Ending Felony Disenfranchisement
The story of American democracy is often told as the steady expansion of voting rights, but history has not yet caught up with one group: people with past felony convictions. Citizens with felony convictions are prohibited from voting, either permanently or temporarily, in all but two states.
This means that an estimated 5.8 million Americans are prevented from participating in American democracy. These are disproportionately Americans of color, from the very disenfranchised communities that most need to have a voice in the democratic process.
Fair and consistent felony re-enfranchisement laws can contribute to the rehabilitation process, reduce the harmful impact of disenfranchisement on low-income and minority communities, and foster a sense of community for those who feel disconnected and unfairly excluded from civic participation. Priority must be given to developing a nationwide policy that allows for reinstatement of voting rights, and educating former offenders regarding restoration procedures.
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Voter registration is the first step to participating in democracy. In 2016, many states proposed new laws that, if passed, would affect a citizen’s access to voter registration and ultimately, the ballot box in November. Read more
Although legislation is introduced every year, the fight to restore voting rights to citizens with a history of felony convictions is an uphill battle. Read more
Project Vote submitted testimony to California’s Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting in support of AB 2466, a bill to clarify voter eligibility rules. Read more
The drumbeat for making voting more accessible continues as we head into what looks to be an extraordinary election in November. Read more
Last week, in his final State of the Union Address, President Obama indicated his interest in modernizing our election system... Read more
Last year, lawmakers, community organizations, and religious, civil rights, and racial justice leaders undertook an important effort to restore voting... Read more
In 2015, nonpartisan voting rights group Project Vote monitored 315 bills, introduced by state and federal lawmakers, that could change the way people vote in 2016 and beyond. Read more
Since January, Project Vote has closely monitored 315 bills that could affect the way people vote in 2016 and beyond.... Read more
Massachusetts and Virginia adopted policies that would make voter registration and voting accessible to more citizens this week. Read more
To date in 2015, lawmakers in 24 states have proposed at least 52 bills that threaten voting rights, while lawmakers in 36 states have proposed to improve election administration in some way... Read more