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Can I Vote if I'm an ex-con?

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Fact Sheet: States That Bar Ex-Offenders from Voting. DO CONVICTED FELONS LOSE THE RIGHT TO VOTE? That depends on the state. According to a Los Angeles Times article ("1 in 7 Black Men are Kept from Voting, Study Finds," 30 January, 1997): About 510,000 black males are permanently disenfranchised because of laws in 13 states that strip convicted felons of the right to vote. Another 950,000 are temporarily ineligible to vote because of laws in other states--including California--that prohibit voting by persons in prison or on probation or on parole, according to [a 1997 Sentencing Project Study]. "While many of these individuals will regain their voting rights after completion of their sentence, the cumulative impact of large numbers of persons being disenfranchised from the electoral process clearly dilutes the political power of the African American community," said Marc Mauer, co-author of "Intended and Unintended Consequences: State Racial Disparities in Imprisonment." He added that one-third of the estimated 4.2 million felons who are disenfranchised are African American, who constitute only 12 percent of the U.S. population.

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Last modified 2004-07-26 03:54 PM
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