View Poll Results: Should voting be a right or a privilege?

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41. You may not vote on this poll
  • Right

    32 78.05%
  • Privilege

    9 21.95%
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Thread: Voting: Right or privilege?

  1. #21
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpgrad08 View Post
    Maybe at first but that was been expended upon since then.

    15th: Prohibits the denial of suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude
    19th: Establishes women's suffrage
    26th:Establishes the official voting age to be 18 years old.
    That only expands upon who is no longer prohibited from voting. At best, I would say it's a partial right.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lokiate View Post
    That only expands upon who is no longer prohibited from voting. At best, I would say it's a partial right.
    There is also the 24th: Section 1

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

  3. #23
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lokiate View Post
    The Constitution simply states that certain people cannot be prevented from voting based on gender, race, or previous status of bonded servitude (slavery). I don't believe it is a right, since voting was never intended to be a right. It was reserved for white male landowners because it was felt that they understood the needs of the nation more than the poor and destitute, who the founders believed were incapable of Public Virtue (the ability to put the needs of the nation above their own).
    This was not true in all the states on the state level. In New Jersey at the time of the Revolution, single women who owned property were allowed to vote, and so were African-American men. This was changed only in 1807. That means the people of New Jersey had more respect for women than anyone else in the nation for at least a few years.

    And if the founders were here today, they would realize that the group they privileged was probably the least able to put the needs of the nation above their own, given the fact that they are, populationally, the group most responsible for practically destroying the nation's well being in recent times.
    Last edited by choiceone; 07-21-12 at 07:38 AM.

  4. #24
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phys251 View Post
    That sounds like the criteria of a privilege, not a right.
    It could be argued... and not illogically... that rights are really nothing but glorified privileges. You only get rights because we have collectively agreed you/we can have them... and even then they are sometimes violated and/or outright taken away.
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    First we need to know if "rights" exist. They don't, since they're just created hypothetical structures. "Rights" exist just as much as "justice" does.

    Since we know they're not rights, we realize that we're basically animals that believe in power, structure, in order to survive. Since we're like a herd, power does matter, and voting is therefore a "privilege." Voting has bee suspended, iirc, a few times throughout history.

  6. #26
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    it is a responsibility....
    I was just about to say exactly this.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    I see the thread is mainly about denial of access to the polls. I don't see anything in the constitution on banning people from voting, including those who are incarcerated, although I'd personally prefer to see anyone who commits felonies banned from voting at least as long as they're in prison at a minimum.
    Last edited by Smeagol; 07-23-12 at 07:12 PM.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    Well, the Constitution doesn't explicit prohibit banning certain people from voting...but I think it's fairly easy to logically infer that from the text. Article IV guarantees all states a "republican form of government" which would seem to necessitate regular state elections, Article I explicitly says that the House of Representatives is to be elected by the people, and Amendment 17 explicitly says that the Senate is to be elected by the people.

    So there's no question that elections and voting are absolutely required by the US Constitution, both for state and federal offices. If we all agree on that principle, then it's just a question of whether voting rights can be taken away from certain people while still maintaining a "republican form of government" and whether disenfranchising certain people means that various officeholders were truly "elected by the people" as the Constitution demands. It would seem to me that the guarantee in Amendment 14 of "equal protection under the law" would be violated if some adult citizens were allowed to vote and others were not.
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  9. #29
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    From the United States Constitution:

    14th Amendment: "But when the right to vote at any election..."
    15th Amendment: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote..."
    16th Amendment: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote..."
    24th Amendment: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote..."
    26th Amendment: "The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote..."

    I am having an incredibly tough time figuring out how the United States could consider voting a privilege when it is explicitly defined as a right in FIVE DIFFERENT AMENDMENTS. Not even gun rights get that much attention.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Voting: Right or privilege?

    Its a right that is guaranteed to you once you reach the age of 18.


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