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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
September 15, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Disenfranchisement News

Florida: Voting Rights in Jail 

Wyoming: Opportunity for Reform 

Kentucky: New voting rights bill in consideration for 2015 

International: ECHR rules ban on prisoner voting violates human rights

Voting from behind bars in Ireland 


August 7, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Disenfranchisement News

National: Bipartisan Efforts for National Felony Disenfranchisement Reform

Wyoming: State Bill Could Restore Voting Rights to Thousands

Kentucky: Louisville Metro Council Unanimously Approves Resolution in Support of Automatic Rights Restoration


July 10, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Shadow Report of The Sentencing Project to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Along with 11 allied civil rights and justice reform organizations, The Sentencing Project submitted a shadow report regarding racial disparities in the justice system to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Our report documents continuing disparities in incarceration, the imposition of juvenile life without parole, the death penalty, and felony disenfranchisement. The review of United States’ compliance with the CERD convention will take place in August.


July 7, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Disenfranchisement News

National: Rand Paul Seeks to Restore Voting Rights in Federal Elections

Arresting Citizenship Examines Criminal Justice Impact on Political Participation

Tennessee: Levels of Voter Disenfranchisement Remain High

Alabama: State Fixes Error: Marijuana Possession No Longer Bars Voting

Florida: Law School Graduate Unable to Practice Law Due to Felony Conviction


June 11, 2014 (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
The link between felon disenfranchisement, politics, and health

About 7.7% of voting age African Americans are currently prohibited from voting compared to 2.5% of the U.S. population. Pennsylvania is among the more progressive states in this regard; only current prisoners are prevented from casting ballots, with 2.5% of the state’s African Americans (0.6% of all races) disenfranchised, according to the Sentencing Project. When the analysis is limited to males, who are far more likely to be imprisoned, it finds that 13% of African American men are disenfranchised nationwide. An African American male born today has a 1-in-3 chance of being disenfranchised at some point in his life.

If a group of people can’t vote, the politicians who care about their health needs might be less likely to win elections.