Felon Disenfranchisement

In Maryland and Virginia, former felons have the ability to vote, with some restrictions. For example, in Virginia, they must complete probation or parole.  Nonetheless. 40,000 persons in Maryland and more than 200.000 persons in Virginia now have access to the ballot box.  These measures, however, may be met with litigation that could affect their ability to vote in the 2016 election. Read the New York Times article here.

Restoring the Right to Vote

Recently, Virginia and Kentucky took up the issue of restoring the right to vote to persons convicted of nonviolent felonies, with different results.  In VA, the state house voted down a resolution that would allow for automatic restoration.  In KY, state house members will need a super majority after public approval to provide restorative measures to nonviolent felons.  The paradox of outcomes demonstrate that the road to restoration can be extremely difficult for the more than 5 million persons who have lost the right to vote because of former convictions.