Public Split on Allowing Felons to Vote, says FindLaw Survey
Americans are split on whether convicted felons should be allowed to vote, according to a new survey by FindLaw.
Thirty-three percent of Americans feel felons should be allowed to vote, according to the survey. Forty-two percent say felons should not be allowed to vote. And twenty-nine percent are undecided on the issue.
The Obama administration recently announced plans to release more than 6,000 inmates from federal prisons in order to relieve prison overcrowding and rollback harsh sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, and it announced a new initiative to encourage rehabilitation and reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals into their communities.
An estimated 5.3 million Americans could not vote in the 2008 election because of their status as convicted felons, according to The Sentencing Project.
Laws on felon voting rights vary from state to state. Felons permanently lose their right to vote in some states. In other states, ex-felons regain their vote to vote after completion of their sentence. In some states, ex-felons must apply to have their voting rights restored. In Maine and Vermont, felons never lose their right to vote, even while they are incarcerated.