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September 25, 2008

New Sentencing Project report on felon disenfranchisement

I was pleased to learn through a helpful e-mail that the a new report from The Sentencing Project discussing felon disenfranchisement reform over the past decade. The report, titled "Expanding the Vote: State Felony Disenfranchisement Reform, 1997-2008," is available at this link.

This page at the website of The Sentencing Project provides a summary of the report's findings.  Here are excerpts from that summary:

Since 1997, 19 states have amended felony disenfranchisement policies in an effort to reduce their restrictiveness and expand voter eligibility, according to a report released today by The Sentencing Project.  The report, Expanding the Vote: State Felony Disenfranchisement Reform, 1997-2008, documents a reform movement over the past eleven years that has resulted in more than 760,000 citizens having regained their right to vote. The report's release coincides with the introduction of new legislation in Congress to secure federal voting rights for nonincarcerated citizens.

The report finds:

  • Nine states either repealed or amended lifetime disenfranchisement laws.
  • Two states expanded voting rights to persons under community supervision (probation and parole).
  • Five states eased the restoration process for persons seeking to have their right to vote restored after completing sentence.
  • Three states improved data and information sharing....

Despite these reforms, an estimated 5 million people will continue to be ineligible to vote in November's Presidential election, including nearly 4 million who reside in the 35 states that still prohibit some combination of persons on probation, parole, and/or people who have completed their sentence from voting.

September 25, 2008 at 04:52 PM | Permalink

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