Last updated on: 3/20/2017 | Author:

Hans A. von Spakovsky, JD Biography

Manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation
Con to the question "Should People Who Have Completed Felony Sentences Be Allowed to Vote?"

“The proposal to automatically restore felons’ right to vote as soon as they have completed their sentences is shortsighted and bad public policy. When presented as a measure of compassion and justice, it is also hypocritical, as automatic restoration is not in the best interests of felons or the general public…

Several years ago, liberal groups unsuccessfully sued Florida, claiming that the state’s rules were unconstitutional and a violation of the Voting Rights Act. In Johnson v. Bush, a federal appeals court dismissed those claims, noting that ‘criminal disenfranchisement provisions have existed as a punitive device’ throughout history.

People truly concerned with the well-being of felons and their successful reintegration into the civil society would want the type of system Florida has. Felons have, by definition, knowingly and intentionally violated the laws of society. A five- or seven-year waiting period gives felons the opportunity — and an incentive — to prove they are deserving of exercising their right to vote.”

“Ex-Cons Should Prove They Deserve the Right to Vote,”, Mar. 15, 2013

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, Heritage Foundation, 2008-present
  • Member, Policy Board, American Civil Rights Union
  • Former Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, US Justice Department
  • Former Member, Board of Advisors, US Election Assistance Commission
  • Former Advisory Board Member, Voting Integrity Project
  • Former Adjunct Professor, George Mason University School of Law
  • Former Vice Chairman, Fairfax County (Virginia) Electoral Board
  • Former Member, Virginia Advisory Board to US Commission on Civil Rights
  • Former Chairman, Fulton County (Georgia) Republican Party
  • Former Member, Fulton County (Georgia) Board of Registrations and Elections
  • JD, Vanderbilt University School of Law
  • BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • In 2008, Senate Democrats opposed von Spakovsky’s confirmation to the Federal Election Commission and his nomination was withdrawn.
  • Served the George W. Bush campaign as a volunteer observer in Florida when votes were recounted for the contested 2000 presidential election
  • Twitter: @HvonSpakovsky
Quoted in:
  1. Should People Who Have Completed Felony Sentences Be Allowed to Vote?