6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement 2016

2016, 2016 Presidential Campaign, Florida, Kentucky, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, Voting Rights\

Sentencing Project.org has released (PDF) state-level estimates of voter disenfranchisement due to felony convictions. Florida, a key 2016 swing state, is home to the largest absolute number of disenfranchised and the largest percentage of total population. African americans are disproportionately disenfranchised, particularly in Florida, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

The United States remains one of the world’s strictest nations when it comes to denying the right to vote to citizens convicted of crimes. An estimated 6.1 million Americans are forbidden to vote because of “felony disenfranchisement,” or laws restricting voting rights for those convicted of felony-level crimes.

The state of Florida alone accounts for more than a quarter (27 percent) of the disenfranchised population nationally, and its nearly 1.5 million individuals disenfranchised post-sentence account for nearly half (48 percent) of the national total.

African American disenfranchisement rates also vary significantly by state. In four states – Florida (21 percent), Kentucky (26 percent), Tennessee (21 percent), and Virginia (22 percent) – more than one in five African Americans is disenfranchised.