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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In 2014, state legislatures considered almost four times as many proposals that eliminate barriers to voting as ones that create them. Read more
Eric Bates has found himself among the approximately 5.8 million whose voting rights have been taken away because of a felony conviction. Read more
The state of Florida has an unfortunate history of disenfranchising voters. Read more
One in 40 Americans stand to become disenfranchised even after they have served their time. Read more
What follows are three ways Republicans have already impacted voting in 2012. Read more
Eight of eleven states in the former Confederacy have passed restrictive voting laws since the 2010 election, as part of a broader war on voting undertaken by the GOP. Read more
Courtesy of Project Vote, here is a rundown of some of the state legislation being introduced that will improve, rather than hinder, access to the polls: Read more
The Virginia Senate passed one measure, and defeated another, that would give the legislature constitutional power to restore voting rights to non-violent felons who lost them due to criminal convictions. Read more