We hope you enjoy our #VRABlackHistory Series 2024

From the Transformative Justice Coalition and the Voting Rights Alliance

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SNEAK PEAK: The NEW 2024 #VRABlackHistory Article covering all recent voter suppression cases post Shelby, including the recent 8th Circuit decision, will be released tomorrow as it needed one more day to be sure to be completely accurate! Tomorrow’s article will follow up yesterday’s to explain how Shelby opened the door for other voter suppression cases and tactics.

For all upcoming Transformative Justice Coalition events, see the latest Feb. 20th, 2024 Transformer by clicking here.

Understanding Felon Disenfranchisement Laws &

The Individuals Affected, Part 2:

The Current Fight for Voter Restoration

We aren’t powerless against voter suppression!!

Do you want to make a difference like those honored during this Series?

Click the screenshot above to watch last night’s Transformative Justice Coalition National Tele-Town Hall Panel Discussion:


“WORTHY!: In Defense of Justice for Ahmaud Arbery, Black History & Voting Rights!”


Barbara Arnwine, Esq. and Daryl Jones, Esq. hosted a national TeleTown Hall Panel Discussion on Friday February 23rd at 7:00 PM EST in Commemoration of the 4th Anniversary of the Vicious Racially Motivated Murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Panelists included TJC Leadership and featured Marcus Arbery (Father) and Family of the late Ahmaud Arbery, Attorney Gerald Griggs, Professor Maureen Edobor, Carl Snowden, Devan Vilfrard, and Dr. Omekongo Dibinga. 

Urge Your Local Government to support the Voting Rights Act by adopting the Model Resolution. We want every state, city and county to join us and sign on to this Resolution. This Resolution represents the strength of our country to fight the 8th Circuit Disastrous Opinion Regarding Our Voting Rights.

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This article was authored by Caitlyn Arnwine (formerly Caitlyn Cobb) in 2023. Note from the author: This is a February 2023 update to the 2016 article by Caitlyn for The Transformer Newsletter. There will be some new information in this article. Some of this information is taken from the show descriptions for the “Igniting Change with Barbara Arnwine and Daryl Jones” Radio show, which is co-written by Barbara Arnwine and Caitlyn.

For the latest accurate felon disenfranchisement laws curated by the National Conference of State Legislatures and is updated frequently no matter when you view this article, click here

The Transformative Justice Coalition and the Voting Rights Alliance, in honor of Black History Month, are reviving the daily special series devoted to sharing the legacies and stories of the sheroes, heroes, and events in the fight for Black suffrage. This series was created in 2017 and will add 13 NEW articles this year. In addition to these daily newsletters all February long, this series also incorporates daily social media posts; an interactive calendar; and, website blog posts to spread the word broadly.


Feel free to publish on your social media outlets, with credit given to the Transformative Justice Coalition. If you’d like us to share you sharing this series, be sure to send any publications to carnwine@tjcoalition.org so we can repost!


We encourage everyone to share this series to your networks and on social media under the hashtag #VRABlackHistory and to use this series for school projects. You can also tweet us @TJC_DC to share your own facts.


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Today, February 25, 2024, we highlight the current state of felon disenfranchisement and honoring those fighting for the right to restore the vote to returning citizens (those with past felony convictions). This is part 2 of the 2-part article reviewing felon disenfranchisement and the individuals affected. The Transformative Justice Coalition is committed to working with groups worldwide to combat felon disenfranchisement. Written in October of 2016, “Understanding Felon Disenfranchisement Laws & The Individuals Affected” was a two-part Transformer original article examining felon disenfranchisement. Disenfranchisement is when you deny the right to vote to a person or group, or deny the right to vote through practices or policies. In America, an estimated 6.1 million people with past felony convictions are denied the right to vote in a practice known as felon disenfranchisement.


This #VRABlack History article will update Part One of the 2016 article focused on 2016 felon re-enfranchisement efforts on the state (Maryland and Florida) and federal levels, as well as provides information on the often confusing process of how those with past felony convictions may restore their right to vote. Today’s article hopes to clarify some of these misconceptions by exploring and explaining: individual stories of those affected by America’s felon disenfranchisement laws; voting rights for individuals who are incarcerated; voting rights for the formerly incarcerated (individuals with past felony convictions); and, the fight to restore the vote by the states.


For purposes of this two-part article, the author uses “felon disenfranchisement” as a broad-brush term to describe the state and federal laws that affect both those currently and formerly incarcerated, unless otherwise specified. The author also knows that there are many preferred terms for individuals with past felony convictions, such as “returning citizen”, “ex-felon”, and other terms such as, “citizen” and “resident”. For purposes of this article, the author most commonly uses the term “individuals with past felony convictions”, unless citing a quote or reference that uses a different term. References will be listed at the end of the article, with all quotes or references beginning with blue, underlined words that link to the source. 


The previous article was meant to be an informative overview of the past and current state of felon disenfranchisement in America, and around the globe. This article delves into the origins of felon disenfranchisement laws that stem from Greece; how felon disenfranchisement laws made their way to the United States in the 1600’s and evolved through the Revolutionary War; and, the exceptions and difficulties created by the 13th Amendment, the first and second sections of the 14th Amendment, and the 15th Amendment. The racist past of felon disenfranchisement is also be looked at, including: why felonies became a broad-brush political tool to disenfranchise Black voters; the origins of the American policing, and how it disproportionately affects African Americans; how Jim Crow laws came to be discriminatory disenfranchisement laws; and, how felon disenfranchisement is the lasting effect of the Jim Crow Laws. If you missed yesterday’s article, click below to read it:

Today, We Remember the History of Felon Disenfranchisement (1600’s – Present) #VRABlackHistory 2023

Today, February 19th, 2023, we remember the history of felon disenfranchisement as part of a 2-part article reviewing felon disenfranchisement and the individuals affected.

Read More

⮚    Introduction: Examples of why felon re-enfranchisement matters; An overview of the continuing challenges of “felon disenfranchisement” by the States.


On January 19th, 2023, we covered the racist regime of felon disenfranchisement laws in the United States which have resulted in 6 million voters being blocked from voting in their states. It is a tragedy that an estimated 18 million formerly incarcerated persons are confused about their right to vote because of the threat of unwittingly violating these laws. Critical to stopping this disenfranchisement is massive law reform, voter education and voter assistance. This article will discuss the progress and setbacks made to date in 2023 in outreaching to and educating these eligible voters about their new rights in several states, including Maryland, Florida, Texas and Tennessee, and discuss the current laws in all 50 states. Anything done federally about felon disenfranchisement is met with greater opposition than that of individual states because felon disenfranchisement is a state right. However, that doesn’t mean Congress cannot do anything about it, especially if felon disenfranchisement laws are found to be discriminatory in their intent.


Because the federal Freedom to Vote Act (FTVA), which was defeated in the U.S. Senate, had a provision that would of restored voting rights nationwide to any person who was formerly incarcerated, there has been a major movement in the states, especially Minnesota, to pass voter restoration laws modeled on the FTVA.

Minnesota Supreme Court Upholds Felony Disenfranchisement Law

On Wednesday, Feb. 15th, 2023, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a 6-1 opinion upholding a Minnesota law that prevents individuals with prior felony convictions from voting until they are fully discharged from their sentence, which can only be achieved following a court order or the expiration of one’s sentence.

Read More

MN Supreme Court defers to lawmakers on felon voting rights

Minnesotans convicted of felonies who have served their prison time must complete all aspects of their sentence, including parole and probation, before their voting rights are restored, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The decision puts the issue back in the hands of the Legislature.

Read More

The below back and forth between various branches of government and citizens shows how deep-rooted felon disenfranchisement is in our society. Proponents of felon disenfranchisement in America uphold the practice by saying that it prevents election fraud and future crimes, the moral compass of elections, it’s a state’s right to withhold the right to vote due to criminal activity, and that if someone commits a felony, then losing their right to vote is another means of punishment on the offender. Opponents to felon disenfranchisement, including the disenfranchised themselves, say that once someone is released from prison, they have paid their debt to society, and as part of the process of reintegrating ex-offenders into society, they should be allowed the right to vote. If an individual is able to be back in society, raise their families, and work jobs, thereby paying taxes back into their community- they should be allowed to vote about the laws they live under. If not, then there is a group of over 6 million people in the United States of America who pay taxes, but get no representation, and are in effect, made to be second class citizens.


⮚    Maryland


In March, 2016, the Maryland legislature overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto and revised Maryland law to restore voting rights upon release from prison, thus making 40,000 Marylanders eligible to vote. 


“Felony Disenfranchisement has been a part of Maryland’s Constitution since 1851.” After a success­ful veto over­ride, voting rights in Mary­land are restored auto­mat­ic­ally after release from prison, and not taken away from those on proba­tion. This law went into effect on March 10, 2016. With a vote in the House on Janu­ary 21 [2016] and another in the Senate on Febru­ary 9 [2016], Maryland’s legis­lature voted to over­ride Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto and enact SB 340/HB 980. When this legis­la­tion became law on March 10 [2016], it imme­di­ately restored voting rights to an estim­ated 40,000 Marylanders. This new legis­la­tion replaced Maryland’s previ­ous prac­tice of disen­fran­chising indi­vidu­als with past felony convic­tions until they completed each and every portion of their sentences. Going forward, citizens will regain their voting rights imme­di­ately upon release from incar­cer­a­tion, and will not lose their right to vote if not sentenced to incar­cer­a­tion.”


In February 2022, from a Washington Post article, “Maryland’s Democratic controlled legislature is poised to reform one of the country’s most restrictive laws barring ex-offenders from serving on juries, building on a commitment to restore rights to the formerly incarcerated that began seven years ago…As the nation reckons with systemic racism and racial disparities, advocates and lawmakers say they are hopeful that this is the year that Maryland will take the next step to make formerly incarcerated people whole…With a disproportionate number of Black men in Maryland’s prisons, advocates are hoping the bill will help widen the jury pool and lead to fairer trials…More than 20 million people across the country — a disproportionate number of whom are Black men — are disqualified for jury duty because of a prior conviction, according to a 2021 report by the Prison Policy Initiative, a research and criminal justice advocacy group. Criminal justice experts say Maryland’s current law is one of the most restrictive in the country because it not only excludes people who have been convicted of felonies but also those who have been convicted of some misdemeanors as well. Under the law, a person is barred from jury service if they have been convicted of a crime that carries a sentence of more than a year and the person has served a year in jail. A person who has a pending charge for a crime that carries a sentence of more than a year is also prohibited from serving. An ex-offender can only regain the ability to serve on a jury if they receive a pardon.


“According to a recent report by Maryland legislative analysts, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, similar to Maryland, determine eligibility for juror service based on the length of a sentence someone receives and whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor. There are only three states, Illinois, Iowa and Maine, that do not automatically disqualify jurors based on a prior felony conviction.


“‘If a guy came out and he’s off parole, he’s off probation, he’s working paying taxes, he should have the same rights as everybody else,’ said Stanley Mitchell, 73. Mitchell was one of nearly 200 older people released from prison after a 2012 landmark decision by Maryland’s highest court determined that juries before the 1980s were regularly given bad instructions, resulting in unfair trials. Mitchell walked out of Jessup prison nine years ago with $18 and a 30-day supply of high blood pressure pills in his pocket. He’s rebuilt his life and, as a result of the 2015 voting bill, he cast his first ballot in 2018…

“In Maryland, more than 70 percent of the prison population in 2018 was Black, compared with 31 percent of the state population. Sen. Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore City), who sponsored the Senate version of the bill, said the measure serves two purposes: to ensure that Black defendants ‘have a jury of their peers’ and to re-enfranchise people who have paid their debt to society.


“The legislation is the latest effort in Maryland in recent years to level the criminal justice playing field and help ex-offenders become full members of society. In 2018, state lawmakers overturned Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that prohibits public and private colleges and universities from including questions about criminal history on student applications. Two years ago, the Democratic-controlled legislature approved an override of another ban-the-box legislation, one that bars employers from asking prospective employees about their criminal history on a job application.”


⮚    Texas and Tennessee


It is a daunting struggle to restore the right to vote for those who have been formerly incarcerated or who otherwise have felony records. For example, look at the severe and disproportionately harsh punishments pursued in two separate states, Texas and Tennessee, against African-American women with felony records for mistakenly attempting to participate in the electoral process. Given the “slap-on-the-wrist” treatment granted to many White voters who have purposefully attempted to wrongfully vote, clearly the prosecutorial power is being deployed to target Black voters. Indeed, in the Pamela Moses case, the prosecutorial misconduct and withholding exculpatory evidence exemplifies the overreach to punish and discourage those formerly incarcerated from voting. In the Crystal Mason case, the Court recently acknowledged the need to show intent. At the core of our discussion is the vital need to eliminate felon disenfranchisement laws in the U.S.


Indeed, some 6 million citizens are outright blocked from voting by disenfranchising laws that impede their ability to restore their right to vote following incarceration or bar voting until the completion of parole, probation, sentencing, and/or the repayment of restitution and fees. The estimated that 18 million more persons formerly incarcerated who are actually eligible to vote in their states do not register to vote based on confusion regarding their rights and fear of reincarceration should they mistakenly vote. That fear is well-founded and proven voter suppression tactic.


On April 22, 2022, “a Tennessee prosecutor dropped all criminal charges…against Pamela Moses, a Memphis woman with a previous felony conviction who was sentenced to six years and one day in prison in January after she tried to restore her right to vote in 2019. The voter fraud conviction from her trial was thrown out in February after a judge ruled that the Tennessee Department of Correction had improperly withheld evidence that was later uncovered by The Guardian…But Ms. Moses will no longer face a second trial ‘in the interest of judicial economy,’ Amy Weirich, the district attorney of Shelby County at the time, said in a statement. Ms. Moses spent 82 days in custody on this case, ‘which is sufficient,’ Ms. Weirich said. Ms. Moses is also permanently barred from registering to vote or voting in Tennessee.”. (NY Times, “Charges Dropped Against Tennessee Woman Who Was Jailed Over Voter Fraud”, 1 – 3 Para., 2022) 


On May 11, 2022, “[t]he Texas Court of Criminal Appeals [told] a lower appeals court to take another look at the controversial illegal voting conviction of Crystal Mason, who was given a five-year prison sentence for casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election while she was on supervised release for a federal conviction. The state’s court of last resort for criminal matters…ruled a lower appeals court had wrongly upheld Mason’s conviction by concluding that it was ‘irrelevant’ to Mason’s prosecution that she did not know she was ineligible to cast a ballot. The ruling opens the door for Mason’s conviction to ultimately be overturned”. (The Texas Tribune, “Crystal Mason’s contentious illegal voting conviction must be reconsidered, criminal appeals court says”, 1 -2 Para., 2022)


The Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC) has followed these cases, highlighted developments, and urged their supporters to lift up support for Pamela throughout this battle. TJC is undertaking a major nationwide voter restoration initiative for the next several years and building a spirit of perseverance and justice fighting voter suppression efforts that target formerly incarcerated persons and all voters. TJC Co-Leaders and Radio Hosts Attorneys Arnwine and Jones launched a nationwide TJC Voter Engagement and Restoration Program to assist in this national fight to automatically restore the right to vote. 


For those who have had a past felony conviction, for information on their voting rights, please visit:



⮚    Florida


From the Brennan Center’s “Voting Rights Restoration Efforts in Florida: A summary of current felony disenfranchisement policies and legislative advocacy in Florida”, updated on February 14th, 2023:


“In November 2018, nearly 65 percent of Flor­ida voters approved Amend­ment 4, a constitutional amendment that auto­mat­ic­ally restored voting rights to most Floridians with past convictions who had completed the terms of their sentence. Shortly thereafter, in June 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 7066 into law, prohib­it­ing return­ing citizens from voting unless they pay off certain legal finan­cial oblig­a­tions (LFOs) imposed by a court pursu­ant to a felony convic­tion.


“The Bren­nan Center and other civil and voting rights groups filed a lawsuit chal­len­ging the law. The trial court found Florida’s “pay-to-vote system” unconstitutional, in part because it is often not possible to determine whether a returning citizen is eligible to vote because the State does not reliably or consistently track data on LFOs. However, the en banc Elev­enth reversed and vacated the lower court’s ruling. More inform­a­tion about this lawsuit can be found here.


“On August 8, 2022, follow­ing reports of a state attor­ney in Alachua County prosec­ut­ing 10 return­ing citizens for allegedly regis­ter­ing and voting in 2020 while ineligible because of outstand­ing LFOs, the Bren­nan Center, ACLU of Flor­ida, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and ACLU created a resource for lawyers and advocacy groups to help return­ing citizens determ­ine if they are eligible to vote. Please note this resource is not intended for the general public and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It should be used in consultation with a lawyer or another expert who is able to interpret Florida’s voting rules, and it is intended to serve as a starting point for assisting a returning citizen with determining whether they are eligible to register and vote.


On August 8, 2022, follow­ing reports of a state attor­ney in Alachua County prosec­ut­ing 10 return­ing citizens for allegedly regis­ter­ing and voting in 2020 while ineligible because of outstand­ing LFOs, the Bren­nan Center, ACLU of Flor­ida, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and ACLU created a resource for lawyers and advocacy groups to help return­ing citizens determ­ine if they are eligible to vote. Please note this resource is not intended for the general public and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It should be used in consultation with a lawyer or another expert who is able to interpret Florida’s voting rules, and it is intended to serve as a starting point for assisting a returning citizen with determining whether they are eligible to register and vote.


On January 13, following the arrests of dozens of returning citizens for what appear to be honest mistakes about their eligibility to vote, the Brennan Center, ACLU of Florida, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, ACLU, Florida NAACP, and League of Women Voters of Florida sent a letter to Secretary of State Cord Byrd putting him on notice that Florida’s voter registration form violates the National Voter Registration Act because it fails to adequately inform applicants with felony convictions of the eligibility requirements.


On February 3, Florida lawmakers introduced H.B. 3-B/S.B. 4-B, a bill to expand the jurisdiction of the office of statewide prosecution (“OSP”) to investigate and prosecute certain crimes related to voting, petition activities, and voter registration. The bill was introduced after several Florida courts dismissed the OSP’s charges against three of the 20 returning citizens arrested by DeSantis’s election police force last August. The courts concluded that the OSP does not have authority to prosecute alleged voting misconduct that occurred in only one judicial circuit. The Brennan Center, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, ACLU of Florida, ACLU, Florida NAACP, League of Women Voters of Florida, LatinoJustice, All Voting is Local Florida, and Common Cause Florida submitted written testimony in opposition to the bill. S.B. 4-B was sent to Gov. DeSantis for his signature on February 10.


The History of Amendment 4


“Prior to Amendment 4, Florida’s constitution permanently disenfranchised all citizens who had been convicted of any felony offense unless the Clemency Board restored their voting rights – a process that will now apply to those who have not had their rights restored by Amendment 4, including anyone convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of disenfranchised Floridians grew by nearly 150,000 to an estimated total of 1,686,000. In 2016, more than one in five of Florida’s Black voting-age population was disenfranchised.


“After years of advocating for change with the courts and governors’ offices, the Brennan Center joined with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and others to draft Amendment 4 and push for its inclusion on the 2018 ballot.


“On January 23, 2018, Floridians for a Fair Democracy announced that their campaign, Florida Second Chances, had surpassed the 766,200 signature threshold to get Amendment 4 on the 2018 ballot.


For the next 10 months, the campaign worked to build a massive groundswell of bipartisan support that culminated in the Amendment’s passage on November 6, 2018. Amendment 4 went into effect on January 8, 2019.




“In 2000, the Brennan Center and co-counsel, representing more than 600,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit – Johnson v. Bush – challenging Florida’s permanent disenfranchisement constitutional provision under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 2005, despite evidence that Florida’s constitutional provision was rooted in 19th-century efforts to evade the mandate of the Fifteenth Amendment and deny Black men the right to vote, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to stand.



Executive Actions


“In April 2007, then-Gov. Charlie Crist took an incremental step towards reform when he issued revised rules of executive clemency. Notably, this change created automatic rights restoration for people completing sentences for certain felony convictions. A year later, in 2008, Gov. Crist’s office announced that over 115,000 Floridians had regained voting rights since the new rules were implemented.


“In March 2011, then-Gov. Rick Scott eliminated Gov. Crist’s reforms and created additional barriers for people seeking to have their voting rights restored. The Brennan Center and other national civil rights organizations strongly opposed the plan in a joint letter to the Clemency Board. The American Probation and Parole Association also submitted its own letter encouraging the Board to maintain Gov. Crist’s clemency reforms. The Governor’s regressive move set the stage for the effort to ultimately pass Amendment 4 years later.”



On February 17th, 2023, The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRCC), the main group that was organizing in Florida for Amendment 4, was nominated for the the Nobel Peace Prize.


” ‘We want to take advantage of this opportunity to really highlight the power of second chances, right?’ said Desmond Meade, executive director of the FRRC. ‘That even though people like me have made mistakes in the past, that there is still an opportunity for us to be contributing members of society.’


“Since Amendment 4, the FRRC has continued its mission by helping eligible felons pay any fees to get their rights restored, as required by the Florida Legislature.


“It has also helped the community in other ways, including by providing personal protection equipment during the pandemic.


“Meade and group deputy director Neil Volz said this was validation at the highest levels that the work they are doing is important.


” ‘Here we have a prestigious organization saying, ‘Hey, we see you, We see you for who you are, not this narrative that exists about what people may think you are,’ Volz said. ‘We’re talking about acknowledgment that returning citizens can be heroes of democracy here in our state and can give back and help transform our society in a way that benefits everybody, that’s really empowering for our particular community.’


“FRRC was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee, the same organization that nominated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel.”


On the FRRC’s website, they state: “For many returning citizens, voting is a step in a restorative journey. The state of Florida led many of these citizens to believe that they could exercise their right to vote, and then it arrested, jailed and charged them in front of their friends, families and neighbors. Voter integrity starts at the front end of our election process. We’ve created Bail and Legal Defense Funds to help financially challenged returning citizens who’ve been unjustly arrested for voting. We have also launched a Change.org petition to demand that the state immediately stop arrests of returning citizens, who have expressed that the state led them to believe they are eligible to vote and to create a centralized voter eligibility database to verify all voters by the end of 2023.”

⮚    The Political Geography of Mass Incarceration

FRRC | Body Count – The Impact of Prison Gerrymandering: Interactive Map

Every ten years during the Census, incarcerated people are counted as residents of prisons, which are often in rural areas very far away from their home communities.


In this research, the FRCC matched and analyzed last-known addresses for over 80,000 people currently incarcerated in Florida’s Department of Corrections as of October 2021. The organization then maps where people should be counted in every proposed and current district plan, and show which districts gain population and which districts lose people.

Read More



Common misconceptions about felon disenfranchisement laws further the feeling of second class citizenship. Many people make the false assumption that if they have been to jail or prison, then they automatically have lost their right to vote. America’s felon disenfranchisement laws are usually only applied to those individuals with past felony convictions and not to those with misdemeanors. Most people convicted of a misdemeanor can still vote while incarcerated; Most states do not disenfranchise those who have been convicted of a misdemeanor; however, almost every state has felon disenfranchisement laws, and to add to the confusion, they vary from state to state.


“In summary: 


  • In the District of Columbia, Maine and Vermont, felons never lose their right to vote, even while they are incarcerated. 


  • In 21 states, felons lose their voting rights only while incarcerated, and receive automatic restoration upon release.


  • In 16 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration, and for a period of time after, typically while on parole and/or probation. Voting rights are automatically restored after this time period. Former felons may also have to pay any outstanding fines, fees or restitution before their rights are restored. 


  • In 11 states, felons lose their voting rights indefinitely for some crimes, or require a governor’s pardon for voting rights to be restored, face an additional waiting period after completion of sentence (including parole and probation) or require additional action before voting rights can be restored.”


The misunderstandings of felon disenfranchisement laws are not just because every state has its own laws; but, because the requirements to restore the right to vote is also different in each state. Below is an alphabetic list of all 50 states. Click the button below to see the National Conference of State Legislatures’ often updated webpage to see charts regarding the current laws in your state and other information:

Click Here for NCSL’s Webpage on current laws in all 50 states and the District

⮚    This shouldn’t be a partisan issue


Although Republican have currently been opposing restoration of voting rights, it doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be a partisan issue.


Virginia state Del. Mike Cherry, who introduced an amendment in 2021 during his first term, stated: “ ‘I just have this idea that redemption is part of the process for all of our lives,’ Cherry, a pastor who was first elected to the state Legislature [in 2020], said in an interview. He called the growing support among some on reenfranchisement efforts an ‘evolving point of view for many conservatives’ and that he was hopeful it would be able to pull more support. I think more and more people are warming to the idea that this can be an issue that we should all be able to get behind. Because it’s not a left or right issue’ “.

⮚    Conclusion


There is still a lot of work to be done in the restoring of the right to vote to the 6.1 million people affected by felon disenfranchisement. The Transformative Justice Coalition is committed to working with groups worldwide to combat felon disenfranchisement.

Recommended Reading (Brennan Center Resources)


  • Restoring the Right to Vote, Erika Wood (2009)
  • The Brennan Center’s policy proposal for restoring voting rights for citizens with past criminal convictions.


  • My First Vote (2009)
  • Testimonials of individuals who regained their voting rights after being disenfranchised because of past criminal convictions.


  • De Facto Disenfranchisement, Erika Wood & Rachel Bloom (2008)
  • A report on how complex laws, poorly informed officials, and misinformation lead to the de facto disenfranchisement of citizens with past criminal convictions who are eligible to vote.

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  14. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-todd-jealous/felony- disenfranchisement_b_3163351.html
  15. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/virginia-felons-voting- rights_us_5809292fe4b000d0b155b2cc
  16. http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-sac-essential-politics-updates-felons-in-jails- to-be-allowed-to-vote-1475094969-htmlstory.html
  17. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/opinion/the-racist-origins-of-felon- disenfranchisement.html?_r=1
  18. http://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/6-million-lost-voters-state-level-estimates- felony-disenfranchisement-2016/
  19. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1919617
  20. https://secondchancejobsforfelons.com/resources/can-felons-vote
  21. https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voting-rights-restoration-efforts-maryland
  22. https://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports98/vote/usvot98o.htm
  23. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3IxWEK0uJA



2023 Sources:


  1. https://www.ncsl.org/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights
  2. https://interactive.floridarrc.com/bodycount
  3. https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2023/02/17/florida-rights-restoration-coalition-speaks-about-nobel-peace-prize-nomination/
  4. https://floridarrc.com/
  5. https://www.change.org/p/stop-wasting-taxpayer-money-penalizing-returning-citizens-for-a-broken-election-system recruiter=1279303851&recruited_by_id=4202e720-4683-11ed-a777-b531cd8087b4&utm_source=share_petition&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_medium=copylink
  6. https://ldf.floridarrc.com/donate?src=web
  7. https://bail.floridarrc.com/donate?src=web
  8. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/02/02/felon-voting-rights-states-00004372
  9. https://www.ncsl.org/elections-and-campaigns/felon-voting-rights
  10. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/voting-rights-restoration-efforts-florida
  11. https://conta.cc/3dsMDlA
  12. https://www.acluva.org/en/get-help/voter-restoration
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