Disenfranchised Voters

Am really getting caught up in the american elections (ftr am an expat brit, left the UK 7 years ago living in phils and working in in italy)

I have read about problems with vote counting machines and other issues concerning ACORN registering fantasy voters which may deter/prevent actually american citizen’s to vote or their vote cast to be counted. That type of disenfranchisement am not querying here

My question is as follows.

Apart from the obvious ( non citizens) Who is legally prohibited to vote in the US?

And following on from that, as I do know that convicted felons are deprived of a vote am very very interested in finding out how this can be justified to be fair, I can accept that problems would exist allowing felons currently serving a sentence to wander out of gaol to vote, but in the light of the opinion that a sentence served means dues to society paid… Is it like gun law? a felon that has lost the right to bear arms also equals a felon has forfeited his right to vote in perpetua?

Does either party have a position on disenfranchised voters as described above?

apologies if i dnt come back to this thread soon am working for the next 20 hours but would love to read some feed back.

Felon voting rights depend on the individual state. Some states ban anyone convicted of a felony from ever voting, others allow felons who are no longer imprisoned to vote (at least I seem to recall this scenario), still others allow those felons who are no longer on parole or other supervision by the state to vote.

You could make the argument that a felon has demonstrated a lack of morals and character, and should not be allowed to influence the political process as a voter. I’d like to require all prospective voters to pass a civics test, like the one given to applicants for naturalized citizenship. That’s not likely to happen.

A fellow I know was born in Saudi Arabia to American parents who had been working there for years. They are from Virginia and that state was the last place they lived in the US before moving overseas.

This fellow has never lived in the USA, but is a US citizen and is not eligible for a Saudi passport. He is now working there and paying US taxes on his income. Of course some people will say he should stop paying US taxes, but that would mean he’d be arrested if he tried to visit the US which he does every year to see extended family.

He can’t vote because he is not a resident of any state and Virginia does not allow his parents’ state residency to pass through to him.

Pays taxes. Can’t vote.

I did read that last sentence, but I have to jump in anyway because your understanding of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is wrong. ACORN hired people to register voters. Because those paid workers had a quota system, some of those workers filled in fraudulent forms to make more money. ACORN checked each and every form that was turned in for accuracy and found the fraudulent forms. It’s a felony to just throw away registration forms (as well it should be) so they flagged the suspect/bogus forms and turned them in. That’s all. ACORN did what it was supposed to do. Everything, once they got the forms back in the office, was on the up and up, and the GOP and McCain made it into a big stink for nothing.

Remember, bogus registration forms are not the same as bogus votes. For voter fraud to happen, people would have to show up at the polling place and try to use a bogus registration to vote. Nothing like that has happened. ACORN itself did nothing wrong, it was a few bad apple employees (who were fired immediately), and ACORN itself called attention to the problem. McCain and the GOP are full of shit, especially when somehow, some way, the episode filters down to someone on a message board writes something as incredible as “may deter/prevent actually american citizen’s to vote or their vote cast to be counted”!

I mean yikes! ACORN has been unfairly tarred and feathered by everyone except for those who understand what actually happened. I’m really kind of mad at Obama that he let McCain’s slurs go unchallenged at the debate. McCain approved of ACORN until he was told to bash it by his handlers. McCain was the [=22386&tx_ttnews[backPid]=12387&cHash=5706e23a2f"]keynote speaker](http://www.acorn.org/index.php?id=12439&tx_ttnews[tt_news) at one of their rallys in 2006! Obama should have pointed that out. He missed a golden opportunity.

Equipoise is right, but the confusion about ACORN is understandable – the right wing has been trumpeting the “fraud” claims very loudly without any explanation of the truth. If you weren’t following things carefully, you might have missed the explanation.

As for who cannot vote, in many states, you can’t vote if you moved from one address to another and not reregistered. If you move on November 1, you technically cannot vote (your old address is not valid and it’s too late to register at your new address).

Generally, the Board of Elections doesn’t worry about this if you’re in the same city and show up at your old polling place (especially since any ID will show your old address, anyway), but in some states Republicans are trying to hew to the letter of the law on the basis that Democratic voters move more often than Republican voters.

Unfortunately, this isn’t limited by your example.

I live in NH, and during times that I worked in MA, I’ve had to pay MA taxes, but alas, get no vote on how that money may be spent.

I also thought that’s a big part of what that Revolution a couple of hundred years ago was about, but as I had no vote, they didn’t care to listen to my arguments… :smiley:

I think the restriction on ever letting felons vote is essentially racism. Some 20% of black men spend some time in jail, nearly all for drug offenses. They are not all felons, but many are and thereby prevented from voting while in jail. Depending on the state they may be further prevented from voting while on parole or even permanently. This is one of several ways they arrange to discourage blacks from voting. Of course, many blacks shoose not to vote, but that won’t be a consideration this time around.

Yet another awful, but probably unintended, consequence of the expensive, failed, useless ‘war on drugs’. Although I’m sure some people are glad that it has worked out this way.

When was it first decided that felons could not vote? My guess is that the prohibition on felon voting was created long before the right of black people to vote was recognized in the US, and so could not have been based on racism originally.

On purely philosophical grounds, one could argue that a felon has demonstrated contempt for the law by breaking it in a major way, and therefore should not have a voice in the making of laws. Or, practically, perhaps a criminal cartel could subvert the democratic process by getting their own candidates elected, in order to decriminalize their profession, whatever that might be. Not that I necessarily agree with any of this, but there you go.

Not true in all states. In Minnesota, I can register to vote at the polling place, on November 4th.

Technically, you have to have resided in that precinct for at least 20 days before voting. But if you have the appropriate identification with your new address, the election workers don’t really have any way to check this, so it isn’t enforced much.

Or you could go back to your old precinct, where you were registered, and are still on the list, and vote there. Again, technically not allowed, since you have moved, but how would the election workers know this?

It seems to me that strict enforcement of the law would prevent someone who moves on Nov 1st from voting in either the old or new polling place on Nov 4th. I guess they would have to vote absentee before they moved.

Of course, non-citizens resident in the US and paying taxes in the US can’t vote either. (And I pay taxes in Australia too, and am an Australian citizen, but can’t vote there either, because I’m out of the country too long).

This happened to me in 2000. I still can’t decide if I’m a sap or an upstanding citizen for not lying to the little old ladies.

Of course, but they are non-citizens. US citizens, paying taxes and not having a felony conviction, not able to vote is wrong. When I lived in the Republic of Georgia, I paid Georgian taxes, but I didn’t get to vote for or against Eduard Shevardnadze because I am not Georgian.

How long do you have to be out of Oz to stop paying tax there or to stop being able to vote? I hope after Nov 4 (Jan 20) you guys won’t have to be our Deputy Sherifs anymore. :wink:

People between the ages of 1 day, and 17 years, 364 days old.
Dead people, at least in most locations.

Equipoise, there was no problem in any of the states that allow same-day voting/or collecting absentee ballots, and don’t have ID requirement laws? None at all?