for some period - 5 years - before getting back any rights. Any subsequent felony conviction strips them of their voting rights, right to hold office and 2A rights permanently. We give you one chance to redeem yourself. At the same time, some crimes must be lowered to misdemeanors OR the limitations on misdemeanor fines increased.

* A full sentence may include up to 1 year of parole with a clean prison record to get the person back into a normal societial role.

divemedic
October 20, 2008, 10:50 AM
Many people refer to certain drug crimes as "victimless" crimes, but that is, unfortunately a misnomer. It is victimless only when the user of drugs acts in a manner that does not endanger others. Driving while intoxicated (drugs or alcohol) is not victimless. Nor are homicides that occur because the perpetrator was delusional under drugs or neglected the baby in the bathtub.

But the drug is not the cause of the crime, and blaming the drug for what the person did is no different than blaming the gun for the actions of the shooter.

Driving while intoxicated IS victimless, as long as I do not hit anyone. Running your vehicle into another person or another person's property does have a victim, but it should not matter WHY you hit the vehicle, because whether you hit me because you were too fatigued, drunk, stoned, or just distracted by talking to your passenger, you still hit me. There are studies showing that a 30 year old man with a BAC of .12 has faster and better reactions than a sober 80 year old, but the old man is legal to drive while the young drunk man is not. Similarly, cell phone use while driving has been shown to be more dangerous than DUI.

A homicide is similarly wrong- the homicide is the crime, and it shouldn't matter if you are drunk, or hate me because of my race, sex, or clothing choice. The murder is the crime, the motor vehicle collision is the crime, not the reason behind it.

A 15 year old girl willingly has sex with her 18 year old boyfriend, and is the initiator in the act. In fact, she lies and tells him she is 18- even to the point of showing the lad a fake ID supporting her statement. Guess who becomes the convicted felony sex offender when the cops find out?

With all that said, we use the above actions to deny people their rights. This is wrong and ridiculous.

Musketeer
October 20, 2008, 11:30 AM
Florida's elections chief, Secretary of State Kurt Browning, acknowledged his staff has failed to remove thousands of ineligible felons because of a shortage of workers and a crush of new registrations in this critical swing state.

In other words, "We cannot eliminate the fraudulent voter registrations because we have been too busy processing fraudulent voter registrations."

44 AMP
October 22, 2008, 12:19 AM
And I do agree, in principle, that it has been in the wrong direction. We have, as a rule, become entirely too focused on why the crime is committed, and not on the crime itself. Other than as an object of intellectual curiosity, once you get past the point of discovering justification (self defense), why should the reason matter? It doesn't change what happened to the victim one bit.

As to the voter issue, who is most at fault, those deliberately signing up ineledgible voters, or the state for failing in their responsibility to provide adequate resources to meet their obligation?

divemedic
October 22, 2008, 04:34 AM
Why can't we do like Iraq does, and dye the index finger of those who have voted?

Musketeer
October 22, 2008, 08:59 AM
The law says those felons cannot vote and I disagree wit the law not being followed.

At the same time:

"No Taxation Without Representation."

I fail to see how you can tax a felon and then deny them the right to vote on their representation.

Al Norris
October 22, 2008, 10:17 AM
"No Taxation Without Representation."

I fail to see how you can tax a felon and then deny them the right to vote on their representation.
Um, because the law states that if you violate the law and are convicted of that violation, one of the consequences are that you lose certain rights. Voting being the right we are discussing.

I would agree that way too many felonies have been created by legislative acts. But, there has always been a way to change this. The fact that it has not been changed, means that, on its face, the populace agree with the law, as it is written and applied.

Therefore, one who knowingly violates the law, does so knowing that if caught and convicted, they will loose certain civil rights as punishment for their actions (see below).

As to the voter issue, who is most at fault, those deliberately signing up ineligible voters, or the state for failing in their responsibility to provide adequate resources to meet their obligation?

As a matter of justice, I would think both are equally at fault.

Those who are deliberately violating voter registration laws should be prosecuted. The problem here, is that the State would have to prove that the person doing the registrations knew the registrant was ineligible. That may be difficult at best. It might be easier to prove that registrant knew they were ineligible.

This would be easier to do, if all courts were required to tell the person at the time of sentencing, what rights they have lost because of their conviction. Currently, many courts do not do this. If it were done, then the convict would have no "excuse" for their actions, as they knew they were now a proscribed person.

The other side of the coin is the State itself. The only reason the State could have for not making the proper correlation would be if the Legislature did not require the various databases to be queried (and give authority to do so) and/or not provide for the proper funding of such correlation.

Here, many legislatures do pass such laws, but without proper funding. Funding would require more taxation and many legislatures are loath to tax their constituents. So "feel-good" laws are passed that can't be enforced.

Musketeer
October 22, 2008, 11:54 AM
Um, because the law states that if you violate the law and are convicted of that violation, one of the consequences are that you lose certain rights. Voting being the right we are discussing.

Just being the law does not make it right. If you are going to tax someone, forcefully remove their income and livelihood from them under penalty of imprisonment, then it only seems just that they have a say in who represents them. Freed felon or not, they are depending on representatives to defend their rights. Those are representative though who have no incentive to even hear their voices because they are forced to fund a system for which they have no say.

Throw them in jail and ban their ability to vote while incarcerated and not paying taxes, fine. Free them, expect them to rejoin society, be a part of it and contribute to it while denying them any ability to participate in it... that sounds wrong.

It was lack of representation in Parliament which led to the Revolution. I just find something abhorrent about taxing a "free" man but then denying him a say in his gov't. If he is free he should be free, with everything that goes with it. If he is too dangerous not to be free he should not be free. It's that simple.

raimius
October 22, 2008, 12:50 PM
The fact that it has not been changed, means that, on its face, the populace agree with the law, as it is written and applied.
I must disagree. There is a strong possibility that the voting public and their representatives simply do not care.
Who really wants to help out a criminal?
I think it is wrong to deny a "rehabilitated" person their right to vote, 2nd Amendment rights, etc. If the person is still considered dangerous enough to warrant a restriction on their Constitutional rights, why are they not in prison? If a person has been rehabilitated, why does the government continue to deny them the rights enjoyed by all other citizens?

Musketeer
October 22, 2008, 01:16 PM
I must disagree. There is a strong possibility that the voting public and their representatives simply do not care.
Who really wants to help out a criminal?
I think it is wrong to deny a "rehabilitated" person their right to vote, 2nd Amendment rights, etc. If the person is still considered dangerous enough to warrant a restriction on their Constitutional rights, why are they not in prison? If a person has been rehabilitated, why does the government continue to deny them the rights enjoyed by all other citizens?

I have to agree with raimius on this. Not caring is the key.

Why is the drinking age 21 and not 18 when at 18 you can be sent to die in a war and vote? Because there are not enough 18-20 year olds who can get it changed and the 21+ don't really care what is done "to someone else".

Bring it closer to home for many here, why was it relatively easy to get an Assault Weapons Ban passed along with laws against concealed carrying of weapons in all but ONE state (VT)? Because there were far more people who simply did not care and allowed the process to roll on than there were to stop it. If it wasn't for the Sunset Clause most of this nation would still be stuck with it. In NY we still are as there is no sunset clause. You are not going to convince most people to actually rise up and oppose something that they have nothing to do with and in places like NY the vast majority of people could care less about owning an "Assault Weapon."

That is the whole problem here with laws banning felons from voting. Since most people are NOT felons they could care less about what is done to them. The general American gives nice lip service to the principals this nation was founded on but generally cannot tell you the difference between the COTUS and the DoI or even the names of three branches of gov't. They are that complacent, they are that ignorant.

Those representatives put into office can pass legislation further restricting felons with no concern whatsoever about loosing their votes or troubling the majority of voters out there to do a thing against it. Most people could care less about felons and the felons targeted by such legislation cannot band together their votes to support a candidate who opposes such actions because... THEY CAN'T VOTE. Unless the courts address the issue (which they may or may not be able to do, I am not certain) they are subject to laws passed and enforced with their own tax dollars to which they have absolutely no say.

Locking one group out of the electoral process while at the same time binding them to support it is against the very principal the revolution was fought over "No Taxation Without Representation." Having representation might not fix all your problems but NOT having it enslaves you.

Al Norris
October 22, 2008, 05:55 PM
Musketeer and raimius, call it what you will. Makes no real difference whether it is right or wrong, as it is the law.

Don't like it? Then get active and convince enough people that it is wrong. Then with these people, lobby your Reps to change it.

That's called activism.

Ranting about it here, or other gun-boards, won't get you very far, as previous threads have shown.

raimius
October 22, 2008, 09:05 PM
Good point.

Do you know of any organized groups which are advocating this? I might not be going on CNN about this, but if there is someone who is/did/would I'd be happy to support them.

Dex Sinister
October 23, 2008, 12:46 AM
I would agree that way too many felonies have been created by legislative acts. But, there has always been a way to change this. The fact that it has not been changed, means that, on its face, the populace agree with the law, as it is written and applied.

That is an interestingly tautological argument, to whit:


A law is passed criminalizing an action that by itself harms no others, out of a sense that in "pre-crime" fashion we can prevent harmful possible consequent actions that may or may not occur, and which are already criminalized.
people, indicating a disagreement with that law, violate it
they are caught, confess (as 98% or people do) and under that law denied the right to vote
thereby removing from the voting rolls the very people most likely to vote against such a law
and the more people convicted under it, the less people available to vote against it
therefore - according to this argument - the law is just because it remains in existence
because an insufficient number of people vote to repeal it (or because repealing such a law is politically infeasible)


Sorry: Doesn't work for me. It is hardly more elegant than positing right-handed people voting to enslave left-handed people, and maintaining that this would therefore be just, because not enough right-handed people vote to repeal the law.

The issue is never whether what the majority approves of remains legal - but of inviolately protecting the rights of the minority to disagree with the majority. That's the purpose of having a republic rather than a democracy.

It is true that voting is a political right rather than a natural right - inasmuch as the ability to vote is contingent on the existence of government, and thus cannot, in a sense, precede the existence of government. But OTOH, this is an incorrect view: The right to vote is the political equivalent of the right to self-defense - one of the most fundamental rights in existence, and one that is never alienable (removable by political action.)

Why is the right to vote the equivalent of the right of self-defense? For the same reason that one cannot validly maintain that participation in the voting process thereby indicates approval, or even agreement, with the process. For what choice does one have? If one does not vote, one already knows that others may take the opportunity of voting to attempt to deprive one of one's rights and freedoms. One knows that by voting, one has at least a minuscule chance of retaining the freedom that one already possesses.

By voting, one knows that one can at least cancel the vote of a single person dedicated to using the political process to impose actions on others merely because it makes them feel more psychologically secure in the idea that their own self-imposed limitations on their own behavior ought not be subject to ridicule (as no one ever votes to impose a law that they believe that they would themselves violate). Therefore, one can never conclude that by the act of voting one has consented thereby to the results.

But what an odd idea, truly - the idea that by depriving some people in society of the participation in the political process, society is thereby safer. For voting provides a harmless illusion that one has some control over the direction that society travels. Exactly what does one expect to get from the process of dispelling that idea for some people? If you tell people that they have no peaceful way to indicate their wants in society wouldn't it be logical to assume that they might thereafter choose non-peaceful ways to express their views?

At that point, what other choice has society left them?

Dex http://home.pacbell.net/ajoule/firedevil_smiley.gif

BillCA
October 23, 2008, 04:00 AM
Re: Felons and voting rights.

Please note that felons who lose their voting rights still enjoy the right to address whomever is their legislative representative and make their opinions known. And I've never heard of a legislative person or their aides asking if you're a felon before offering to assist you when questions are asked.

If the person is still considered dangerous enough to warrant a restriction on their Constitutional rights, why are they not in prison?
This is a rhetorical red herring that gets tossed out frequently. There are societal contracts that everyone must follow, called laws. We, as a whole people, have given a subset of people the power to enact laws (supposedly) for our benefit. As a general rule, we agree to live by those contracts. Just as when you begin working for an employer whose contract says if you don't work then you don't get paid. You know ahead of time what the consequences are if you don't meet the obligations.

divemedic
October 24, 2008, 08:52 AM
I think the argument presented here has an interesting parallel. Slavery was at one point the law of the land in every state of the US. Under laws allowing indentured servitude, more than half of all white immigrants to the English colonies of North America during the 17th and 18th centuries consisted of slaves. In today's society we consider slavery to be evil, but how this came about has nothing to do with voting.

The slaves could not vote against slavery, and many freed slaves were shipped back to the countries from which they came. Many wanted to abolish slavery, but the election laws in place prevented abolition form occurring. Since Democratic processes failed, the people eventually resorted to force to change things.

This has happened over and over- people who are disenfranchised eventually reach a critical mass and will revolt rather than be tyrannized by the rest of a society. I believe that as more and more of our society becomes convicted felons and is denied franchise, than critical mass will eventually be reached. It is only a matter of time.

Musketeer
October 24, 2008, 10:14 AM
This has happened over and over- people who are disenfranchised eventually reach a critical mass and will revolt rather than be tyrannized by the rest of a society. I believe that as more and more of our society becomes convicted felons and is denied franchise, than critical mass will eventually be reached. It is only a matter of time.

Possibly. It depends on how widespread the abuse is and becomes. Look at laws requiring sex offenders to register with the state. If they are that much of a danger and their crime so heinous why are they freed? The bottom line is there are many people on such roles as low level offenders who are there because of some bogus case and plea. In this day and age having something on your computer, intentionally or accidental, could result in a varying amount of charges of pedophilia. One co-worker's husband went through complete hell as the result of some nut job kid, probably looking for attention, who made up a story about a slumber party hosted by their daughter. I am talking a kid of only 5 or 6 who was spoon fed things to say. This all stemmed from his carrying her up to the daughter's bedroom where the two girls were to sleep after they fell asleep on the couch and then went back for his daughter... Perhaps stupid but the wife was out and he thought he knew the girl's family. Uptight pedophilia paranoid parents who are bombarded by sex offender notices in the mail hear "A MAN CARRIED YOU" and go on a witch hunt after years of the case dragging on, his computers (which as an IT consultant with a business in his home are his livelihood) being confiscated and sifted through regularly and numerous other attempts to destroy his life with a complete lack of evidence he eventually conceded to plea to some minor charge which resulted in having to register as a lowest level offender for a couple years, end the case and its destruction of them economically and save their house. Mind you, there was no accusation from the girl that he had touched her in any "illicit" way, only that she was only semi conscious and he "could" have done so therefore maybe he did...:barf:

After hearing that story you can see how a sex offender registry can be a horrible thing and how overzealous pursuit of pedophilia cases results in crimes where none were committed but WHO is going to stand up in significant numbers to defend "pedophiles." Also do you ever think there will be enough "pedophiles" to really force the change? What politician is going to side with them?

The sick part about felons is they do not even have the opportunity to pool their electoral power and try to change the system because they are excluded from it while being beholden to it.

BillCA
October 24, 2008, 10:39 AM
Divemedic,

You bring up an interesting, and somewhat valid, point about slavery. We should keep in mind that slavery, while not acceptable by today's standards, actually was acceptable for most of our history. Egyptians, Romans, Greek, Germanic, English, Spanish, Chinese, Africans, and middle eastern cultures all relied on slavery at some point and sometimes for hundreds of years.

In fact, it was improvements in agriculture that made slavery possible. Once your people had an excess of food, you could afford to take slaves to work your lands, instead of killing off your opponents. The horse collar began to reduce the worth of slaves, now that a horse could work the land without strangling. One horse and collar was worth 10 slaves and required fewer support resources.

In America, slaves were imported by the British to help work large plots of land and cut timbers. After the revolution we kept the slaves because they were still needed (to some extent) and abrupt changes to an economic model usually brings chaos (a lesson we are learning yet again today). As improvents in industry improved farming methods and people enjoyed a more stable existence, the attitude towards slavery changed.

Consider today's high-tech world collapsing. Slavery might be the only viable method to feed the most people. Do you know how to grow your own corn? How to make corn meal? How to turn that into corn bread? Or make flour from potatos? Probably not 1 in 1,000 people knows how to properly butcher a deer, cow, pig, horse or dog for food. Those who have appreciable and useful skills would be able to find jobs. Everyone else becomes "unskilled" labor to work the fields, tend animals and become servants for those who can manage a farm or some kind of factory. In return they get food and a place to sleep out of the cold.

I'm not advocating it, but the reality is that the more primitive the society, the more likely it is to rely on slave labor or some form of indentured worker.

I don't see a "parallel" to felons losing their rights, however. A felon has a choice - don't do the crime. If he makes the choice to do the crime, he knows what he's risking in terms of society's sanctions. He loses his freedom for some period of time. He carries a felony record that limits his job choices. He can no longer vote or hold office. His 2A rights are limited. A person who values his rights, especially his voting rights, will decide the risk outweighs the rewards.

NotJim
October 25, 2008, 04:55 AM
I don't see anyone mentioning something significant:

In this state at least, and I presume elsewhere, felons can petition the court to have their rights restored after their sentences are completed. I don't know details of the basis for granting or denying restoration of rights, nor am I sure it includes firearms rights in all cases. I've been told ALL rights can be restored in most cases, but I've not checked up on the stats or statutes.

By some standards, I suppose "once a felon always a felon" may apply. But as regards voting rights, it's not necessarily a permanent condition.

A Google search on: felon "restoration of rights" gets 16,800 hits.

This link (http://www.ncsl.org/programs/legismgt/elect/voterights.htm) appears to be a state-by-state listing as regards voting rights in particular.

divemedic
October 25, 2008, 11:32 AM
I don't see a "parallel" to felons losing their rights, however. A felon has a choice - don't do the crime. If he makes the choice to do the crime, he knows what he's risking in terms of society's sanctions. He loses his freedom for some period of time. He carries a felony record that limits his job choices. He can no longer vote or hold office. His 2A rights are limited. A person who values his rights, especially his voting rights, will decide the risk outweighs the rewards.

The problem is that we have lowered the bar for felony to the point where you can commit a felony without realizing it. The ATFE is a perfect example. There are people who have written the ATF to make sure a product is legal before they begin selling it, and the ATF has approved the item, only to have the ATF change their minds and prosecute.

In Texas, it is a felony to own more than 5 sex toys.

In Florida, "deviate sexual intercourse" is defined as: sexual conduct between persons not married to each other consisting of contact between the penis and the anus, the mouth and the penis, or the mouth and the vulva.

It is a felony to have "deviate sexual intercourse" with a minor in Florida, even if you believe the minor to be an adult. So a 25 year old who gets a little freaky with his 17 year old girlfriend, who by the way lied and says she is 18, is now a FELON.

The prohibition on owning a firearm if you were convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence is, IMO, an ex post facto law that changes the punishment for a crime long after the punishment for the crime has been served. A man convicted in 1970 for domestic violence cannot buy a gun because of a law passed nearly 25 years later.

ETA: That while you CAN petition to have your rights restored, Congress has "defunded" the program, so your petition goes into the old circular file because there are no available funds to grant the petition.