Can Felons Vote

Can Felons Vote?


No topic among returning citizens is discussed than that of disenfranchisement laws or more specifically the question of can individuals with criminal convictions vote in elections? All but two states (Maine & Vermont) have laws that restrict or prohibit the voting rights of those with criminal convictions. Disenfranchisement laws directly affect close to 6 million individuals in the United States. If you add in individuals who are confused or uncertain about the laws that number grows even larger.

By removing the right to vote, government is effectively telling returning citizens we want you to work, obey laws, and pay taxes, yet we do not want you to have a say in the laws, the taxes, and/or your general ability to work.

Adding to the confusion of felon voting rights is that each state’s laws are different and the requirements to regain the right to vote vary as well. This lack of consistency across the country has lead to higher disenfranchisement than is actually reported. In an attempt to clear up the confusion as much as possible we have compiled the following list of states with any restrictions on voting and resources to help you navigate both restoring your right to vote along with registering to vote in each state.

Some common terms you may hear or see in researching your right to vote are listed here:

  • Suffrage – is the right to vote in a political election.
  • Disenfranchisement – deprived of the right to vote in a political election.

Disenfranchisement Laws by State