Voting Rights

The criminal justice system shouldn’t have a say in our democracy. Laws in 48 states ban 4.6 million Americans from voting due to a felony conviction. Learn more in our report, “Locked Out 2022: Estimates of People Denied Voting Rights Due to a Felony Conviction.”


Voting Rights

Key Publications

Anytime a member of a society is not afforded the right to express his or her opinions by way of the democratic process, we cannot achieve the ideals of democracy.

Joel Castón
Washington, DC Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

Testimony to Oregon’s House Rules Committee in Support of Universal Suffrage Act

The Sentencing Project’s Director of Advocacy, Nicole D. Porter, offered expert testimony before Oregon’s House Rules Committee in support of House Bill 2366, a Universal Suffrage Act. HB 2366 repeals the prohibition on voting by individuals convicted of a felony and serving a court–ordered sentence of imprisonment for their conviction.


Voting in Jails

Former and current corrections officials from Illinois and Texas, and the first incarcerated person to win election in Washington, DC, will discuss best practices to support voting while incarcerated.

Click here to watch.

Voting Rights

Effective democracy requires universal voting access and guaranteed voting rights for all citizens. Laws that ban people with felony convictions from voting, or policies that undermine voting by incarcerated people eligible to vote, harm our democracy and the millions of citizens who are excluded from it. These voting bans have disproportionately diluted the political power of Black and brown communities. Help us end voting restrictions for people with felony convictions by sharing these facts on social media.

  • 4.6 million

    Americans are banned from voting due to felony convictions.

  • 48 states

    bar people from voting in prison. Only Maine, Vermont, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico allow voting in prison.

  • 1 in 19

    voting-age Black Americans have lost their voting rights due to a felony conviction—3.5 times the rate among non-Black Americans.

Young woman leading a demonstration using a megaphone
Get involved

Join the movement to expand voting rights for all

Help us apply political and legal pressure to ensure that a person’s criminal legal system involvement does not influence their voting eligibility or lead to other permanent exclusions and limitations from civic life.

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