Wait, We Don’t Let Former Felons Vote?
11 states currently restrict voting rights for former felons after they have served their time in prison and are no longer on parole.
These laws currently prevent 5.8 millions citizens from voting, more than the individual populations of 31 states.
Precluding former felons from voting disproportionately affects communities of color, as 7% of African-Americans can’t vote.
US Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced his opposition to denying felons the right to vote, saying that it “undermines the reentry process and [defies] the principles of accountability and rehabilitation that guide our criminal justice policies.”
A study by a parole commission in florida found that formerly incarceredated people banned from voting were three times as likely to reoffend compared to those who were allowed to vote.
Why We Care
These laws limit and undermine the rehabilitation and reentry of former felons, and increase the likelihood that they will commit another crime. This means more prisoners, more prisons, and more cost to the taxpayers.
We enthusiastically support the restoration of voting right for felons.