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)

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Signs Executive Order Restoring Vote to Some Former Felons
8/5/2020 -

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed an executive order automatically restoring the vote to some former felons who have completed their sentences. People convicted of felony homicide will still have to apply for reenfranchisement.

US Supreme Court Rules Florida Can Enforce Law Requiring Former Felons to Pay Fines before Reenfranchisement
7/16/2020 -

The case remains in federal appeals court, but, until the resolution of that case, former felons in Florida may be required to pay any and all outstanding court fines and fees before being allowed to register to vote.

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