Continuing the policies of his predecessors since 2014, Youngkin announced he would restore voting (and other civil) rights to 3,496 people with felony convictions who have completed their sentences. The Youngkin administration stated rights would be restored “on an ongoing basis.”
A three-judge panel issued a preliminary injunction declaring that people convicted of felonies who have completed their prison time must be allowed to register to vote immediately. The injunction restored the right to vote to about 56,000 people who are on probation, parole or post-release supervision. The injunction may be appealed.
Explore the topic of reenfranchising people withe felony convictions via updated questions, resources, and statistics.
On May 4, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed a bill into law that automatically restores voting rights upon release from prison, even if the person is on parole. Previously, under Cuomo’s executive order, the person would have to apply for a review of records.
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.
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.
On Nov. 3, 2020, California voters approved Proposition 17, which allows people on parole to vote. California joins 18 other states and DC that restore the right to vote after prison.
Rapper and TV star Snoop Dogg and former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson both said they would vote for the first time in the Nov. 2020 election. Both stars were convicted of felonies, Snoop Dogg in 1990 and 2007 and Tyson in 1992.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 6-4 that Florida can require repayment of fines and fees before former felons are eligible to vote.
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.
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.
Judge Hinkle ruled, “that the State can condition voting on payment of fines and restitution that a person is able to pay but cannot condition voting on payment of amounts a person is unable to pay.”
US District Judge Robert Hinkle expanded a prior ruling to cover an estimated 1.4 million former felons in Florida, allowing them to vote without paying fines and fees related to their convictions.
A federal appeals court ruled that a Florida law requiring former felons to pay off restitution, court fees, and fines before voting again violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
The ruling follows a 2018 amendment to Florida’s constitution restoring voting rights to former felons upon completion of sentences and probation.
On. Dec. 18, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to restore voting rights to those who are on probation or parole after completing prison sentences. The law will take effect in Mar. 2020. Previously, voting was allowed only after completion of probation or parole.
Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order on Dec. 12 reinstating the vote of people convicted of nonviolent felonies who had finished their sentences. His father issued the same order as governor in 2015, but it was overturned by incoming governor Matt Bevin. Iowa is now the only state that has a total ban on voting by former felons.
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People convicted of felonies in Colorado who have completed their prison sentences but are on parole can now vote.
On June 27, 2019, Florida’s governor signed a bill into law that requires that people convicted of felonies must pay restitution, court fees, and fine before the right to vote will be restored. The right to vote was restored to most people with prior felonies by statewide vote (Amendment 4) in Nov. 2018.
Nevada restored the vote to former felons upon completion of their prison sentence, parole, and probation.
US Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders reignited this debate last month. Find quotes from Sanders (pro), as well as Professor John Lott, Jr. (con), New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie (pro), and the Boston Herald Editorial Board (con), among others.
Our new topic explores the pros and cons in the debate over making birth control pills available over-the-counter (OTC). 9.1 million women (12.6% of contraceptive users) use birth control pills, which are the second-most commonly used method of contraception in the United States. Proponents say making the birth control pill available over-the-counter would lower teen pregnancy rates, provide contraceptive access to medically underserved women, and ease access to a health-improving drug with decades of safe use. Opponents say making the Pill over-the-counter would raise the cost of contraception for women, pose a danger to teens’ and women’s health by removing the doctor’s visit requirement, and limit what options are made available.
Our new website presents the top pro & con arguments and quotes, a history of the debate, a video gallery, the prescription status of birth control pills around the world, and a list of drugs switched from prescription to OTC status.
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On Nov. 6, 2018, Florida voters passed Amendment 4 (64%-36%), automatically restoring the vote to people with prior felony convictions (other than murder and sex offenses) once they have served their terms of incarceration and completed all parole and probation.
We’re excited to announce 50 free lesson plan ideas for educators! Visit our Teachers’ Corner for inspiration, including lessons plans about distinguishing fact from opinion, how to write a “call-to-action” letter, and content from our partner Credo Reference.
See felon voting laws for all 50 states and DC, including 10 states where a felon may lose the vote permanently; 20 states that require completion of prison, parole, and probation; 3 states that require completion of prison and probation; 15 states and DC that restore the vote after prison; and 2 states where felons may vote from prison.
See each state’s laws on felon voting: US states are placed within one of five categories ranging from harshest (may lose vote permanently) to least-restrictive (may vote while in prison).
In 2016 an estimated 6.1 million people in the United States (2.5% of the nation’s voting age population, excluding DC) could not vote due to a felony conviction. Our updated chart breaks down the numbers for each state.