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6 Million Lost Voters - State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, Sentencing Project, 2016

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6 Million Lost Voters:
State-Level Estimates of Felony
Disenfranchisement, 2016

For more information, contact:
The Sentencing Project
1705 DeSales Street NW
8th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 628-0871
sentencingproject.org
twitter.com/sentencingproj
facebook.com/thesentencingproject

This report was written by Christopher Uggen, Regents Professor of
Sociology at the University of Minnesota; Ryan Larson, Ph.D. candidate
at the University of Minnesota; and Sarah Shannon, Assistant Professor
of Sociology at the University of Georgia.
The Sentencing Project is a national non-profit organization engaged
in research and advocacy on criminal justice issues. Our work is
supported by many individual donors and contributions from the
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Copyright © 2016 by The Sentencing Project. Reproduction of this
document in full or in part, and in print or electronic format, only by
permission of The Sentencing Project.

Table of Contents
Overview	3
Disenfranchisement in 2016	

6

Recent Changes	

12

Disenfranchisement and Restoration of Civil Rights	

13

Summary	14
References	17

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 1

2 The Sentencing Project

Overview
The United States remains one of the world’s strictest nations when it comes to
denying the right to vote to citizens convicted of crimes. An estimated 6.1 million
Americans are forbidden to vote because of “felony disenfranchisement,” or laws
restricting voting rights for those convicted of felony-level crimes.
In this election year, the question of voting restrictions is once
again receiving great public attention. This report is intended
to update and expand our previous work on the scope and
distribution of felony disenfranchisement in the United States
(see Uggen, Shannon, and Manza 2012; Uggen and Manza
2002; Manza and Uggen 2006). The numbers presented here
represent our best assessment of the state of felony disenfranchisement as of the November 2016 election.
Our key findings include the following:
•	 As of 2016, an estimated 6.1 million people are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction, a figure that has escalated dramatically in recent decades as the population under
criminal justice supervision has increased. There were an
estimated 1.17 million people disenfranchised in 1976, 3.34
million in 1996, and 5.85 million in 2010.
•	 Approximately 2.5 percent of the total U.S. voting age
population – 1 of every 40 adults – is disenfranchised due
to a current or previous felony conviction.
•	

Individuals who have completed their sentences in the twelve
states that disenfranchise people post-sentence make up over
50 percent of the entire disenfranchised population, totaling
almost 3.1 million people.

•	 Rates of disenfranchisement vary dramatically by state due
to broad variations in voting prohibitions. In six states –
Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and
Virginia – more than 7 percent of the adult population is
disenfranchised.
•	 The state of Florida alone accounts for more than a quarter
(27 percent) of the disenfranchised population nationally,
and its nearly 1.5 million individuals disenfranchised
post-sentence account for nearly half (48 percent) of the
national total.
•	 One in 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised,
a rate more than four times greater than that of non-African
Americans. Over 7.4 percent of the adult African American
population is disenfranchised compared to 1.8 percent of
the non-African American population.
•	 African American disenfranchisement rates also vary significantly by state. In four states – Florida (21 percent), Kentucky
(26 percent), Tennessee (21 percent), and Virginia (22
percent) – more than one in five African Americans is disenfranchised.

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 3

State Disenfranchisement Law
To compile estimates of disenfranchised populations, we take
into account new U.S. Census data on voting age populations
and recent changes in state-level disenfranchisement policies,
including those reported in Expanding the Vote: State Felony
Disenfranchisement Reform, 1997-2010 (Porter 2010). For
example, in 2007, Maryland repealed its lifetime voting ban that
had applied to some individuals post-sentence, and in 2016
eliminated the voting ban for persons on probation or parole.

Other states have revised their waiting periods and streamlined
the process for regaining civil rights. As shown in the following
table, Maine and Vermont remain the only states that allow
persons in prison to vote. Thirty U.S. states deny voting rights
to felony probationers, and thirty-four states disenfranchise
parolees. In the most extreme cases, twelve states continue to
deny voting rights to some or all of the individuals who have
successfully fulfilled their prison, parole, or probation sentences (for details, see notes to Table 1).

Table 1. Summary of State Felony Disfranchisement Restrictions in 2016
No restriction (2)

Prison only (14)

Prison & parole (4)

Prison, parole, & probation
(18)

Prison, parole, probation, &
post-sentence (12)

Maine

Hawaii

California3

Alaska

Alabama1

Vermont

Illinois

Colorado

Arkansas

Arizona2

Indiana

Connecticut

Georgia

Delaware4

New York

Idaho

Florida

Kansas

Iowa5

Michigan

Louisiana

Kentucky

Montana

Minnesota

Mississippi

New Hampshire

Missouri

Nebraska7

North Dakota

New Jersey

Nevada8

Ohio

New Mexico

Tennessee9

Oregon

North Carolina

Virginia12

Pennsylvania

Oklahoma

Wyoming13

Rhode Island10

South Carolina

Utah

South Dakota11

Massachusetts
Maryland

6

Texas
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Notes:
1.	
2.	
3.	
4.	
5.	
6.	
7.	
8.	
9.	
10.	
11.	
12.	
13.	

Alabama - In 2016, legislation eased the rights restoration process after completion of sentence for persons not convicted of a crime of “moral
turpitude.”
Arizona - Permanently disenfranchises persons with two or more felony convictions.
California - In 2016, legislation restored voting rights to people convicted of a felony offense housed in jail, but not in prison.
Delaware - The 2013 Hazel D. Plant Voter Restoration Act removed the five-year waiting period. People convicted of a felony, with some exceptions,
are now eligible to vote upon completion of sentence and supervision. People who are convicted of certain disqualifying felonies - including murder,
bribery, and sexual offenses - are permanently disenfranchised.
Iowa - Governor Tom Vilsack restored voting rights to individuals who had completed their sentences via executive order on July 4, 2005. Governor
Terry Branstad reversed this executive order on January 14, 2011 returning to permanent disenfranchisement for persons released from supervision
after that date.
Maryland – Eliminated the ban on voting for persons on probation or parole supervision in 2016.
Nebraska - Reduced its indefinite ban on post-sentence voting to a two-year waiting period in 2005.
Nevada - Disenfranchises people convicted of one or more violent felonies and people convicted of two or more felonies of any type.
Tennessee - Disenfranchises those convicted of certain felonies since 1981, in addition to those convicted of select crimes prior to 1973. Others
must apply to Board of Probation and Parole for restoration.
Rhode Island – A 2006 ballot referendum eliminated the ban on voting for persons on probation or parole supervision.
South Dakota - State began disenfranchising people on felony probation in 2012.
Virginia – When the Virginia Supreme Court overturned Governor Terry McAuliffe’s blanket restoration of voting rights for people who had completed
their sentences, he individually approved voting rights for 12,832 individuals in August, 2016.
Wyoming - Voting rights restored after five years to people who complete sentences for first-time, non-violent felony convictions in 2016 or after.

4 The Sentencing Project

Methodology
We estimated the number of people released from prison and
those who have completed their terms of parole or probation
based on demographic life tables for each state, as described in
Uggen, Manza, and Thompson (2006) and Shannon et al. (2011).
We modeled each state’s disenfranchisement rate in accordance
with its distinctive felony voting policies, as described in Table
1. For example, some states impose disenfranchisement for five
years after release from supervision, some states only disenfranchise those convicted of multiple felonies, and some only disenfranchise those convicted of violent offenses.1
In brief, we compiled demographic life tables for the period
1948-2016 to determine the number of released individuals lost
to recidivism (and therefore already included in our annual head
counts) and to mortality each year. This allows us to estimate
the number of individuals who have completed their sentences
in a given state and year who are no longer under correctional
supervision yet remain disenfranchised. Because data on correctional populations are currently available only through year-end

2014, we extended state-specific trends from 2013-2014 to
obtain estimates for 2016. Our duration-specific recidivism rate
estimates are derived from large-scale national studies of recidivism for prison releasees and probationers. Based on these
studies, our models assume that most released individuals will
be re-incarcerated (66 percent) and a smaller percentage of those
on probation or in jail (57 percent) will cycle back through the
criminal justice system. We also assume a substantially higher
mortality rate for people convicted of felony offenses relative to
the rest of the population. Both recidivists and deaths are removed
from the post-sentence pool to avoid overestimating the number
of individuals in the population who have completed their
sentences. Each release cohort is thus reduced each successive
year – at a level commensurate with the age-adjusted hazard rate
for mortality and duration-adjusted hazard rate for recidivism
– and added to each new cohort of releases. Overall, we produced
more than 200 spreadsheets covering 68 years of data.2 These
provide the figures needed to compile disenfranchisement rate
estimates that are keyed to the appropriate correctional populations for each state and year.

1	 In Florida, some can avoid a formal felony conviction by successfully completing a period of probation. According to the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, as much as 40 percent of the total probation population holds this “adjudication withheld” status. According to reports by the Bureau
of Justice Statistics, only about 50 percent of Florida probationers successfully complete probation. In light of this, we reduce the annual current
disenfranchised felony probation numbers by 40 percent and individuals disenfranchised post-sentence by 20 percent (.4*.5=.20) in each year in the
life tables.
2	 Our data sources include numerous United States Department of Justice (DOJ) publications, including the annual Sourcebook of Criminal Justice
Statistics, Probation and Parole in the United States, as well as the Prisoners and Jail Inmates at Midyear series. Where available, we used data from state
departments of corrections rather than national sources, as in the case of Minnesota. For early years, we also referenced National Prisoner Statistics,
and Race of Prisoners Admitted to State and Federal Institutions, 1926-1986. We determined the median age of released prisoners based on annual data
from the National Corrections Reporting Program. The recidivism rate we use to decrease the releasee population each year is based upon the Bureau
of Justice Statistics (1989) “Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983” study and “Recidivism of Felons on Probation 1986-1989.” For those in prison
or on parole, we use a reincarceration rate of 18.6% at one year, 32.8% at two years, 41.4% at 3 years. Although rearrest rates have increased since
1983, the overall reconviction and reincarceration rates used for this study are much more stable (Langan and Levin 2002, p. 11). For those on probation or in jail, the corresponding three-year failure rate is 36%, meaning that individuals are in prison or jail and therefore counted in a different
population. To extend the analysis to subsequent years, we calculated a trend line using the ratio of increases provided by Hoffman and Stone-Meierhoefer (1980) on federal prisoners. By year 10, we estimate a 59.4% recidivism rate among released prisoners and parolees, which increases to
65.9% by year 62 (the longest observation period in this analysis). Because these estimates are higher than most long-term recidivism studies, they
are likely to yield conservative estimates of the ex-felon population. We apply the same trend line to the 3-year probation and jail recidivism rate of
36%; by year 62, the recidivism rate is 57.3%. 1948 is the earliest year for which detailed data are available on releases from supervision.

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 5

Disenfranchisement in 2016
Figure 1 shows the distribution of the 6.1 million disenfranchised individuals across correctional populations.
People currently in prison and jail now represent less than
one-fourth (23 percent) of those disenfranchised. The
majority (77 percent) are living in their communities,
having fully completed their sentences or remaining supervised while on probation or parole.

Variation across States

Figure 1. Disenfranchisement Distribution Across Correctional Populations, 2016
Prison
1,329,288
22%

Jail
72,208 (1%)
Post-sentence
3,092,471

Due to differences in state laws and rates of criminal
punishment, states vary widely in the practice of disen-

Figure 2. Total Felony Disenfranchisement Rates, 2016

6 The Sentencing Project

51%

8%

Parole
504,127

18%

Felony probation
1,116,585

Figure 3. Total Felony Disenfranchisement Rates, 1980

franchisement. These maps and tables represent the disenfranchised population as a percentage of the adult voting age population in each state. As noted, we estimate that 6.1 million
Americans are currently ineligible to vote by state law. As Figure
2 and the statistics in Table 3 show, state-level disenfranchisement
rates in 2016 varied from less than .5 percent in Massachusetts,
Maryland, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode
Island, and Utah (and zero in Maine and Vermont) to more than
7 percent in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee,
and Virginia.

These figures show significant growth in recent decades, even as
many states began to dismantle voting restrictions for formerly
disenfranchised populations. Figure 3 displays disenfranchisement
rates in 1980, retaining the same scale as in Figure 2. At that
time, far more of the nation had disenfranchisement rates below
.5 percent and no state disenfranchised more than 5 percent of
its adult citizens.

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 7

Figure 4. Cartogram of Total Disenfranchisement Rates by State, 2016

No restrictions
< 0.5%
0.5 - 1.9%
2 - 4.9%
5 - 9.9%
10+

The cartogram in Figure 4 provides another way to visualize the
current state of American disenfranchisement, highlighting the
large regional differences in felony disenfranchisement laws and
criminal punishment. Cartograms distort the land area on the
map according to an alternative statistic, in this case the total
felony disenfranchisement rate. Southeastern states that disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people who have completed
their sentences, such as Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia, appear
bloated in the cartogram. In contrast, the many Northeastern
and Midwestern states that only disenfranchise individuals
currently in prison shrivel in size. This distorted map thus provides
a clear visual representation of the great range of differences in
the scope and impact of felony disenfranchisement across the
50 states.

8 The Sentencing Project

Trends over Time
Figure 5 illustrates the historical trend in U.S. disenfranchisement, showing growth in the disenfranchised population for
selected years from 1960 to 2016. The number disenfranchised
dropped from approximately 1.8 million to 1.2 million between
1960 and 1976, as states expanded voting rights in the civil
rights era. Many states have continued to pare back their disenfranchisement provisions since the 1970s (see Behrens, Uggen,
and Manza, 2003; Manza and Uggen, 2006). Nevertheless, the
total number banned from voting continued to rise with the
expansion in U.S. correctional populations. The total disenfranchised population rose from 3.3 million in 1996 to 4.7 million
in 2000, to 5.4 million in 2004, to 5.9 million in 2010. Today,
we estimate that 6.1 million Americans are disenfranchised by
virtue of a felony conviction.

Figure 5. Number Disenfranchised for Selected Years, 1960-2016

7,000,000
5,852,180

6,000,000

6,106,327

5,358,282

5,000,000

4,686,539

4,000,000
3,342,586

3,000,000
2,000,000 1,762,582
1,000,000
0

1,176,234

1960

1968

1976

1984

1992

2000

2008

2016

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 9

Figure 6. African American Felony Disenfranchisement Rates, 1980

Variation by Race
Disenfranchisement rates vary tremendously across racial and
ethnic groups, such that felony disenfranchisement provisions
have an outsized impact on communities of color. Race and
ethnicity have not been consistently collected or reported in the
data sources used to compile our estimates, so our ability to
construct race-specific estimates is limited. This is especially
problematic for Latinos, who now constitute a significant portion

10 The Sentencing Project

of criminal justice populations. Nevertheless, we used the most
recent data available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics to
develop a complete set of state-specific disenfranchisement estimates for the African American voting age population, as shown
in Figures 6 and 7. We first show a map of the African American
disenfranchisement rate for 1980, and then show how the picture
looks today. By 1980, the African American disenfranchisement
rate already exceeded 10 percent of the adult population in states
such as Arizona and Iowa, as shown in Figure 6. The figure also

Figure 7. African American Felony Disenfranchisement Rates, 2016

indicates that several Southeastern states disenfranchised more
than 5 percent of their adult African American populations at
that time.
Figure 7 shows the corresponding rates for 2016, again retaining
a common scale and shading to keep the map consistent with
the 1980 map in Figure 6. African American disenfranchisement
rates in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia now exceed 20 percent
of the adult voting age population. Whereas only 9 states disenfranchised at least 5 percent of their African American adult
citizens in 1980, 23 states do so today.

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 11

Recent Changes
The rate of total individuals disenfranchised in 2016 (2.47
percent) is quite similar to the 2010 figures reported by Uggen
et al. for 2012 (2.50 percent) and Manza and Uggen in 2006
(2.42 percent), despite state changes in disenfranchisement policy
and population growth. Our estimates for African American
disenfranchisement in 2016, however, are slightly lower than
those for 2010 – 7.44 percent versus 7.66 percent, and for 2004,
8.25 percent. For these estimates, we used the most inclusive
denominator for the African American voting age population
available from the U.S. Census to ensure that we do not overestimate the disenfranchisement rate for this population. While
growth in the baseline population for African Americans contributes to the decline in the disenfranchisement rate from
previous estimates, the lion’s share of the difference is due to an
important refinement in our estimation procedures. For 2016
and for 2010, we used race-specific recidivism rates (resulting
in a higher rate for African Americans) that more accurately
reflect current scholarship on recidivism. This results in a higher
rate of attrition in our life tables, but produces a more conservative and, we believe, more accurate portrait of the number of
disenfranchised African Americans. Though lower than in 2004,
the 7.44 percent rate of disenfranchisement for African Americans remains four times greater the non-African American rate
of 1.78 percent.
Given the size of Florida’s disenfranchised population, we also
note our estimation procedure for this state. Based on a state-specific recidivism report in 1999, our 2004 estimates included
much higher recidivism rates for African Americans in Florida
(up to 88% lifetime). A 2010 report from the Florida Department of Corrections shows that rates of recidivism for African
Americans are now more closely in line with the national rates
we apply to other states. In light of this more recent evidence,
we begin applying our national rate of recidivism for African
Americans (up to 73% lifetime) to Florida’s African American
population with prior felony convictions from 2005 onward.
12 The Sentencing Project

In 2016, more people were disenfranchised in Florida than in
any other state and Florida’s disenfranchisement rate remains
highest among the 50 states.
As Table 1 noted, there have been several significant changes in
state disenfranchisement policies over the past decade. Most
notably, Delaware removed its five-year waiting period for most
offenses in 2013 and South Dakota began disenfranchising
felony probationers in 2012. Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa
re-enfranchised all state residents who had completed their
sentences by executive order on July 4, 2005 – though that order
was then reversed by his successor, Governor Terry Branstad, in
January 2011. In 2016 the Alabama legislature eased the rights
restoration process after completion of sentence for persons not
convicted of a crime of “moral turpitude.” Other states have also
reduced disenfranchisement through streamlining restoration
of rights or re-enfranchising certain groups of individuals with
felony convictions. For example, both Rhode Island and Maryland
now restrict voting rights only for those in prison as opposed to
all individuals currently serving a felony sentence, including
those on probation and parole. And in 2016, California restored
voting rights to people convicted of a felony offense housed in
jail, but not in prison.
Our intent here is to provide a portrait of disenfranchisement
that would be accurate as of the 2016 November election, though
we stress that all data reported here are estimates rather than
head counts.  

Disenfranchisement and
Restoration of Civil Rights
States typically provide some limited mechanism for disenfranchised persons to restore their right to vote. These vary greatly
in scope, eligibility requirements, and reporting practices. It is
thus difficult to obtain consistent information about the rate
and number of disenfranchised Americans whose rights are
restored through these procedures. Nevertheless, we contacted
each of the appropriate state agencies by email and phone and
compiled the information they made available to us in Table 2.
This provides some basic information about the frequency of
state restoration of rights in those 12 states that disenfranchise
beyond sentence completion. The table shows how many people
were disenfranchised and the number of restorations reported
by state officials in a given reporting period.
While we were unable to obtain complete data from all states,
we subtracted all known restorations of civil rights (including
full pardons) from each state’s total disenfranchised post-sentence
figure. Even accounting for these restorations, it is clear that the
vast majority of such individuals in these states remain disenfranchised. Indeed, some states have significantly curtailed restoration efforts since 2010, including Iowa and Florida.

Table 2. Restoration of Voting Rights in States that
Disenfranchise Residents Post-Sentence
State
Alabama

Restorations

Period of Restoration
Estimates

16,022

2004-2015

31

2010-2015

2,285

1988-2015

Florida

271,982

1990-2015

Iowa

115,325

2005-2015

10,479

2008-2015

Mississippi

335

2000-2015

Nebraska

N/A

-

Nevada

281

1990-2011

Tennessee

11,581

1990-2015

Virginia

21,664

2002-2016

107

2003-2015

Arizona
Delaware

Kentucky

Wyoming

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 13

Summary
This report provides new state-level estimates on felony disenfranchisement for 2016 in the United States to update those
provided by Uggen, Shannon, and Manza (2012) for previous
years. In Tables 3 and 4, we provide state-specific point estimates
of the disenfranchised population and African American disenfranchised population, subject to the caveats described below.
Despite significant legal changes in recent decades, over 6.1
million Americans remained disenfranchised in 2016. When we
break these figures down by race, it is clear that disparities in
the criminal justice system are linked to disparities in political
representation. The distribution of disenfranchised individuals
shown in Figure 1 also bears repeating: less than one-fourth of
this population is currently incarcerated, meaning that about
4.7 million adults who live, work, and pay taxes in their communities are banned from voting. Of this total, over one million
are African Americans who have completed their sentences.
Public opinion research shows that a significant majority of
Americans favor voting rights for people on probation or parole
who are currently supervised in their communities, as well as
for individuals who have completed their sentences (Manza,
Brooks, and Uggen 2004). How much difference would it make
if state laws were changed to reflect the principles most Americans endorse? The answer is straightforward: Voting rights would
be restored to 77 percent of the 6.1 million people currently
disenfranchised.

14 The Sentencing Project

Caveats
We have taken care to produce estimates of current populations
and “post-sentence” populations that are reliable and valid by
social science standards. Nevertheless, readers should bear in
mind that our state-specific figures for the 12 states that bar
individuals from voting after they have completed their sentences remain point estimates rather than actual head counts. In
addition, the prison, probation, parole, and jail populations we
report for 2016 are also estimated, based on the recent state-specific trends in each state. In other work, we have presented figures
that adjust or “bound” these estimates by assuming different
levels of recidivism, inter-state mobility, and state-specific variation. With these caveats in mind, the results reported here
present our best account of the prevalence of U.S. disenfranchisement in 2016. These estimates will be adjusted if and when
we discover errors or omissions in the data compiled from individual states, U.S. Census and Bureau of Justice Statistics
sources, or in our own spreadsheets and estimation procedures.

Table 3. Estimates of Disenfranchised Individuals with Felony Convictions, 2016
State
Alabama

Prison

Parole

Felony probation

Jail

Post-sentence

30,585

6,580

15,626

1,578

Alaska

5,497

2,035

6,900

7

Arizona

44,509

7,241

51,362

1,341

Arkansas

19,224

21,811

24,695

975

California

136,302

86,254

Colorado

21,207

8,673

Connecticut

14,926

2,419

6,858

716

Delaware

231,896
116,717

1,066
4,074

Total

VAP

% Disenfranchised

286,266

3,755,483

7.62%

14,439

552,166

2.61%

221,170

5,205,215

4.25%

66,705

2,272,904

2.93%

222,557

30,023,902

0.74%

30,946

4,199,509

0.74%

17,345

2,826,827

0.61%

4,067

15,716

741,548

2.12%

1,487,847

Florida

102,555

4,208

86,886

4,822

1,686,318

16,166,143

10.43%

Georgia

50,900

23,545

170,194

4,112

248,751

7,710,688

3.23%

6,364

1,120,770

0.57%

5,057

9,863

314

23,106

1,222,093

1.89%

2,089

49,625

9,901,322

0.50%

Hawaii

6,364

Idaho

7,873

Illinois

47,537

Iowa

9,127

6,133

52,012

2,395,103

2.17%

1,630

29,658

5,040,224

0.59%

3,426

679

17,594

2,192,084

0.80%

16,729

27,323

2,039

312,046

3,413,425

9.14%

31,450

37,761

3,211

108,035

3,555,911

3.04%

0

1,072,948

0.00%

Indiana

28,028

Kansas

9,466

4,023

Kentucky

22,968

Louisiana

35,614

12,365

410

23,976

242,987

Maine
Maryland

20,378

1,087

21,465

4,658,175

0.46%

Massachusetts

10,254

921

11,176

5,407,335

0.21%

Michigan

42,661

1,560

44,221

7,715,272

0.57%

Minnesota

11,369

8,148

43215

608

Mississippi

13,752

8,051

28463

1,422

Missouri

32,768

16,808

38,870

1,219
330

10,977

40,867

1,888
136

2,178

Montana

3,816

North Carolina

37,446

North Dakota

2,042

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire

166,494

63,340

4,205,207

1.51%

218,181

2,265,485

9.63%

89,665

4,692,196

1.91%

4,146

806,529

0.51%

91,179

7,752,234

1.18%

583,001

0.37%

6,377

782

2,952

384

7,069

17,564

1,425,853

1.23%

11,560

6,828

8,097

701

62,080

89,267

2,221,681

4.02%

3,031

1,066,610

0.28%

2,856

175

New Jersey

19,964

14,831

58,123

1,396

94,315

6,959,192

1.36%

New Mexico

7,205

2,838

13,352

891

24,286

1,588,201

1.53%

50,513

44,590

2,477

97,581

15,584,974

0.63%

New York
Ohio

51,102

Oklahoma

27,857

2,572

26,475

1,736

52,837

8,984,946

0.59%

1,398

58,302

2,950,017

1.98%

Oregon

14,228

519

14,748

3,166,121

0.47%

Pennsylvania

49,269

3,705

52,974

10,112,229

0.52%

Rhode Island

3,355

3,355

845,254

0.40%

South Carolina

20,141

4,621

21,464

1,011

47,238

3,804,558

1.24%

South Dakota

3,464

2,643

4,114

170

10,392

647,145

1.61%

29,271

13,186

52,654

2,763

421,227

5,102,688

8.26%

161,658

111,632

216,033

6,605

495,928

20,257,343

2.45%

744

7,669

2,083,423

0.37%

0

506,119

0.00%
7.81%

Tennessee
Texas
Utah

6,925

323,354

Vermont
Virginia

38,694

1,604

56,908

2,905

508,680

6,512,571

Washington

18,395

3,811

25,164

1,182

48,552

5,558,509

0.87%

West Virginia

7,042

3,187

4,109

389

14,727

1,464,532

1.01%

Wisconsin

22,851

19,537

22,101

1,118

65,606

4,476,711

1.47%

Wyoming

2,536

607

3,148

141

17,414

23,847

447,212

5.33%

1,329,288

504,127

1,116,585

63,855

3,092,471

6,106,327

247,219,588

2.47%

Total

408,570

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 15

Table 4. Estimates of Disenfranchised African Americans with Felony Convictions, 2016
State
Alabama
Alaska

Prison

Parole

Felony probation

Jail

Post-sentence

17,775

3,957

7,740

823

519

211

718

2

Arizona

5,879

952

5,654

361

Arkansas

8,524

8,844

8,676

62

California

39,451

23,939

Colorado

4,098

1,439

Connecticut

6,222

1,041

Delaware

3,910

396

1,869

50,110

2,328

26,259

2,385

Georgia

31,814

13,927

98,740

64

Idaho
Illinois
Iowa

192

105

207

2,341

VAP

% Disenfranchised
952,671

15.11%

1,450

21,219

6.83%

25,492

214,412

11.89%

26,106

333,472

7.83%

63,390

1,858,353

3.41%

5,858

172,849

3.39%

7,263

273,185

2.66%

1,937

8,113

151,584

5.35%

418,224

499,306

2,338,940

21.35%

144,546

2,301,258

6.28%

269

23,868

1.13%

12,645

269
27,292

Total
143,924

320

Florida
Hawaii

113,629

77

580

8,308

6.98%

135

27,427

1,387,719

1.98%

6,879

69,892

9.84%
2.32%

1,065

1,881

159

1,434

Indiana

10,280

37

10,317

444,706

Kansas

3,130

1,164

1,021

286

5,601

130,602

4.29%

Kentucky

6,080

4,393

5,007

389

69,771

266,806

26.15%

Louisiana

24,848

20,284

21,829

1,104

68,065

1,084,997

6.27%

0

10,940

0.00%

15,383

1,348,123

1.14%

53,902

Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi

14,960

423

2,906

60

2,966

355,908

0.83%

23,015

664

23,679

1,057,458

2.24%

15,432

210,110

7.34%
15.86%

4,032

2,121

9,151

127

9,158

5,049

18,074

524

127,130

801,471

Missouri

12,807

5,714

11,584

269

30,374

525,285

5.78%

Montana

106

98

204

4,245

4.80%

208

42,905

1,630,848

2.63%

38

182

8,799

2.07%

North Carolina
North Dakota

21,304

6,414

14,979

144

94,325

Nebraska

1,675

185

362

115

1,202

3,540

63,187

5.60%

Nevada

3,299

2,270

2,409

25

13,566

21,568

183,389

11.76%

27

204

12,994

1.57%

New Hampshire

177

New Jersey

12,294

6,466

28,243

467

47,470

899,227

5.28%

New Mexico

560

192

777

51

1,581

33,582

4.71%

New York

25,524

19,851

911

46,286

2,277,485

2.03%

Ohio

24,111

718

24,829

1,069,118

2.32%

49

15,116

223,354

6.77%
2.62%

Oklahoma

7,955

Oregon

1,453

140

1,593

60,807

Pennsylvania

24,360

1,235

25,596

1,041,629

2.46%

Rhode Island

963

963

47,566

2.03%

38,916

1,014,456

3.84%

South Carolina
South Dakota

13,067

892

3,123

6,220

22,303

424

189

151

Tennessee

13,918

6,010

20,887

1,038

Texas

58,254

41,812

47,428

Utah

24

462

363

9,316

3.90%

173,895

817,457

21.27%

233

147,727

2,393,055

6.17%

263

724

22,763

3.18%

0

5,244

0.00%

271,944

1,241,868

21.90%

132,042

Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total

23,593

1,087

29,321

184

217,759

3,470

703

3,789

24

7,987

215,438

3.71%

902

364

399

127

1,792

50,496

3.55%

9,664

7,590

4,945

248

22,447

256,592

8.75%

113

32

93

16

712

966

5,621

17.18%

557,169

194,071

400,568

14,933

1,061,377

2,228,118

29,932,674

7.44%

16 The Sentencing Project

REFERENCES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Behrens, Angela, Christopher Uggen, and Jeff Manza. 2003.
“Ballot Manipulation and the ‘Menace of Negro Domination’: Racial Threat and Felon Disenfranchisement in the
United States, 1850-2002.” American Journal of Sociology
109:559-605.

We thank Lesley Schneider and Chelsea Carlson for research
assistance.  

Florida Department of Corrections. 2010. “2009 Florida Prison
Recidivism Study: Releases from 2001 to 2008.” Florida
Department of Corrections: Bureau of Research and Data
Analysis.
Manza, Jeff and Christopher Uggen. 2006. Locked Out: Felon
Disenfranchisement and American Democracy. New York:
Oxford University Press.
Manza, Jeff, Clem Brooks, and Christopher Uggen. 2004. “Public
Attitudes toward Felon Disenfranchisement in the United
States.” Public Opinion Quarterly 68:275-86.
Porter, Nicole D. 2010. “Expanding the Vote: State Felony
Disenfranchisement Reform, 2010.” The Sentencing Project,
Washington DC.
Shannon, Sarah, Christopher Uggen, Melissa Thompson, Jason
Schnittker, and Michael Massoglia. 2011. “Growth in the
U.S. Ex-Felon And Ex-Prisoner Population, 1948 to 2010.”
Paper presented at the 2011 Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America.
Uggen, Christopher, Jeff Manza, and Melissa Thompson. 2006.
“Citizenship, Democracy, and the Civic Reintegration of
Criminal Offenders.” Annals of the American Academy of
Political and Social Science 605:281-310.
Uggen, Christopher and Jeff Manza. 2002. “Democratic Contraction? The Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States.” American Sociological
Review 67:777-803.
Uggen, Christopher, Sarah Shannon, and Jeff Manza. 2012.
State-level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the
United States, 2010. Washington, DC: Sentencing Project.

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 17

6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates
of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016
Christopher Uggen, Ryan Larson, and Sarah Shannon
October 2016

Related publications by The Sentencing Project:
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Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: 202.628.0871
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State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United
States, 2010
Felony Disenfranchisement: A Primer
Felony Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States
Democracy Imprisoned: The Prevalence and Impact of Felony
Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States

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