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.
Most Recent / Relevant Items
Advanced Filters and Sorting
Now that the political climate has changed and is aided by weakened voting protections, states are taking it upon themselves to investigate and pass laws that prevent voter fraud. Read more
With this new wave of hostility toward the democratic process, we can expect to see fewer viable legislative efforts to modernize election administration, and more egregious efforts to block the vote. Read more
While advocates and lawmakers have slowly worked over the last 50-plus years to make the democratic process more inclusive, efficient, and modern, the future of voting rights remains uncertain under Trump. Read more
While legislative activity has slowed over the summer, the legal battles over election laws are heating up. Project Vote Legislative Director Marissa Liebling discusses the current landscape. Read more
Recent moves in two states seek to restore voting rights to Americans with former felony convictions who have served their time, paid their debt, and rejoined their communities. Read more
In 2016, the trend in voting bills has been towards modernizing the voter registration process to make voting more accessible. But the threat from lawmakers to pass laws that make it harder for citizens to vote remains, and this will be the first election cycle in fifty years without the protections of the Voting Rights Act. Read more
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
The drumbeat for making voting more accessible continues as we head into what looks to be an extraordinary election in November. Read more