Felon Disenfranchisement

Barring people from the polls because of criminal convictions

  • Democracy Imprisoned A Review of the Prevalence and Impact of Felony Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States, [PDF]
    The Sentencing Project et al., September, 2013
    “In three states, at least one out of every five African-American adults is disenfranchised: Florida (23%), Kentucky (22%), and Virginia (20%).”
  • Imprisonment and Disenfranchisement of Disconnected Low-Income Men [PDF]
    Urban Institute, August, 2013
    “When broken out by race and ethnicity, striking differences appear: incarceration rates for African American men are over six times higher than rates for white men and nearly two and a half times higher than rates for Hispanic men...”
  • Felony Disenfranchisement: A Primer, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, June, 2013
    “The 11 most extreme states restrict voting rights even after a person has served his or her prison sentence and is no longer on probation or parole; such individuals in those states make up approximately 45% of the entire disenfranchised population.”
  • Felony Disenfranchisement Laws in The United States
    Sentencing Project, August, 2012
    “Overview of felony disenfranchisement policy and implications, includes state-by-state table illustrating the categories of persons disenfranchised due to a felony conviction.”
  • State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States 2010, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, July, 2012
    “Ex-felons in the eleven states that disenfranchise people after they have completed their sentences make up about 45 percent of the entire disenfranchised population, totaling over 2.6 million people.”
  • Voting Behind Bars An Argument for Voting by Prisoners, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, July, 2011
    “Twenty-three states have enacted some type of reform to their felony disenfranchisement practices since 1997—a remarkable pace of activity in a relatively short time frame.”
  • Voting Behind Bars: An Argument for Voting by Prisoners Marc Mauer, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, June, 2011
    “The extreme nature of U.S. disenfranchisement policies can be seen in the fact that to the extent there is debate about this issue elsewhere, the only significant distinction is whether any restrictions at all should be placed on people [w/ convictions].”
  • Expanding the Vote: State Felony Disenfranchisement Reform, 1997-2010, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, October, 2010
    “Since 1997, 23 states have amended felony disenfranchisement policies in an effort to reduce their restrictiveness and expand voter eligibility.”
  • Importing Constituents Prisoners and Political Clout in California,
    Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2010
    “There are 12 California counties where a large percentage of their "residents" are actually people incarcerated at prisons that happen to be located in the county.”
  • Importing Constituents Incarcerated People and Political Clout in Maryland,
    Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2010
    “In Somerset County, a large prison is 64% of the 1st Commission District, giving each resident in that district 2.7 times as much influence as residents in other districts.”
  • Importing Constituents Prisoners and Political Clout in Connecticut,
    Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2010
    “In seven Connecticut's house districts more than 5% of the population is actually disenfranchised people who are legal residents of other parts of the state.”
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Illinois,
    Prison Policy Initiative, February, 2010
    “Illinois' reliance on flawed Census data is responsible for a large shift in political clout from the Chicago area to downstate regions and a significant distortion of power within counties that contain prisons.”
  • Recommendations to the UN Forum on Minority Issues Human Rights Council [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, November, 2009
    “The felony disenfranchisement laws, policies and practices of the United States deny the right to vote to a large segment of its minority population in a manner inconsistent with the general principles of international human rights law.”
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Massachusetts,
    Prison Policy Initiative, October, 2009
    “Five of Massachusetts' House districts meet federal minimal population requirements only because the state treats prisoners as residents of the district with the prison.”
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Oklahoma,
    Prison Policy Initiative, September, 2009
    ([B]y relying on Census Bureau counts of prison populations to pad out legislative districts with prisons, Oklahoma is inflating the votes of residents who live near prisons at the expense of every other resident in the state.)
  • Report Submitted to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, September, 2009
    “In the United States, nearly two million African Americans – or 8.25 percent of the African American population – are disenfranchised, a rate three times the national average.”
  • Expanding the Vote State Felony Disenfranchisement Reform, 1997-2008, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, September, 2009
    “A reform movement across the United States over the past eleven years has resulted in more than 760,000 citizens having regained their right to vote.”
  • Importing Constituents Prisoners and Political Clout in Pennsylvania, [PDF]
    Prison Policy Initiative, June, 2009
    “The legislative commission that drew Pennsylvania's districts in 2001 met the federal standard of population equality, but only because prisoners were counted in the wrong place.”
  • Phantom Constituents in Maine's Regional School Unit 13: How the Census Bureau's outdated method of counting prisoners harms democracy,
    Prison Policy Initiative, January, 2009
    “The designers of the school board's weighted voting system have given every group of 10 residents of Thomaston the same power over school district decisions as each group of 11 residents in the other towns.”
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Wisconsin,
    Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2008
  • The Campaign to Restore the Voting Rights of Persons Convicted of a Felony [PDF]
    DemocracyWorks, January, 2008
    (Published in American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 51, No. 5. A previous version appeared in monograph form published by DemocracyWorks.)
  • Phantom constituents in the Empire State: How outdated Census Bureau methodology burdens New York counties,
    Prison Policy Initiative, July, 2007
  • Barriers to Democracy A Petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for a Thematic Hearing on Felony Disenfranchisement Practice, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, May, 2007
    “The time is long overdue for the United States to follow the lead of its hemispheric neighbors and the broader international community, uphold treaties to which the United States is obligated, and take steps toward universal suffrage by reforming its crim”
  • Challenges to Felony Disenfranchisement Laws Past, Present, and Future, [PDF]
    Alabama Law Review, May, 2007
    “[T]he best way to achieve the goal of abolition is to generate press and harness public outrage to bring about legislative change.”
  • The Modern-Day Poll Tax How Economic Sanctions Block Access to the Polls, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, May, 2007
    “Low-income individuals face felon voting bans when they are required to pay all the legal financial obligations associated with a conviction before regaining the right to vote, resulting in the de facto disenfranchisement of countless individuals.”
  • Felon Disenfranchisement in Alaska and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 [PDF]
    Alaska Law Review, December, 2006
    “[A] case brought in Alaska [...] may well invalidate the state's practice of disenfranchising felons on the basis of its racially disproportionate impact.”
  • Felony Disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth of Kentucky [PDF]
    League of Women Voters of Kentucky, October, 2006
    “Kentucky has the highest African American disenfranchisement rate in the country with nearly one of every 4 African Americans ineligible to vote. This rate is nearly triple the national African American disenfranchisement rate.”
  • Felony Disenfranchisement in Connecticut [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, October, 2006
  • A Decade of Reform: Felony Disenfranchisement Policy in the United States, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, October, 2006
  • Briefing Sheet on Felon Disenfranchisement [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, August, 2006
    (frequently updated)
  • Losing the Right to Vote: Perceptions of Permanent Disenfranchisement and the Civil Rights Restoration Application Process in Kentucky, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, Elizabeth A. Wahler, April, 2006
  • Why the Census Bureau can and must start collecting the home addresses of incarcerated people,
    Prison Policy Initiative, February, 2006
    “Counting prisoners as residents of the prison location causes unexpected distortions in Census data for rural communities and creates significant burdens on state and local legislative data users who rely on the Census for redistricting purposes.”
  • A 'Crazy-Quilt' of Tiny Pieces: State and Local Administration of American Criminal Disenfranchisement Law, [PDF]
    Alec Ewald, Sentencing Project, November, 2005
  • Studies of Voting Behavior and Felony Disenfranchisement Among Individuals in the Criminal Justice System in New York, Connecticut, and Ohio, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, September, 2005
    (Prisoners with felony convictions)
  • Prisoners of the Census: Electoral and Financial Consequences of Counting Prisoners Where They Go, Not Where They Come From, [PDF]
    Eric Lotke and Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2005
  • Issue Brief on the Impact of Incarceration & Reentry: Rhode Island's Shrinking Black Electorate, [PDF]
    Rhode Island Right to Vote Campaign, February, 2005
  • Barred for Life: Voting Rights Restoration in Permanent Disenfranchisement States, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, January, 2005
  • Taxation Without Representation: Why Rhode Island needs to restore voting rights to people with felony convictions living in our communities, [PDF]
    Rhode Island Right to Vote Campaign, 2005
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Montana,
    Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2004
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Nevada,
    Prison Policy Initiative and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, December, 2004
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Texas,
    Prison Policy Initiative, November, 2004
  • Triple-Decker Disenfranchisement: First-Person Accounts of Losing the Right to Vote among Poor, Homeless Americans with a Felony Conviction, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, November, 2004
  • No Second Chance: People with Criminal Records Denied Access to Public Housing,
    Human Rights Watch, November, 2004
  • Purged! How Flawed and Inconsistent Voting Systems Could Deprive Millions of Americans of the Right to Vote, [PDF]
    ACLU, October, 2004
  • Jim Crow in Massachusetts? Prisoner disenfranchisement,
    Prison Policy Initiative, October, 2004
  • Actual Constituents: Students and Political Clout in New York,
    Prison Policy Initiative, October, 2004
    (how students are counted in the Census, why that makes sense (as opposed to how prisoners are counted) and why it makes no sense at all for some counties to discourage students from voting locally)
  • The 50-State Report on Re-Enfranchisement: A Guide to Restoring Your Right to Vote, [PDF]
    Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, September, 2004
  • The Vanishing Black Electorate: Felony Disenfranchisement In Atlanta, Georgia, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, September, 2004
  • Political Punishment: The Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement for Rhode Island Communities, [PDF]
    Rhode Island Family Life Center, September, 2004
  • The Disenfranchisement Of The Re-Enfranchised: How Confusion Over Felon Voter Eligibility in Ohio Keeps Qualified Ex-Offender Voters From the Polls, [PDF]
    Prison Reform Advocacy Center, August, 2004
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in Ohio,
    Prison Policy Initiative, July, 2004
  • Too big to ignore: How counting people in prisons distorted Census 2000,
    Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2004
  • Felony Disenfranchisement Rates for Women [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, March, 2004
  • Prisoners Gerrymandering Project Miscounting prisoners undercounts democracy, [Website]
    Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2004
  • Punishing at the Polls: The Case Against Disenfranchising Citizens with Felony Convictions, [PDF]
    Alec Ewald, Demos, December, 2003
  • Diminished Voting Power in the Latino Community The Impact of Felony Disenfranchisement Laws in Ten Targeted States, [PDF]
    MALDEF, December, 2003
  • Legislative Changes on Felony Disenfranchisement, 1996-2003 [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, September, 2003
  • Incarceration and Enfranchisement: International Practices, Impact and Recommendations for Reform, [PDF]
    Brandon Rottinghaus, International Foundation for Election Systems, June, 2003
  • Disenfranchised Veterans in the United States [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, June, 2003
  • The Partisan Politics of Ex-Felon Disenfranchisement Laws (excerpts), [PDF]
    Jason Belmont Conn, May, 2003
  • Jail-based voter registration campaigns [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, May, 2003
  • State-Based Advocacy on Felony Disenfranchisement [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, February, 2003
  • Democratic Contraction: Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, [PDF]
    Profs. Uggen and Manza, November, 2002
  • Impact of Recent Legal Changes in Felon Voting Rights in Five States [PDF]
    Profs Uggen and Manza, October, 2002
    (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico and Texas)
  • Re-Enfranchisement! A guide for individual restoration of voting rights in states that permanently disenfranchise former felons, [PDF]
    Advancement Project, September, 2002
  • Summary of Changes to State Felon Disenfranchisement Laws, 1865-2003, [PDF]
    Profs. Uggen and Manza, September, 2002
  • Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in New York,
    Prison Policy Initiative, April, 2002
    (Study of the effect of counting urban prisoners as rural residents for purposes of state legislative redistricting)
  • Justice Denied: How felony disenfranchisement laws undermine democracy, [PDF]
    Americans for Democratic Action Education Fund, March, 2002
  • Criminal Disenfranchisement in Minnesota [PDF]
    Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, January, 2002
  • Regaining the Vote: An Assessment of Activity Relating to Felon Disenfranchisement Laws, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, January, 2000
  • Losing the Vote '98
    Sentencing Project & Human Rights Watch, October, 1998
  • Felon Disenfranchisement: Pennsylvania's Sinister Face of Vote Dilution,
    Jon E. Yount, March, 1998
  • Civil Disabilities of Convicted Felons: A State-by-State Survey, [PDF]
    Office of the Pardon Attorney, October, 1996
    (This is an updated, state-only version. The original version, which includes federal information, is available through the Nat'l Criminal Justice Reference Service (https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/Search/Abstracts.aspx?id=195110))

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