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April 21, 2010

New LDF report on the impact of felon disfranchisement laws

I received via e-mail a press release from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund linking me to a new report on felon disenfranchisement.  Here is the start of the press release:

Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) released Free the Vote: Unlocking Democracy in the Cells and on the Streets, a report detailing the impact felon disfranchisement laws have on communities of color nationwide. "Securing the right to vote for the disfranchised-persons who have lost their voting rights as a result of a felony conviction-is widely recognized as the next phase of the voting rights movement," said John Payton, LDF Director-Counsel.

Nationwide, more than 5.3 million Americans who have been convicted of a felony are denied access to the one fundamental right that is the foundation of all other rights. Nearly 2 million, or 38%, of the disfranchised are African Americans.

The report details that a staggering 13% of all African-American men in this country-and in some states up to one-third of the entire African-American male population-are denied the right to vote. Given current rates of incarceration, an astonishing one in three of the next generation of Black men will be disfranchised at some point during their lifetime.

Nowhere are the effects of felon disfranchisement more prominent than in the Black community, where more than 1.5 million Black males, or 13% of the adult Black population, are disfranchised-a rate seven times the national average.

The full report, which is relatively brief and intriguingly has as many pictures as pages, can be found at this link

April 21, 2010 at 03:30 PM | Permalink


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