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FELONY DISENFRANCHISEMENT



Nationally, an estimated 5.85 million Americans are denied the right to vote because of laws that prohibit voting by people with felony convictions. Felony disenfranchisement is an obstacle to participation in democratic life which is exacerbated by racial disparities in the criminal justice system, resulting in 1 of every 13 African Americans unable to vote.

U.S. Felony Disenfranchisement Laws by State

Felony Disenfranchisement News
August 9, 2015 (Business Insider)
There's blatant inequality at nearly every phase of the criminal justice system

Social science research shows striking racial disparities at nearly every level of the criminal justice system—from arrest rates, to bail amounts, to sentence lengths, to probation hearing outcomes. In eight charts, Business Insider explores what it’s like to be black in the U.S. justice system.


August 7, 2015 (The American Prospect)
The Growing Movement to Restore Voting Rights to Former Felons

On August 6, the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, dozens of Baltimore residents rallied and marched alongside community members to protest their disenfranchisement as the result of a former felony conviction.

In May, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan vetoed a bill which would have granted individuals with felony convictions the right to vote when they return home from prison, rather than making them wait until after their probation and parole sentences have been completed (some sentences can last for decades).

 


August 5, 2015 (The Los Angeles Times)
California will restore voting rights to 45,000 people on community supervision

California election officials are reversing a policy that prevents 45,000 felons from casting ballots, placing the state in the forefront of a movement to boost voting rights for ex-criminals.

California has until now maintained that state law prohibits felons from voting not only when they are in prison or on parole but also when they are under community supervision.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Tuesday that the state would now back voting rights for felons on community supervision, which is generally overseen by county probation departments.


July 31, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: Growing momentum for restoring the right to vote

Florida: Presidential candidates' felony disenfranchisement records

National: Growing momentum for restoring the right to vote

The "war on drugs" and black disenfranchisement

Racial attitudes and ideology affect support for restoration of voting rights


June 30, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: Virginia governor removes financial barrier for voting rights restoration

Virginia: Governor removes modern day "poll tax" 

National: Hillary Clinton calls for sweeping voting rights reforms

Voter turnout among people with felony convictions