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The Sentencing Project - Expanding the Vote - Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement, 1997-2018

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EXPANDING THE VOTE
Two Decades of Felony
Disenfranchisement Reform

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 Morgan McLeod, Communications Manager
at The Sentencing Project. It provides an update to the
2010 report of The Sentencing Project, “Expanding the Vote: State
Felony Disenfranchisement Reform,” by Nicole D. Porter.
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
following:
Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation
craigslist Charitable Fund
Elsie P. van Buren Foundation
Ford Foundation
Foundation Beyond Belief
Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church
JK Irwin Foundation
Mott Philanthropy
Open Society Foundations
Overbrook Family Advised Fund
Pinion Street Foundation
Public Welfare Foundation
Elizabeth B. and Arthur E. Roswell Foundation
Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund of Tides Foundation
Wallace Global Fund
Copyright © 2018 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.

2 The Sentencing Project

OVERVIEW
More than 6 million citizens will be ineligible to
vote in the midterm elections in November 2018
because of a felony conviction. Nearly 4.7 million
of them are not incarcerated but live in one of
34 states that prohibit voting by people on
probation, parole, or who have completed their
sentence. Racial disparities in the criminal justice
system also translate into higher rates of
disenfranchisement in communities of color,
resulting in one of every thirteen African American
adults being ineligible to vote.
Despite these stark statistics, in recent years
significant reforms in felony disenfranchisement
policies have been achieved at the state level.
Since 1997, 23 states have amended their felony
disenfranchisement policies in an effort to reduce
their restrictiveness and expand voter eligibility.
These reforms include:
•	

Seven states either repealed or amended
lifetime disenfranchisement laws

•	

Six states expanded voting rights to some
or all persons under community
supervision

•	

Seventeen states eased the restoration
process for persons seeking to have their
right to vote restored after completing
sentence

These policy changes represent national
momentum for reform of restrictive voting rights
laws. As a result of the reforms achieved during
the period from 1997-2018, an estimated 1.4
million people have regained the right to vote.
This report provides a state by state accounting
of the changes to voting rights for people with
felony convictions and measures its impact.
These changes have come about through various
mechanisms, including legislative reform,
executive action, and a ballot initiative.

1.4 million

people have regained the right
to vote as a result of felony
disenfranchisement reforms

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reform 3

Felony disenfranchisement policy reforms, 1997-2018
State

Change

Alabama

Streamlined restoration process (2003), established list of felony offenses that result in loss of
voting rights (2017)

76,000

California

Restored voting rights to people on community supervision under Realignment (2014), restored
voting rights to people convicted of a felony offense housed in jail, but not in prison (2016)

95,000

Connecticut

Restored voting rights to persons on felony probation (2001), repealed requirement to present
proof of restoration in order to register (2006)

33,000

Delaware

Repealed lifetime disenfranchisement and replaced with five-year waiting period for most offenses (2000), repealed five-year waiting period for most offenses (2016)

Florida

Simplified clemency process (2004, 2007); adopted requirement for county jail officials to assist
with restoration (2006); reversed modification in clemency process (2011)

Hawaii

Codified data sharing procedures for removal and restoration process (2006)

Iowa

Restored voting rights post-sentence via executive order (2005); rescinded executive order
(2011); simplified application process (2016)

Kentucky

Simplified restoration process (2001, 2008); restricted restoration process (2004, amended in
2008); restored voting rights post-sentence for nonviolent felony convictions via executive order
(2015); rescinded executive order (2015)

11,500

Louisiana

Established notification of rights restoration process (2008), authorized voting for residents who
have not been incarcerated for five years including those on probation or parole (2017)

43,000

Maryland

Repealed lifetime disenfranchisement (2002 & 2007), restored voting rights to persons on probation and parole (2016)

92,000

Nebraska

Repealed lifetime disenfranchisement, replaced with two-year waiting period (2005)

50,000

Nevada

Repealed five-year waiting period to restore rights (2001), restored voting rights to persons
convicted of first-time nonviolent offense (2003), restored voting rights to people dishonorably
discharged from probation or parole, allowed people convicted of category B offenses to have
their rights restored after two-year waiting period (2017)

–

New Jersey

Established procedures requiring state criminal justice agencies to notify persons of their voting
rights when released (2010)

–

New Mexico

Repealed lifetime disenfranchisement (2001); streamlined restoration process and established
notification system (2005)

69,000

New York

Required criminal justice agencies to provide voting rights information to persons who are again
eligible to vote after a felony conviction (2010); restored voting rights to persons on parole via
executive order (2018)

35,000

North Carolina

Established process to notify people of their voting rights (2007)

–

Rhode Island

Restored voting rights to persons on probation and parole (2006)

17,000

Tennessee

Streamlined restoration process for most persons upon completion of sentence (2006)

Texas

Repealed two-year waiting period after completion of sentence (1997)

Utah

Clarified state law pertaining to federal and out-of-state convictions (2006)

Virginia

Established notification of rights and restoration process (2000); streamlined restoration process
(2002); decreased waiting period for nonviolent offenses from three years to two years and
established a 60-day deadline to process voting rights restoration applications (2010); eliminated
waiting period and application for nonviolent offenses (2013); restored voting rights post-sentence via executive order (2016)

Washington

Restored voting rights for citizens who exit the criminal justice system but still have outstanding
financial obligations (2009)

–

Wyoming

Allowed persons convicted of first-time nonviolent offenses to apply for rights restoration after
five year waiting period (2003); removed application process and waiting period for people
convicted of first-time nonviolent offenses (2015); automatically restored voting rights to people
convicted of all nonviolent offenses (2017)

5,400

Total

–Data not available

4 The Sentencing Project

# of people impacted

6,400
228,000
–
100,000

–
317,000
–

188,000

1,366,300

STATE REFORMS
ALABAMA: 76,000 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
2003- 2017

CALIFORNIA: 95,000 VOTER RIGHTS
RESTORED, 2016

Disenfranchised Population, 2016

Disenfranchised Population, 2016

Total

% Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised
Population

286,266

7.62%

Black Disenfranchised
Population

143,924

15.11%

Alabama prohibits voting by people serving terms in
prison, on probation or parole, and after completion of
sentence for certain offenses.
In 2003, the Legislature passed Act 2003-415 to
streamline the application process for a Certificate of
Eligibility to Register to Vote for people convicted of a
nonviolent offense who had completed the terms of
their sentence. The Board is required to issue a Certificate
within 50 days of application, or to issue an explanation
for denial within 45 days. Within its first year of passage,
the number of voting rights restorations increased 79
percent,1 and between 2004-2015, 16,022 people had
their voting rights restored.2
Alabama’s Constitution strips voting rights from
individuals convicted of a felony involving “moral
turpitude.” However prior to 2017, the state had never
provided a definitive list of such felonies; the decision
of who was allowed to vote varied and was left to the
discretion of local registrars. In 2017, Governor Kay Ivey
signed the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, which
clarified for the first time a list of 47 crimes that would
result in the loss of voting rights. The list of
disenfranchising felonies notably excludes low-level
drug offenses like possession--the most common felony
conviction in the state.3 Alabama officials estimated
that the bill would affect 60,000 people.4

Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

222,557

0.74%

63,390

3.41%

California law allows persons with a felony conviction
on probation, but not in prison or on parole, to vote.
In 2011, the state’s Realignment Act shifted many people
convicted of low-level felonies from overcrowded state
prisons to local jails or community supervision. After
the law passed, then- Secretary of State Debra Bowen
instructed county election officials to extend the state’s
voting ban to people on community supervision under
Realignment. Civil rights groups sued the state, arguing
that because individuals on community supervision
report to county probation officers instead of state
parole officers, they should be allowed to vote. In 2014,
a Superior Court ruled Bowen’s interpretation of the
Realignment Act as unconstitutional, and said that the
intention of the law was to “introduce felons into the
community, which is consistent with restoring their
right to vote.” The state appealed the ruling. In 2015,
Bowen’s successor, Alex Padilla, reversed Bowen’s order
and dropped the case, restoring voting rights to 45,000
people on post-release community supervision.5
In another outgrowth of the state’s Realignment policy,
Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2466 into
law in 2016,6 restoring voting rights to as many as
50,000 people serving felony sentences in county jails.7

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reform 5

CONNECTICUT: 33,000 VOTER RIGHTS
RESTORED, 2001-2006

restored the right to vote to an estimated 6,400
individuals, or about one-third of the state’s
disenfranchised population at the time.9

Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

17,345

0.61%

7,263

2.66%

Connecticut bans residents with a felony conviction in
prison and on parole from voting.
The state extended the right to vote to persons on
probation for a felony conviction in 2001, although the
language in the reform bill required “proof of eligibility.”
By repealing the voting ban for people serving terms
on probation, Connecticut restored the right to vote to
more than 33,000 residents.
Subsequently, in 2006, the state legislature repealed
the requirement that persons seeking to register to vote
must provide “written or satisfactory proof” of eligibility
to be an elector. This removed potential complications
that may arise in securing such proof and increased
the likelihood that eligible residents with felony
convictions would take advantage of their right to vote.8

DELAWARE: 6,400 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
2000
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

15,716

2.12%

8,113

5.35%

Delaware disenfranchises individuals with felony
convictions in prison, on probation or parole, and after
completion of sentence for certain felony offenses.
In 2000, Delaware amended its constitution to repeal
lifetime disenfranchisement and permit most individuals
convicted of a felony offense to apply to the Board of
Elections for the restoration of voting rights five years
after the completion of sentence. The law restricted
persons with certain convictions (murder, manslaughter,
sex offenses, or violations of the public trust) from
voting unless they have received a pardon. This reform
6 The Sentencing Project

In 2013, the state passed the Hazel D. Plant Voter
Restoration Act,10 which removed the five- year waiting
period and automatically restores voting rights to
eligible persons who have completed their sentence
(data on impact not available). Those convicted of
disqualifying felony offenses are still permanently
disenfranchised.

FLORIDA: 228,000 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
2004-2018
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

1,686,318

10.43%

499,306

21.35%

Florida disenfranchises all individuals with felony
convictions for life, unless they can secure clemency
from the governor.
Since receiving national attention in the wake of
controversy surrounding inaccurate voter purges in the
2000 and 2004 presidential elections, Florida took a
number of steps to address one of the nation’s most
restrictive disenfranchisement laws. In 2004, to alleviate
a backlogged system in which tens of thousands of
applications for rights restoration were on file, Florida
Governor Jeb Bush amended the Rules of Executive
Clemency to expedite the voting restoration process.
Whereas previously individuals were required to appear
at a hearing before the governor, the rule change allowed
many persons to apply to vote without a hearing so
long as they were not convicted of a violent crime and
had remained arrest-free for five years. Persons
convicted of all other offense types were required to
complete a 15-year arrest-free period before becoming
eligible to apply.11 Gov. Bush restored voting rights to
75,000 people during his eight years in office.12
In 2006, the Florida legislature passed a law requiring
facilities to provide people in prison with rights
restoration application information at least two weeks
before their release date. This change was in response

to the difficulties presented by Florida’s complex and
confusing restoration process.

IOWA: 100,000 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
2005

In 2007, Governor Charlie Crist and the Board of Executive
Clemency voted to change the rules of clemency, thereby
making the restoration of voting rights automatic for
individuals convicted of certain, mostly nonviolent,
offenses. Persons who had been convicted of more
serious crimes, excluding some violent and sex crimes,
became eligible to have their rights restored without a
hearing before the Board. People convicted of offenses
such as murder or sex crimes were required to either
wait 15 years after the completion of sentence (during
which time they must have remained crime-free) to
apply without a hearing, or to petition the Board directly
for a review and in-person hearing. During Crist’s four
years in office he restored voting rights to more than
150,000 people.

Disenfranchised Population, 2016

After Governor Rick Scott took office in 2011, he
amended the 2007 clemency rules so that all applications
for rights restoration must be reviewed by the Clemency
Board. The 2011 rules also added additional paperwork
for each case, regardless of offense type. Applications
for restoration of civil rights under Gov. Scott have
dropped by nearly 95% from former Gov. Crist’s
administration.13 As of July 2018, Scott had restored
voting rights to 3,000 people in seven years.14

HAWAII
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

52,012

2.17%

6,879

9.84%

Iowa disenfranchises all individuals with felony
convictions for life, unless they can secure clemency
from the governor.
Before 2005, Iowa had placed a lifetime voting restriction
on anyone convicted of an “infamous crime.” The only
mechanism in place to restore voting rights was a
gubernatorial pardon. In 2005, Governor Tom Vilsack
issued Executive Order 42, which immediately restored
voting rights to all persons in the state who had
completed their sentence and made the restoration
process automatic for new persons completing their
sentence.16 The executive order restored voting rights
to an estimated 100,000 people.17
Shortly after taking office in 2011, Governor Terry
Branstad reversed Gov. Vilsack’s executive order,
reverting the restoration process back to a case-by-case
system. In 2016, Gov. Branstad simplified the rights
restoration application, cutting the number of questions
in half and removing a number of burdensome
requirements.18

Total

% Disenfranchised

6,364

0.57%

KENTUCKY: 11,500 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
2001-2018

269

1.13%

Disenfranchised Population, 2016

Hawaii restores voting rights to individuals upon release
from prison.
Due to the manner in which corrections agencies shared
data, many people who have been released from prison
had been either incorrectly coded or had not been
included in the eligible voter database. To correct this
problem, in 2006 Hawaii passed legislation to improve
data sharing between agencies and to require the clerk
of the court to transmit an individual’s name, date of
birth, address, and social security number to the person’s
county within twenty days of release.15

Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

312,046

9.14%

69,771

26.15%

Kentucky disenfranchises all individuals with felony
convictions for life, unless they can secure clemency
from the governor.
Kentucky, like Florida, has one of the most restrictive
laws regarding the loss of voting rights for a felony
conviction and, like Florida, these laws have received

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reform 7

significant public attention since 2000. In 2001, the
Kentucky Legislature passed a bill to simplify the
process of applying to the governor for rights restoration.
The law required the Department of Corrections to
inform individuals of their right to apply to the governor
for the restoration of voting rights. In addition, the
Department was directed to collect information
regarding all eligible persons who have inquired about
having their voting rights restored and to transmit that
list to the governor’s office.
In 2004, Governor Ernie Fletcher issued an executive
order that reversed some of the progress made toward
easing the restoration process in 2001. The policy
change required all applicants to submit a formal letter
explaining why they believed their voting rights should
be restored, in addition to supplying three letters of
personal reference. Consequently, the number of people
who had their rights restored under the Fletcher
administration declined relative to prior governors. This
policy was subsequently repealed in March 2008 by
Governor Steve Beshear. The policy eliminated the
requirements of a filing fee, personal statement, and
letters of reference.19 Between 2008 and 2015, roughly
10,500 people had their voting rights restored.20
In November 2015, outgoing Gov. Beshear issued an
executive order to automatically restore voting rights
to over 100,000 people with nonviolent felony convictions
who had completed their sentences. One month later,
Governor Matt Bevin reversed the executive order.21
According to his office, Gov. Bevin has issued almost
1,000 restorations of civil rights since taking office.22

LOUISIANA: 43,000 VOTER RIGHTS
RESTORED, 2018
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

108,035

3.04%

68,065

6.27%

Louisiana restricts voting rights for people in prison
and individuals with felony convictions who have been
incarcerated within the last five years.

In 2008, the state Legislature passed a bill requiring the
Department of Public Safety and Corrections to inform
individuals who have completed their sentence of their
right to vote and to provide assistance in registering to
vote.23 In 2018, Governor John Bel Edwards signed
House Bill 265 into law, restoring voting rights to anyone
with a felony conviction who has not been incarcerated
within the last five years, including individuals on
probation or parole. The bill excludes residents convicted
of felonies for election fraud or other election offenses.24
The new law will go into effect March 1, 2019 and will
impact an estimated 40,000 people on probation and
3,000 people on parole.25

MARYLAND: 92,000 VOTER RIGHTS
RESTORED, 2002-2016
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Total

% Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised
Population

21,465

0.46%

Black Disenfranchised
Population

15,383

1.14%

Maryland allows individuals with felony convictions to
vote upon completion of their prison sentence.
Maryland has experienced a number of changes in
felony disenfranchisement policy in recent years. Prior
to 2002, persons convicted of a first-time felony offense
regained their voting rights after completion of sentence,
but anyone with two or more convictions was
disenfranchised for life. In 2002, Maryland amended
the restoration process for persons convicted of two
or more nonviolent crimes. Under that policy, persons
convicted of a second nonviolent offense were
automatically eligible to vote three years after the
completion of sentence. Persons convicted of a violent
offense were still required to apply to the governor for
a pardon.
In 2007, the patchwork law regarding post-sentence
disenfranchisement was replaced with automatic
restoration for all persons upon completion of sentence.
This reform resulted in the restoration of voting rights
to more than 52,000 people.26
In 2016, the Maryland Assembly expanded voting rights
for people on felony probation and parole with their

8 The Sentencing Project

override of Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of House Bill
980.27 The action restored voting rights to an estimated
40,000 people.28

NEBRASKA: 50,000 VOTER RIGHTS
RESTORED, 2005
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

17,564

1.23%

3,540

5.60%

Nebraska requires residents to wait two years after
completing their felony prison, probation or parole
sentence to have their voting rights restored.
In 2004, the Vote Nebraska Initiative issued a final report
with 16 recommendations designed to avoid electoral
controversies such as those faced by Florida in 2000.
Recommendation 10 called for automatic restoration
of voting rights to persons with a felony conviction
upon the completion of sentence. At the time, Nebraska
prohibited all persons convicted of a felony from voting
for life. During the subsequent legislative session, a bill
to repeal the lifetime disenfranchisement provision was
passed but included a 2-year waiting period after the
completion of sentence for voting rights restoration.
This law has restored the right to vote to an estimated
50,000 Nebraskans.29

NEVADA
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Total

% Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised
Population

89,267

4.02%

Black Disenfranchised
Population

21,568

11.76%

Nevada disenfranchises people in prison, on probation
or parole, and post-sentence except for those convicted
of first-time nonviolent offenses.
Prior to 2001, Nevada prohibited all persons convicted
of a felony from voting for life, absent a restoration by
the Board of Pardons Commissioners or the sentencing
court (in the case of probation). In 2001, the state
eliminated waiting period requirements for persons to

apply to have their voting rights restored and simplified
the application process. Before this change, people
released from probation had to wait six months to
petition for the restoration of voting rights. All others
had to wait five years from completion of sentence
before applying for rights restoration. In 2003, the
Nevada Assembly passed legislation that automatically
restored the right to vote to any person convicted of a
first-time, nonviolent offense upon completion of
sentence.30
In 2017, the Assembly further revised the state’s
disenfranchisement laws by passing Assembly Bill 181,
which restored voting rights to people who receive a
“dishonorable discharge” from probation or parole. The
law also allows people convicted of certain “category
B” crimes (offenses that carry a minimum of 1 year to
a maximum of 20 years in prison) to have their rights
restored after a two-year waiting period.31

NEW JERSEY
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Total

% Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised
Population

94,315

1.36%

Black Disenfranchised
Population

47,470

5.28%

New Jersey restores voting rights to individuals upon
completion of their prison, probation and or parole
sentence.
In 2010, the New Jersey Assembly passed a
comprehensive package of criminal justice reforms
that included a requirement that state criminal justice
agencies provide individuals exiting prison with general
information regarding state law and their eligibility to
vote.32

NEW MEXICO: 69,000 VOTER RIGHTS
RESTORED, 2001
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

24,286

1.53%

1,581

4.71%

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reform 9

New Mexico restores voting rights to persons with
felony convictions upon completion of their prison,
parole and probation sentence.
The state repealed its lifetime felony disenfranchisement
law in 2001 by restoring the right to vote to all persons
convicted of a felony upon completion of sentence.
This returned the right to vote to nearly 69,000 residents.
In order to make the restoration procedure easier, in
2005 the legislature implemented a notification process
by which the Department of Corrections is required to
issue a certificate of completion of sentence to an
individual upon satisfaction of all obligations. The
Department of Corrections is also required to notify the
Secretary of State when such persons become eligible
to vote.33

NEW YORK: 35,000 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
2018
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

97,581

0.63%

46,286

2.03%

New York bans people with felony convictions in prison
and on parole from voting.
In 2010, the New York legislature required criminal
justice agencies to notify persons exiting criminal justice
supervision that they have the right to vote. Individuals
released from prison or discharged from parole have
their voting rights automatically restored and only need
to complete a voter registration card in order to
participate in the next election. A formal notice provision
was necessary because according to reports, New York
election officials regularly misapplied the law and some
reportedly required persons to provide unnecessary
paperwork in order to register to vote. Researchers
found in 2005 that nearly 30% of people with prior
criminal convictions incorrectly believed they were
ineligible to vote.34
In 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive
order to grant voting rights to 35,000 people under
parole supervision. The executive order offers conditional
pardons to people on parole, but the pardons will not
erase their conviction or any other conditions of their
10 The Sentencing Project

parole. Gov. Cuomo said that he will continue to issue
conditional pardons to new people who enter the parole
system while in office.35

NORTH CAROLINA
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Total

% Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised
Population

91,179

1.18%

Black Disenfranchised
Population

42,905

2.63%

North Carolina prohibits all persons convicted of a
felony conviction in prison, on probation or parole from
voting.
The right to vote is automatically restored upon
completion of sentence and individuals can register to
vote after filing a certificate demonstrating unconditional
discharge with the county of conviction or residence.
As in many other states, there has been concern that
confusion about eligibility requirements and restoration
procedures may be preventing some persons from
registering to vote. In 2007, the legislature passed a bill
requiring the State Board of Elections, the Department
of Corrections, and the Administrative Office of the
Courts to establish and implement a program whereby
individuals are informed of their eligibility to vote and
instructed regarding the steps they must take in order
to register.36

RHODE ISLAND: 17,000 VOTER RIGHTS
RESTORED, 2006
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

3,355

0.40%

963

2.03%

Rhode Island allows individuals with felony convictions
to vote upon release from prison.
Prior to 2006, Rhode Island was the only state in New
England with felony disenfranchisement laws extending
to persons on both probation and parole. In November
2006, voters in the state approved a ballot referendum
to amend the state constitution and extend voting rights

to persons on probation and parole. The new law
restored the right to vote to more than 17,000 residents.
According to the Rhode Island Family Life Center, 36%
of the citizens reenfranchised in 2006 participated in
the 2008 election.37

TENNESSEE
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Total

% Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised
Population

421,227

8.26%

Black Disenfranchised
Population

173,895

21.27%

Tennessee prohibits voting for people in prison,
probation and or parole, and post-sentence for people
convicted of felony offenses since 1981, in addition to
those convicted of select offenses prior to 1973.
Individuals convicted of a felony between 1973-1981
never lost their voting rights.
In 2006, Tennessee passed legislation that simplified
the nation’s most complex and confusing
disenfranchisement laws. Prior to 2006, eligibility and
the process of restoration varied significantly based on
the type of offense and the date of conviction. Under
the new law, persons convicted of certain felonies after
1981 can apply for voting rights restoration directly
with the Board of Probation and Parole upon sentence
completion. However, the new law requires that all
outstanding legal financial obligations, including child
support, must be paid before voting rights will be
restored.38

TEXAS: 317,000 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
1997
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Total

% Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised
Population

495,928

2.45%

Black Disenfranchised
Population

147,727

6.17%

Texas restores voting rights to persons with felony
convictions upon completion of their prison, parole and
probation sentence.

Texas has been incrementally reforming its felony
disenfranchisement laws since 1983. In that year the
state repealed its lifetime prohibition against voting for
persons with a felony conviction, replacing it with a
five-year post-sentence waiting period,39 which was
subsequently reduced to a two-year waiting period in
1985. In 1997, under Governor George W. Bush, Texas
eliminated the 2-year waiting period and adopted a
policy of automatically restoring voting rights at the
completion of sentence. The legislation restored the
right to vote to an estimated 317,000 individuals.40

UTAH
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

7,669

0.37%

724

3.18%

Utah automatically restores the right to vote to
individuals upon completion of their prison sentence.
Until 1998, Utah was one of four states where all persons
with a felony conviction, including those in prison, were
permitted to vote. However, a 1998 public referendum
resulted in a constitutional prohibition on voting for
persons in prison serving a felony sentence. Voting
rights are automatically restored upon release from
prison. However, due to a quirk in the wording of the
law, those convicted out-of-state but residing in Utah
were restricted from voting for life. In 2006, the Utah
General Assembly corrected this oversight and now
restore voting rights to all individuals upon completion
of their prison sentence.41

VIRGINIA: 188,000 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
2002-2018
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Total

% Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised
Population

508,680

7.81%

Black Disenfranchised
Population

271,944

21.90%

The Virginia Constitution disenfranchises all individuals
with felony convictions for life.

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reform 11

There have been a number of policy developments since
2000 that have expanded voting rights to a growing
number of Virginia residents. In 2000, Virginia passed
a bill requiring the Department of Corrections to notify
individuals under its jurisdiction about the loss of voting
rights and the process of applying for restoration.
Upon taking office in 2002, Governor Mark Warner
streamlined the process of applying for a gubernatorial
restoration of rights. He reduced the necessary
paperwork from 13 pages to 1 for most persons
convicted of a nonviolent offense and decreased the
waiting period to apply to three years. The prior
requirement of three letters of reference was also
rescinded. In his four years in office, Governor Warner
restored the voting rights of 3,500 Virginians, exceeding
the combined total of all governors between 1982 and
2002. His successor, Governor Tim Kaine, continued
this commitment to rights restoration, granting voting
rights to more than 4,300 persons while in office.
During 2010, Governor Bob McDonnell streamlined the
voter restoration process for individuals with felony
convictions by decreasing the waiting period from three
years to two years. McDonnell also established a 60-day
deadline for processing civil rights restoration
applications after receiving corroborating information
from courts and other agencies. These reforms reversed
McDonnell’s initial restoration procedures that would
have required applicants to write a letter to explain why
they wanted their voting rights restored. The process
encouraged applicants to offer a “brief description of
civic or community involvement,” although it was not
a requirement.42 In 2013, McDonnell used executive
authority to remove the waiting period and application
process and to automatically restore voting rights to
individuals convicted of nonviolent offenses who had
completed their sentence and paid all fines and
restitution.43 During his four years in office, McDonnell
restored voting rights to nearly 7,000 Virginians.44
In 2016, Governor Terry McAuliffe used his clemency
power to restore voting rights to approximately 200,000
Virginians who had completed their sentences. This
action was challenged in the state Supreme Court,
which ruled that rights restoration needed to be
undertaken on an individual basis, and not across the
board. Gov. McAuliffe subsequently restored rights to
over 173,000 people in this manner. Virginia’s
12 The Sentencing Project

disenfranchisement policy remains unchanged, and
the state constitution still disenfranchises all individuals
with felony convictions post-sentence.45

WASHINGTON
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

48,552

0.87%

7,987

3.71%

Washington prohibits all persons convicted of a felony
in prison, on probation or parole from voting.
In 2009, Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill that
eliminated the requirement of paying all fines, fees, and
restitution before regaining the right to vote. Previously,
persons who had completed their term of probation or
parole but who had not paid fees and costs associated
with their sentence had been barred from voting. This
provision was compounded by the fact that interest on
these legal system debts accrued at 12% a year. Many
indigent felony defendants could never fully pay off
their legal system debts – and as a result never had
their voting rights restored. Under the new law, persons
remain obligated to repay their debts, but will not be
denied the right to vote.46

WYOMING: 5,400 VOTER RIGHTS RESTORED,
2003-2017
Disenfranchised Population, 2016
Disenfranchised
Population
Black Disenfranchised
Population

Total

% Disenfranchised

23,847

5.33%

966

17.18%

Wyoming restores the right to vote only to those
convicted of nonviolent felony offenses who have
completed their sentence.
In 2003, Wyoming revised its lifetime felony
disenfranchisement law by authorizing persons
convicted of a first-time, nonviolent felony to apply to
the Wyoming Board of Parole for a certificate that
restores voting rights. Applicants were required to wait

for a period of five years after completing their
sentence in order to be eligible to apply.47 Between
2003 and 2014, 82 people applied and had their
voting rights restored.48
In 2015, Wyoming eliminated the application process
and the five-year waiting period, and authorized
automatic rights restoration for persons convicted
of first-time, nonviolent felony convictions who
complete their sentence. Individuals convicted prior
to 2016 and those with out-of-state and federal
convictions were still required to apply for a
restoration of rights upon completion of their
sentence.49 At the time of the bill’s passage it was
estimated that 4,200 persons with nonviolent
convictions between 2000-2011 would have been
eligible to apply for rights restoration.50
Subsequently, in 2017, the state passed House Bill
75 to expand voting rights to individuals convicted
of any nonviolent felony offense. For individuals
convicted within Wyoming who have completed
their full sentence on or after January 1, 2010, the
Department of Corrections will automatically issue
a certificate of restoration of voting rights.
Individuals convicted of a nonviolent felony offense
before January 1, 2010, or those convicted outside
of Wyoming, or under federal law are required to
submit a written request to the department. The
person will then be issued a certificate of restoration
of voting rights if the individual is deemed eligible.51
While the total estimated impact of the bill is
unknown, an analysis by the Department of
Corrections shows in 2013 alone, 1,178 people with
nonviolent felony convictions had completed their
sentence.52

EXECUTIVE ACTIONS
While executive orders do not permanently
reform state disenfranchisement policies,
governors across the country have issued orders
to restore voting rights to hundreds of thousands
of people. Listed below are examples of the
impact executive actions can have on restoring
the right to vote. Several of these orders were
revoked by subsequent governors.
•	

Between 2007-2011, Florida Gov. Charlie
Crist restored voting rights to more than
150,000 people during his four years in office
by automatically restoring rights to
individuals convicted of predominantly
nonviolent offenses. (Revoked in 2011, but
not retroactively.)

•	

In 2005, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack automatically
restored voting rights to all individuals who
had completed their sentence, impacting an
estimated 100,000 people. (Revoked in 2011,
but not retroactively.)

•	

In 2015, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear issued
an executive order to automatically restore
voting rights to over 100,000 people with
nonviolent felony convictions who had
completed their sentences. (Revoked 2015)

•	

In 2018, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
issued conditional pardons to people on
parole, restoring voting rights to 35,000
people under parole supervision.

•	

Between 2016-2018, Virginia Gov. Terry
McAuliffe individually restored voting rights
to over 173,000 people who had completed
their full sentence.

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reform 13

APPENDIX
Table 1. Summary of State Felony Disfranchisement Restrictions in 2018
No restriction (2)

Prison only (15)

Prison & parole (4)

Prison, parole, & probation
(18)

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

Maine

District of Columbia

California

Alaska

Alabama

Vermont

Hawaii

Colorado

Arkansas

Arizona

Illinois

Connecticut

Georgia

Delaware

Indiana

New York

Idaho

Florida

Massachusetts

Kansas

Iowa

Maryland

Louisiana

Kentucky

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Montana

Missouri

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New Jersey

Nevada

North Dakota

New Mexico

Tennessee

Ohio

North Carolina

Virginia

Oregon

Oklahoma

Wyoming

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Rhode Island

South Dakota

Utah

Texas
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Source for Tables 1-3: Uggen, C., Larson, R., and Shannon, S. (2016). 6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony
Disenfranchisement, 2016. The Sentencing Project, Washington DC. Retrieved from https://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/
uploads/2016/10/6-Million-Lost-Voters.pdf.

14 The Sentencing Project

Table 2. Estimates of Disenfranchised Individuals with Felony Convictions, 2016
State

Prison

Parole

Felony probation

Jail

Post-sentence

Total

Voting Age Pop.

% Disenfranchised

Alabama

30,585

6,580

15,626

1,578

231,896

286,266

3,755,483

7.62%

Alaska

5,497

2,035

6,900

7

14,439

552,166

2.61%

Arizona

44,509

7,241

51,362

1,341

116,717

221,170

5,205,215

4.25%

Arkansas

19,224

21,811

24,695

975

66,705

2,272,904

2.93%

California

136,302

86,254

222,557

30,023,902

0.74%

Colorado

21,207

8,673

30,946

4,199,509

0.74%

Connecticut

14,926

2,419

17,345

2,826,827

0.61%

Delaware

1,066

6,858

716

4,074

Florida

102,555

4,208

86,886

4,822

Georgia

50,900

23,545

170,194

Hawaii

6,364

Idaho

7,873

5,057

9,863

Illinois

47,537

Iowa
Indiana
Kansas

9,127

6,133

12,365

28,028

4,067

15,716

741,548

2.12%

1,487,847

1,686,318

16,166,143

10.43%

4,112

248,751

7,710,688

3.23%

6,364

1,120,770

0.57%

314

23,106

1,222,093

1.89%

2,089

49,625

9,901,322

0.50%

410

23,976

1,630

9,466

4,023

3,426

679

Kentucky

22,968

16,729

27,323

2,039

Louisiana

35,614

31,450

37,761

52,012

2,395,103

2.17%

29,658

5,040,224

0.59%
0.80%

17,594

2,192,084

312,046

3,413,425

9.14%

3,211

108,035

3,555,911

3.04%

242,987

Maine

0

1,072,948

0.00%

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

63,340

4,205,207

1.51%

Mississippi

13,752

8,051

28463

1,422

218,181

2,265,485

9.63%

Missouri

32,768

16,808

38,870

1,219

89,665

4,692,196

1.91%

Montana

3,816

330

4,146

806,529

0.51%

1,888

91,179

7,752,234

1.18%
0.37%

North Carolina

37,446

North Dakota

2,042

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire

166,494

10,977

40,867

2,178

583,001

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%

136

175

3,031

1,066,610

0.28%

New Jersey

19,964

2,856
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%

New York

50,513

44,590

2,477

97,581

15,584,974

0.63%

Ohio

51,102

1,736

52,837

8,984,946

0.59%

Oklahoma

27,857

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%

2,572

26,475

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%
8.26%

Tennessee
Texas
Utah

29,271

13,186

52,654

2,763

421,227

5,102,688

161,658

111,632

216,033

6,605

495,928

20,257,343

2.45%

744

7,669

2,083,423

0.37%
0.00%

6,925

323,354

Vermont
Virginia

38,694

1,604

56,908

2,905

Washington

18,395

3,811

25,164

1,182

West Virginia

408,570

0

506,119

508,680

6,512,571

7.81%

48,552

5,558,509

0.87%

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

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reform 15

Table 3. Estimates of Disenfranchised African Americans with Felony Convictions, 2016
State

Prison

Parole

Felony probation

Jail

Post-sentence

Total

Voting Age Pop.

% Disenfranchised

Alabama

17,775

3,957

7,740

823

113,629

143,924

952,671

15.11%

519

211

718

2

1,450

21,219

6.83%

Alaska
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

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%

320

Florida
Hawaii

12,645

269
192

105

207

27,292
2,341

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%
5.28%

New Hampshire

177

New Jersey

12,294

6,466

28,243

467

47,470

899,227

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
1.	 Porter, N. (2010). Expanding the Vote: State Felony Disenfranchisement Reform, 2010. The Sentencing Project, Washington DC.
Retrieved from https://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Expanding-the-Vote-State-FelonyDisenfranchisement-Reform-1997-2010.pdf
2.	 Uggen, C., Larson, R., and Shannon, S. (2016). 6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016. The
Sentencing Project, Washington DC. Retrieved from https://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/6-MillionLost-Voters.pdf.
3.	 Alabama Sentencing Commission, 2017 Report. Retrieved from http://sentencingcommission.alacourt.gov/Publications/
ASC%202017%20Final%20Report.pdf.
4.	 Astor, M. (2018). Seven Ways Alabama Has Made It Harder to Vote. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.
com/2018/06/23/us/politics/voting-rights-alabama.html.
5.	 St. John, P. (2015). California could allow more felons to vote, in major shift. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.
latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ff-elections-felons-vote-20150804-story.html.
6.	 Assembly Bill No. 2466. California Legislative Information. Retrieved here https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.
xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2466.
7.	 CBS SF Bay Area. (2016). Gov. Brown Signs Bill Giving Right To Vote To Thousands Of Felons. Retrieved here https://
sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/09/28/gov-brown-signs-bill-giving-right-to-vote-to-felons-who-are-not-in-prison/.
8.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
9.	 Ibid.
10.	 House Bill 10. Delaware General Assembly. Retrieved here http://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail?LegislationId=22921.
11.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
12.	 Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board. (2018). Editorial: Reforming Florida’s unconstitutional process for restoring voting rights: Get on
with it, Gov. Scott. Retrieved here https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-rick-scott-restore-felons-rights-20180329story.html.
13.	 Hammerschlag, A. (2016). Estimated 1.7 million Floridians lost right to vote. Naples Daily News. Retrieved from https://www.
naplesnews.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/11/04/suppression-floridas-felon-vote-might-have-huge-impact-tuesdayselection/93136996/.
14.	 Allen, G. (2018). Felons In Florida Want Their Voting Rights Back Without A Hassle. NPR. Retrieved from https://www.npr.
org/2018/07/05/625671186/felons-in-florida-want-their-voting-rights-back-without-a-hassle.
15.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
16.	 Ibid.
17.	 Foley, R. (2012). Few Iowa felons win restoration of voting rights. The Gazette. Retrieved from https://www.thegazette.
com/2012/06/25/few-iowa-felons-win-restoration-of-voting-rights.
18.	 Rodgers, G. (2016). Process to restore felon voting rights to be streamlined. Des Moines Register. Retrieved from https://www.
desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2016/04/27/process-restore-felon-voting-rights-streamlined/83598488/.
19.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
20.	 Uggen, C., Larson, R., and Shannon, S. (2016). See note 2.
21.	 Lopez, G. (2015). Kentucky’s old governor gave thousands the right to vote. The new governor took it back. Vox. Retrieved from
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2015/11/25/9799148/kentucky-felons-voting-rights.
22.	 Email with Damon Preston, Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, on October 1, 2018.
23.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
24.	 Louisiana House Bill 265. (2018). Retrieved from https://legiscan.com/LA/bill/HB265/2018.
25.	 Voice of the Experienced. (2018). HB 265 is now a law! Find out who can now vote. Retrieved here https://www.vote-nola.org/
blog/hb-265-is-now-a-law-find-out-who-can-now-vote.
26.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
27.	 HB0980. General Assembly of Maryland. Retrieved here http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.
aspx?id=hb0980&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2015rs

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reform 17

28.	 Ford, M. (2016). Restoring Voting Rights for Felons in Maryland. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/
politics/archive/2016/02/maryland-felon-voting/462000/
29.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
30.	 Ibid.
31.	 Brennan Center for Justice. (2018). Voting Rights Restoration Efforts in Nevada. Retrieved from https://www.brennancenter.org/
analysis/voting-rights-restoration-efforts-nevada.
32.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
33.	 Ibid.
34.	 Ibid.
35.	 Abramsky, S. (2018). At Long Last, Andrew Cuomo Restores the Vote for New York Parolees. The Nation. Retrieved from https://
www.thenation.com/article/at-long-last-andrew-cuomo-restores-the-vote-for-new-york-parolees/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=
745ee8e1-04c5-4d91-a8a9-4534e6078d72.
36.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
37.	 Ibid.
38.	 bid.
39.	 Sennott, C., & Galliher, J. (2006). Lifetime Felony Disenfranchisement in Florida, Texas, and Iowa: Symbolic and Instrumental Law.
Social Justice, 33(1 (103)), 79-94.
40.	 Uggen, C., Manza, J., Thompson, M., & Wakefield, S. (2003). Impact of Recent Legal Changes in Felon Voting Rights in Five States.
The Sentencing Project, Washington DC. Retrieved from https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/
legchanges-report.pdf.
41.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
42.	 Ibid.
43.	 Israel, J. (2013). Virginia Governor Automatically Restores Voting Rights To Nonviolent Felons. ThinkProgress. Retrieved from
https://thinkprogress.org/virginia-governor-automatically-restores-voting-rights-to-nonviolent-felons-bfa4baa3ce5a/.
44.	 Richmond Times-Dispatch. (2013). McDonnell says state has restored rights of record 6,800 felons. Retrieved from https://www.
richmond.com/news/latest-news/mcdonnell-says-state-has-restored-rights-of-record-felons/article_989ed33e-3759-11e3-b34e0019bb30f31a.html.
45.	 Associated Press. (2018). Outgoing Va. Gov. McAuliffe says rights restoration his proudest achievement. Retrieved from https://
wtop.com/virginia/2018/01/gov-terry-mcauliffe-final-state-commonwealth/.
46.	 Porter, N. (2010). See note 1.
47.	 Ibid
48.	 Hancock, L. (2014). Wyoming committee studies restoring voting rights to felons. Star-Tribune. Retrieved from https://trib.com/
news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/wyoming-committee-studies-restoring-voting-rights-to-felons/article_3adc54b2-08ba58cb-854f-0ec689d40d14.html.
49.	 Porter, N. (2016). The State of Sentencing 2015: Developments in Policy and Practice. The Sentencing Project, Washington DC.
Retrieved from https://sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/State-of-Sentencing-2015.pdf.
50.	 Neary, B. (2014). Wyoming considers allowing some felons to vote. Associated Press. Retrieved from https://trib.com/news/stateand-regional/govt-and-politics/wyoming-considers-allowing-some-felons-to-vote/article_5e010552-171a-54e8-aef34298bc091201.html.
51.	 Wyoming House Bill 75. (2017). Retrieved from https://legiscan.com/WY/text/HB0075/2017.
52.	 Learned, N. (2017). Wyoming House Passes Bill Which Would Automatically Restore Voting Rights of Some Nonviolent Felons. K2
Radio. Retrieved from http://k2radio.com/wyoming-house-passes-bill-which-would-automatically-restore-voting-rights-of-somenonviolent-felons/.

18 The Sentencing Project

Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony
Disenfranchisement Reform
Morgan McLeod
October 2018

Related publications by The Sentencing Project:
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1705 DeSales Street NW, 8th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: 202.628.0871
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Felony Disenfranchisement: A Primer (2018)
6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony
Disenfranchisement, 2016 (2016)
Expanding the Vote: State Felony Disenfranchisement Reform,
1997-2010 (2010)

The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. justice system by
promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and
practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

 

 

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