Maryland Votes for Freedom
As the infographs presented by PrisonPath show below, the United States, through state laws, prohibits approximately six million Americans with felony convictions from voting. If our disenfranchised were citizens of Australia, Spain, France, Ireland or Germany, they would have the freedom to vote.
About 4.5 million Americans are barred from voting because they have felon records or are on parole or probation. On Tuesday, the Maryland legislature voted against prohibiting this basic freedom. The Maryland legislature voted against Governor Hogan’s veto allowing felons to vote while on parole or probation. The legislators voted in favor to restore this basic constitutional right because research proved that civic participation reduced recidivism. The American Probation and Parole Association told the Maryland legislature that “civic participation was crucial to help people become law-abiding citizens.”
It is estimated that 40,000 Maryland citizens including this author will now be able to vote again.
Disenfranchised Voters Infographic
Almost six 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.
SOURCES: ProCon.org, American Civil Liberties Union
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com
Nadine–Great news! Now we have to get these other states where people with felonies are permanently disenfranchised to get it together!
Larry — Thanks for the great post and infographics. So much progress and still so much to do to get people in reentry the basic rights of all citizens.
Allen– In Chicago, I was an election judge. Now that I have relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, I can’t even vote. There is a procedure, whereby you can regain voting rights, though I’m not sure how it works if your felonies are from another state. Anyway, it does involve going before a judge. I guess the idea is to make sure you’re white.
Michael– It’s a shame Colorado you can’t vote when you are on Parole.
Bradl– Thanks, Larry, you are absolutely right.
Debbie– Sad state of affairs