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The Disenfranchised: Non-Violent Felon Voting Rights – Update



Felon’s Voting Rights in the United States

During the election frenzy in November, 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.

Disenfranchised Voters: Do Felons Have the Right to Vote?

SOURCES:, American Civil Liberties Union

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PrisonPathJames McIntireRich Deming Recent comment authors
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Rich Deming

The concentration of southeastern states in the highest number of felons who cannot vote is continuation of racism, Jim Crow, etc. I am surprised that South Carolina is not listed.

James McIntire

This is encouraging to me as I believe that all inmates, regardless of their crime, should have ALL of their Constitutional Rights restored to them imediately upon their release from prison. The Constitution applies to everybody! I also would like to see employers stop discriminating against people because of their past mistakes. Because when a person is released from prison and cannot get a good job, or even a place to live; he or she is tempted to return to their old ways just so they can get locked up again. The question of whether or not someone has ever… Read more »