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The Vanishing Black Electorate: Felony Disenfranchisement in Atlanta, Georgia

September 01, 2004
Ryan King and Marc Mauer
First-of-its-kind study documenting the localized impact of disenfranchisement; quantifies the role that disenfranchisement plays in general voter registration patterns as well as community political participation in Atlanta, Georgia.

In recent years there have been two major studies providing estimates of the number of persons disenfranchised in each state.

This state-level analysis has been critical in establishing an understanding of the prevalence of disenfranchisement and has provided the empirical data necessary for a contemporary reevaluation of the policy. However, previous research does not permit a consideration of the impact of these policies in two key ways:

1) There is a need to assess the effects of disenfranchisement at the local level, particularly in communities acutely affected by incarceration. The state estimates, due to their level of aggregation, are not able to identify and measure these intra-state regional variations, thereby potentially obscuring significant concentrations of disenfranchisement in communities most seriously impacted by the criminal justice system.

2) Previous research has not examined the effect of disenfranchisement on actual registration rates, to assess the contribution of disenfranchisement to overall disparities in voter registration among different demographic groups.

This report examines these dynamics in the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia.

To read the report, download the PDF below.

 
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