Last updated on: 1/16/2020 | Author: ProCon.org

An estimated 6.1 million people with a felony conviction are barred from voting in elections – a condition known as disenfranchisement. Each state has its own laws on disenfranchisement that range from allowing people with felony convictions to vote from prison to restoring voting rights after completion of some or all of the sentence to banning former felons from voting permanently.

Proponents of felon re-enfranchisement say that felons who have paid their debt to society by completing their sentences should have all of their rights and privileges restored. They argue that efforts to block ex-felons from voting are unfair, undemocratic, and politically or racially motivated.

Opponents say felon voting restrictions are consistent with other voting limitations such as age, residency, sanity, etc., and other felon restrictions such as no guns for violent offenders and no sex offenders near schools. They say that convicted felons have demonstrated poor judgment and should not be trusted with a vote.

 

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Our Latest Updates (archived after 30 days)

Washington to Restore Vote upon Release from Prison in 2022
4/12/2021 -

The legislation signed on Apr. 7, 2021 by Governor Jay Inslee restoring the right to vote upon release from prison goes into effect in Jan. 2022. Until then, the right to vote is not restored until prison, parole, and probation are completed.

Virginia Governor Reenfranchises More Voters with Felony Convictions
3/17/2021 -

Governor Ralph Northam issued rules that allows those with felony convictions to vote as soon as they have completed their prison sentences, reenfranchising 69,000 people.

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