Last updated on: 8/29/2008 | Author:

What Is Disenfranchisement?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

MSN Encarta defined disenfranchisement in its online dictionary, as of May 21, 2007:

“[D]eprive of right, especially voting: to deprive a person or organization of a privilege, immunity, or legal right, especially the right to vote.”

May 21, 2007 - MSN Encarta

US Legal Forms Inc., an online legal information service, wrote the following in their article, “Disenfranchisement Law & Legal Definition,” (accessed Aug. 18, 2008):

“Disenfranchisement is the taking away of voting rights. Most states in the U.S. have enacted laws disenfranchising convicted felons and ex-felons. Laws vary by state, with some state denying voting rights to all felons, only certain felons, felons on probation, felons on parole, felons serving sentences, or a combination of the above…

48 states and the District of Columbia prohibit inmates from voting while incarcerated for a felony offense. Only two states, Maine and Vermont, allow inmates to vote. 35 states prohibit felons from voting while they are on parole.”

Aug. 18, 2008 - US Legal Forms Inc.

Jeff Manza, PhD, Professor of Sociology and Political Science at Northwestern University and Christopher Uggen, PhD, Distinguished McKnight Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, stated in their 2006 book Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy:

“[W]e use the phrase ‘disenfranchisement’ to describe the loss of voting rights. This usage is predominant in the contemporary scholarly and journalistic literature. However, in the extensive nineteenth-century debates over the extension or contraction of the franchise, ‘disfranchisement’ was the sole word used to describe the loss of voting rights, and most historians still employ the word today. Most dictionaries consider the words identical.”

2006 - Christopher Uggen, PhD Jeff Manza, PhD