Felon’s Voting Rights in the United States
During the election frenzy in November, PrisonPath.com discussed the heavy sanctions that restrict non-violent offenders after successful completion of their sentences. Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia has now announced new changes regarding non-violent felon’s voting rights. Among the changes, non-violent offenders will not have a two year waiting period before their civil rights are restored.
Over five million Americans are disenfranchised from voting even if the former inmates are again productive members of society who pay taxes. Several states do not restore the right to vote upon completion of the sentence. Thirteen states allow probationers and parolees the right to vote and nineteen states allow former inmates the right to vote upon completion of their sentence. Both Florida and Virginia were two of the four states that did not restore the right to vote to non-violent felons upon completion of their sentences last November. Now with the efforts of Gov. Bob McDonnell, Virginia is not one of the infamous four.
Prisonpath advocates that non-violent offenders should have their voting rights automatically restored upon release from prison.