Tags: Voting Rights | felons | voting rights | statistics | disenfranchisement

7 Statistics About Felon Voter Disenfranchisement

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 09:40 AM

Voting rights for felons and ex-felons have gone through changes over the years. Voter disenfranchisement had long remained permanent for many offenders, but adjustments have been made by many states in recent years.

Here are seven statistics about voter disenfranchisement for felons and ex-felons:

1. Voting disenfranchisement laws for felons exist in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Only Maine and Vermont allow voting privileges for felons, even when they are in prison, according to The Sentencing Project.

VOTE NOW: Should Convicted Felons Be Allowed to Vote?

2. Four states do not allow people with felony convictions to vote after completing their sentences. They are Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia. However, voting may be restored with a pardon from the governor. Florida's executive clemency board made changes to automatically restore voting rights to non-violent ex-felons in 2007, but that ruling was reversed in 2011, imposing a waiting period of five to seven years after completion of a sentence.

3. Most ex-felons in 38 states and the District of Columbia have their voting rights restored when they complete their sentences. Some states require time periods after a sentence is completed or an application process to have voting rights restored, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

4. Kentucky became the first state to impose criminal disenfranchisement for those convicted of "high crimes and misdemeanors" in its state constitution in 1792. Other states followed since these laws were left up to the individual states after the founding of the nation, according to ProCon.org.

TELL US: How Do You Feel About Voting Rights for Convicted Felons?

5. Changes in voting rights laws began to accelerate by the end of the 20th century. Some 28 states passed new laws regarding felon voting rights between 1996 and 2008, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Twelve of the states simplified procedures with such measures of eliminating a waiting period or improving on resources to streamline the process. Some ex-offenders regained the right to vote when seven states repealed lifetime disenfranchisement laws.

6. One in 40 adults, or more than 5 million Americans, have lost their voting rights currently or permanently because of felony convictions, according to The Sentencing Project.

7. More African Americans than other populations lose their voting rights due to felony convictions. More than 2 million African Americans, or 7.7 percent of black adults, have been disenfranchised compared to 1.8 percent of non-African Americans, The Sentencing Project reported.

VOTE NOW: Do You Think Convicted Felons Should Be Allowed to Vote?

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Voting rights for felons and ex-felons have gone through changes over the years. Voter disenfranchisement had long remained permanent for many offenders, but adjustments have been made by many states in recent years.
felons, voting rights, statistics, disenfranchisement
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2015-40-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 09:40 AM
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