Felon’s Voting Rights in the United States
Many Americans are concerned about the wave of voter identification laws that would require all voters to produce a specific current government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot. The negative effects of these requirements are well known and documented. Approximately 23 million citizens lack proper photo identification and would be unable to vote. Millions of more Americans, former inmates, who have paid their debt to society are still unable to vote.
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.
By Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com