Can a Convicted Felon Vote in the Presidential Election?
Whether or not a person convicted of felony can vote depends on their state of residence.
Vermont and Maine allow convicted felons to vote via absentee ballot while incarcerated.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia allow a person convicted of a felony to vote only after they complete their period of incarceration. These include: District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah.
Twenty four states allow convicted felons to vote after they have completed their period of incarceration, parole, probation and have been discharged from that state’s Department of Corrections then you will be allowed to vote after completing the voter registration process. These include: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota (Beginning March 19, 2012), Texas, Washington (must also pay all court fees), West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
In Alabama, some persons convicted of a felony may apply to have their vote restored immediately upon completion of their full sentence. Those convicted of certain felony offenses such as murder, rape, incest, sexual crime against children, and treason are not eligible for re-enfranchisement.
Arizona allows automatic voting restoration upon completion of sentence and payment of all fines for first-time, single felony offenders. Second time felony offenders may apply for restoration with their county after completion of their sentence.
In Delaware, a person convicted of a felony must wait five years after completion of their sentence to automatically regain the ability to vote. Persons convicted of murder or manslaughter, a felony offense against public administration involving bribery, improper influence or abuse of office, or a felony sexual offense, are permanently disqualified from voting.
Florida rules changed on Mar. 9, 2011. Automatic restoration of civil rights and the ability to vote will no longer be granted for any offenses. All individuals convicted of any felony will now have to apply for executive clemency after a five year waiting period. Individuals who are convicted, or who have previously been convicted, of certain felonies such as murder, assault, child abuse, drug trafficking, arson, etc. are subject to a seven year waiting period and a clemency board hearing to determine whether or not the ability to vote will be restored. Prior to the Mar. 9, 2011 rule change some individuals convicted of non-violent felonies were re-enfranchised automatically by the Clemency Board upon completion of their full sentence, including payment of fines and fees.
On January 4, 2011, Iowa rescinded a law allowing people convicted of a felony to automatically have their ability to vote restored after completing their sentences. Felons in Iowa must now pay all outstanding monetary obligations to the court in addition to completing their sentence and period of parole or probation. People convicted of a felony may then apply for restoration of the ability to vote.
In Kentucky, the ability to vote can be restored only when the Governor approves an application for an executive pardon from an individual convicted of a felony after completion of his/her sentence.
A person convicted of a felony in Mississippi is barred from voting only if that person has been convicted of one or more of the following specific felony crimes: "murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretense, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, bigamy, armed robbery, extortion, felony bad check, felony shoplifting, larceny, receiving stolen property, robbery, timber larceny, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, statutory rape, carjacking, or larceny under lease or rental agreement". To regain the ability to vote, an individual, after completion of his/her sentence, must go to his/her state representative and convince them to personally author a bill restoring the vote to that individual. Both houses of the legislature must then pass the bill. Re-enfranchisement can also be granted directly by the governor.
Nebraska allows a person convicted of a felony to vote two years after completion of their sentence of incarceration and all parole and probation for all convictions except treason.
In Nevada, voting rights are automatically restored to a person convicted of a non-violent felony after the sentence is completed. A person convicted of a violent felony and all second-time felony offenders are not re-enfranchised. Those individuals must seek restoration of their voting rights in the court in which they were convicted.
In Tennessee, all persons convicted of a felony since 1981, except for some serious felonies such as murder, rape, treason and voter fraud, may apply to the Board of Probation and Parole for voting restoration upon completion of their sentence.
Virginians convicted of most non-violent felonies may apply for a gubernatorial restoration of voting ability two years after completion of their sentence and the payment of any fines and restitution. Persons convicted of violent felonies, drug sales or manufacturing, crimes against minors, and election law offenses must wait five years to apply for a gubernatorial restoration of rights.
In Wyoming, people convicted of a first-time non-violent felony may apply to the Board of Parole for voting restoration five years after completion of their sentence. All others convicted of a felony must apply directly to the governor five years after completion of their sentence to have their voting ability restored.
Need more information? Visit www.RebellionBooks.com for a comprehensive 50 State Guide to Restoring Your Rights After a Criminal Conviction.
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